Samsung to launch Blu-ray player on 25 June

  • Chicago (IL) - Sony is late to the Blu-ray party, but Samsung will keep its initial promise. Samsung confirmed to TG Daily on Wednesday amd through an official announcement today that it will be offering a Blu-ray player on 25 June, shortly after the official U.S. debut of the format.

    Samsung's announcement follows a wave of reports that a range of living room Blu-ray players will be delayed until August and in some cases even into September. These news included Samsung's BD-P1000 as well, but the company dismissed reports that indicated a delay of the player.

    Samsung will be the only company offering a Blu-ray player (if Sony's $3500, Blu-ray capable Vaio VGN-AR190G notebook is left out of consideration), which approximately reflects Sony's initial launch plan that, however, was scheduled for 23 May.

    "Blu-ray is not delayed," told Jim Sanduski, senior vice president of marketing for Samsung's audio and video products group, the online version of PC World. Sanduski said that "although the U.S. release was moved from May to June, the plan had always been to launch Blu-ray in Korea this July, and in Europe this September."

    The BD-P1000 will cost $1000, twice the amount of the first HD DVD players, but will offer the unique feature to put out 1080p high-definition video. According to Sanduski, the amount of players "in transit to retail today" is in the "thousands," which is encouraging, but does not provide a clear indication how limited those players will be on 25 June.

    The feature set will be somewhat closer to what video enthusiasts may expect from a new generation video format than current HD DVD players. According to the product's specifications, the 9.3-pound BD-P1000 supports any media ranging from the CD-ROM all the way up to BD-ROM and BD-RE discs, is compatible with MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264 and HD JPEG formats, includes an 11-in-2 media card reader, two HDMI outputs. What is missing at this state is apparently an Ethernet or even a Wi-Fi networking port.