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Samsung Prolongs HD DVD Production

8 Jan, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd will continue selling its dual-format HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc player (BD-UP5000), despite the apparent mortal hit levied Friday by Warner Bros. against HD DVD.

During a product press conference Jan. 8 featuring executives from the Korean CE manufacturer, a spokesperson said Samsung was surprised by Warner's decision to exclusively support Blu-ray but that it will continue producing the dual-format player if market demand warranted.

“I don't think we can preface that the format war is over,” said Kevin Morrow, marketing director of Samsung's HD players. “There are still a number of companies involved and will continue to support HD DVD.”

Morrow said 30% of studios still support HD DVD (Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks). Samsung considers itself format agnostic and, therefore, is a member of both the Blu-ray Disc Association and HD DVD Promotions Group.

Samsung markets two Blu-ray players, the BD-P1400 and BD-P2400. It does not sell an HD DVD player.

Morrow said consumers who bought HD DVD movies should still be able to buy HD DVD compatible players.

“There is still that [HD DVD] market segment that is not going to go away immediately, and I don't know if it ever will,” he said.

Morrow said the PC market with installed HD DVD drives is far greater than the market for HD players and as such the HD DVD format cannot be ignored.

He said Samsung would have continued making the dual-format player even if it had known about Warner's decision. Morrow was asked if Samsung would change its mind should Paramount or Universal abandon HD DVD. He said market demand for HD DVD continued to be strong.

“If consumers still want to buy it, we will continue to produce it,” Morrow said. “Even if HD DVD waves the white flag, there is still going to be that specification out there. It is not going to end immediately.”

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