April 6, 2007
Just a few months after HD DVD’s launch we began hearing rumors that Samsung and LG were considering dual-format (Blu-ray and HD DVD) players, flash forward a few months later to CES 2007 and LG does indeed introduce a dual-format player, however Samsung’s supposed player was no where to be found.
The common consensus was that either (1) Samsung had abandoned the dual-format idea or (2) just wasn’t far enough along in development to announce anything. We now have our first clue as to which of the two scenarios it was. According to Store-Age.com Samsung plans to introduce their BD-UP5000 “Duo HD Player” in July (that’s July 2007 for those of you keeping score), here’s a rough translation of the linked article at Store-Age.com:
During an exclusive event Samsung invited us to late February, it unveiled the future hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD player which will launch in July: the BD-UP5000. Cosmetically it is very similar to the BD-P1200, the single-format Blu-ray player which will come out in April in the US. This “Duo HD Player”, as the CE maker calls it, will be 100 percent operational as regards interactivity, both on Blu-ray (BD-J) as on HD DVD (HDi). It will have an HDMI 1.3 output and it will support all the new audio formats.
It will also be possible to setup the HDMI output at 1080/24p, but only for Blu-ray. “It’s because this option is not standardized on HD DVD yet”, was the explanation. For DVD up-scaling (to 720p, 1080i or 1080p), Samsung has chosen DCDi processing (as opposed to HQV on the BD-P1200) for “cost reasons”. No final price has been disclosed, but Samsung is looking at a 10 percent price differential over the single-format Blu-ray players.
If true; this would be quite a coup for high definition disc fans, no it doesn’t seem as if the player will handle 1080p/24 with HD DVD discs but it does appear to support 1080p/60. This “10 percent price differential over the single-format Blu-ray players” line from the article grabbed the lions-share of my attention however. Assuming they mean the nominal $799-$999 end of the spectrum and not the $999-$1199 end, this could offer the LG dual-format player a run for its money as the LG player doesn’t fully support HD DVD’s HDi feature-set. Of course, if we receive any further information on this player we’ll pass it along.
–Update– No longer a rumor, Samsung confirms