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Samsung to ship Blu-ray 'first' with April player launch

At twice the price of an HD DVD rig, though...

CES Samsung today pledged to ship a Blu-ray Disc (BD) player ahead of rival manufacturers, getting its BD-P1000 machine to consumers in the "April timeframe", according to Jim Sandowski, head of Samsung USA's digital product marketing.

The player will pump out HD content at 720p or 1080i resolutions, Samsung said. Supported audio formats include 192KHz LPCM, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus, MPEG 2, DTS, and MP3.

Like Sony, Samsung said its machine will also play users' existing DVD and CD libraries, along with content stored on DVD-RAM and DVD±R/RW discs.

The BD-P1000 also has a memory card reader capable of taking Compact Flash, XD, Micro Drive, SD, MMC and RS-MMC, and MemoryStick and Memory Stick Duo cards. Ports built into the device include CVBS Output, S-Video Output, component output, HDMI, and both digital and analog audio outputs.

The BD-P1000 is scheduled to ship to the US for around $1000 - twice the price of Toshiba's entry-level HD DVD player. Senior Samsung staff claimed that's the result of last-minute price discounting to help make HD DVD appear more attractive to consumers. Whatever the reason, it's going to set a precedent that BD player makers are going to have to follow.

For now, though, Samsung officials said BD would succeed in the market by offering consumers the "best features" and the "best HD performance". They also believe BD will win through thanks to its superior support from Hollywood studios and other content providers.

The company did not address claims made last year that it will play it safe by shipping a machine capable of playing both BD and HD DVD discs. ®

Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player

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