Samsung Announces Blu-ray/HD-DVD Player

Count Samsung among the major manufacturers designing a player that will accept both HD DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Samsung has joined LG in committing to a dual-format player that will be shipped to the U.S. Samsung has not announced a price for the new player, however, which will be called the BD-UP5000 and will be sold before the Christmas 2007 holiday season.

"We are very pleased to announce the upcoming release of our Duo HD player," said Dongsoo Jun, executive vice president of the Digital AV Division at Samsung Electronics, in a statement.

"Consumers are hungry for more HD content but are currently confused about competing formats," Jun added. "Samsung's Duo HD player will allow consumers access to every HD movie title available regardless of the authoring format. Samsung is committed to making life simpler through technology and will market next generation DVD products which will satisfy the consumer and market requirement. This is a big win for the consumer.


Samsung's Duo HD player will fully support both the HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc formats and their interactive technologies, HDi and BD-Java, Samsung said. The company's second-generation Blu-ray player will be released this month to U.S. retailers.

Although Samsung did not announce a price for the BD-UP5000, the player will likely be pricey; LG's SuperBlu BH100 sells for just over $1,000, on up to about $1,200.

PC Magazine reviewers noted an odd quirk with the SuperBlu; the player supports only the 24-Hz and 30-Hz frequencies of the 1080p format, not the most common 60-Hz signaling.This means that the player is incompatible with TVs from Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Panasonic -- and even LG, whose upcoming 2007 TV lineup will support the 24- and 30-Hz frequencies, but whose current lineup does not.

"As a member of the DVD Forum and contributor to the DVD Industry, we recognize that both HD-DVD and BD formats have merits," Jun concluded. "As such, we have decided to market a dual format player. Samsung is flexible to market a stand-alone HD-DVD player whenever consumers demand it. Our main concern is not technology but consumer choice."

Samsung's plans were also welcomed by Warner Bros., which has released its most popular films in both formats. "We welcome Samsung's Duo HD player as another solution in the marketplace that will help reduce consumer confusion and buyer hesitancy towards HD media," said Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video, in a statement. "This is an innovative product that can move us closer to mainstream consumer adoption of HD technologies."