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Samsung to play safe with dual HD DVD/Blu-ray rig

Can't beat 'em, join 'em

Samsung is to harness consumer confusion over which next-generation optical disc standard to back by offering a player that supports both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD).

The machine will launch sometime next year, said Choi Gee-Sung, Samsung's consumer electronics chief, in an interview published by the Financial Times Deutschland.

"We would welcome a unified standard but if this doesn't come, which looks likely, we'll bring a unified solution to market," he said.

"It won't be simple but you'll see our solution in the coming year. Consumers will be too confused otherwise," he added.

With talks held between the two camps to find common ground in order to yield a unified format having broken down, consumers much now choose which format to support. Backing the wrong format could leave buyers with access to less content and, over time, more expensive hardware. That risk may persuade them simply to ignore both formats until a clear winner emerges.

Dual-play machines could break the deadlock. Both BD and HD DVD use blue laser light to increase the storage capacity of a DVD-sized optical disc dramatically. However, the two formats have very different capacities, optical specifications and file structures. Samsung's machine is likely to require at least two different read heads for the blue-laser discs, not to mention another, red laser-based head to read today's DVDs and CDs.

To date, Samsung has favoured BD over HD DVD, but today's statement suggest it doesn't believe its favoured format will quickly establish a clear lead over HD DVD. ®

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