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Samsung to launch '€400' Blu-ray/HD DVD player next month

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Samsung will launch its promised dual-format HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc player in Europe next month, the company has said, and industry insiders are already claiming the machine could be priced at just €400 ($548/£271).

Samsung apparently revealed its plan to launch the player, the BD-UP5000, at a recent preview event for the upcoming IFA consumer electronics show, which kicks off in Berlin at the end of August. Nothing was said about pricing - the €400 comes from Taiwanese moles cited by DigiTimes without addressing how Taiwanese sources might know what local pricing decisions the European wing of a South Korean company has made.

Samsung executives first hinted they were pondering a dual-format player back in the Autumn of 2005, but the company quickly acted to stress its total support for Blu-ray Disc. The rumour was revived last year after the first signs LG might be planning to produce such a machine surfaced in March 2006. The following June, Samsung staff were once again being quoted as claiming the company was considering a dual-format player.

Samsung has become increasingly willing to throw its weight behind HD DVD as well as Blu-ray of late, most notably by announcing last month a latptop with an integrated HD DVD drive.

The BD-UP5000 is said to offer full support for the two optical disc formats' interactivity technologies, HDi and BD Java. That lifts the machine above the dual-format player announced by LG in January: it will only handle Blu-ray interactivity - HD DVD playback is limited to the movies themselves.

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