Samsung To Offer Dual-Format HD Disc Player

With the high-definition disc war still unresolved, yet another company plans to attempt to offer consumers in the United States a dual-format player by the end of this year.

Samsung, who has been one of Blu-ray's biggest proponents, announced its plans on Friday. It is the second company behind LG to develop an actual product. LG showed its drive off at CES, though it is said to lack some critical HD DVD features.

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Plans for a dual-format player from Samsung are nothing new, either; it was actually the first to hint at plans for a player in September 2005. However, technical problems in developing the player have significantly delayed its debut.

The BD-UP5000 will be made available in Europe, feasibly by early 2008, but exact details of the device's release are yet unknown. Executives say that a price has not yet been set, although more details are likely as the release date nears.

Likely behind the recent push by electronics companies to offer dual-format players is market reality. Many thought that a winner would have been decided by this point, but the two formats have fought to a stalemate at best.

Worse yet, neither side appears willing to make the crucial concessions needed to settle the format war. Thus if no argument is struck, it could be months, even years, before the issue is finally decided.

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