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Samsung may produce a twin-format Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD player later this year after all. The company this week revealed it is "considering" such a "universal" machine, according to a company spokesman.

"We don't have a plan to make an HD DVD-only player but are considering a universal player," the spokesman said, DigitalWorld Tokyo reports. "We are preparing HD DVD now and if we launch a universal player it will be the end of this year or early next year."

Samsung first indicated it was working on a dual-format player back in September 2005, when a company executive suggested such a move would allow it to safely avoid becoming a victim of the battle between the two formats and to overcome the resistance of consumers worried about buying into a losing technology.

However, by the time Samsung came to announce its first Blu-ray Disc player, the BD-P1000, in January this year, it was playing down such a move, presumably to stress its support for the Sony-led next-generation optical disc format, something it's been doing ever since. Well, until this week.

That said, the spokesman stressed Samsung's preference for BD over HD DVD. But clearly it's concerned HD DVD may benefit from its early lead and win more consumer support than BD. The BD-P1000 went on sale in the US this month. ®

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