updated 09:15 am EST, Mon January 7, 2008
Samsung Duo HD BD-UP5500
Samsung today unveiled a second player in its Duo HD line of hybrid Blu-Ray/HD DVD systems. In addition to the delayed BD-UP5000, the company is preparing the UP5500 (pictured right), a more advanced model. Beyond supporting the HDMI 1.3 standard, which enables greater color and high-end 7.1 surround, the 5500 will use the final revisions of Blu-Ray and HD DVD. This should be particularly important in light of the 5500's Ethernet connection, which will let it access online-only movie features, as well as download any firmware updates it needs directly to the player.
Video output will feature 1080p24, and sound output will include 7.1-channel DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD. The player's CEC support, meanwhile, will allow it to be commandeered by a universal remote. The player is due to ship in the second half of the year for $599.
Samsung has also announced the BD-P1500 (pictured below), a dedicated Blu-Ray player that is similar to the 5500, but which drops 1080p24. This does give it a price advantage, as it will cost $200 less when it ships in May.