CES: Samsung to launch Blu-ray Disc player in April

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Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will get a jump on its competitors by launching a Blu-ray Disc player in April this year, it said Thursday at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Most other Blu-ray Disc supporters that have talked about shipping dates have set mid-2006 targets, so the Samsung machine currently stands to be the first to market. Toshiba Corp. is planning to launch two players that support HD-DVD, the competing format to Blu-ray Disc, in March this year.

The BD-P1000 player will cost US$1,000 and will be able to output high-definition video on an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) at 720p and 1080i (720 lines progressive scanning and 1,080 lines interlaced scanning) resolutions. That’s the same as the Toshiba players and means that both first-generation high-definition optical disc players won’t be able to output a signal at 1080p, which is considered the best of several high-definition picture standards.

Samsung didn’t implement 1080p support in the interest of speeding up development.

“It allows us to get to market quicker, and so as we look at future models we’ll look at 1080p output,” said Jim Sanduski, senior vice president of marketing for Samsung Electronics America Inc.’s digital and audio products group, speaking to reporters at CES.

For the full 1080p picture, consumers will have to wait until the middle of the year for Pioneer Corp. to launch a Blu-ray Disc player. It will cost US$1,800, the company said Wednesday.

Samsung’s April launch could be delayed if BD Java, the standard for interactive features on Blu-ray Discs, isn’t completed in time.

“BD Java is one thing that is still being worked out. The timetable, as I understand it, is late March,” said Sanduski. “So that’s why [our timetable is] end of April. We think we can do it.”

This story, "CES: Samsung to launch Blu-ray Disc player in April" was originally published by PCWorld.

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