updated 10:15 am EST, Thu March 6, 2008
Samsung BD/HDDVD Axed
Samsung today canceled the launch of the BD-UP5500, its second hybrid Blu-ray and HD DVD movie player. The move is directly attributed to Toshiba's decision to drop HD DVD as a standard and is said to reflect the reality of the market. A single HD movie format will let Samsung focus primarily on its efforts for Blu-ray; the existing UP5000 player is also still available for those who want to keep access to HD DVDs before the format is withdrawn entirely from the market, the company adds. In the future, however, the prospect of selling any future devices remains slim.
"[A hybrid player] remains a practical solution, but the window of opportunity is smaller than it was before," the company says in its statement.
The company has declined to say when it expects to pull the first-run player from shelves, although Toshiba intends to cease its production of dedicated movie players this month. Samsung has produced its own dual-format optical drive and is not directly affected by the shutdown, but will have reduced incentive to stock its own devices once Toshiba's are withdrawn from shelves.