Samsung plans August shipments of its first DVD-recorder and September shipments of its first DVD-Audio/Video player.
Samsung's recorder, a DVD-RAM model, has already dropped in price, from $2,499 to $1,499 following a decision by Panasonic to ship its second-generation RAM recorder in October at half the price of the first-generation model's $3,999 suggested retail.
The DVD-RAM launch, however, "doesn't necessarily mean you won't see a more-backward-compatible format from us in the future," said Claude Frank, senior marketing manager for digital video. Frank didn't rule out a dual-format +/-RW recorder.
Although Samsung doesn't expect blockbuster sales of its Tantus-series DVD-RAM machine, the company felt it important to be one of the first companies to market to reinforce its step-up repositioning, Frank said. Features include 3:2 pull-down progressive output, time shifting, MP3-CD playback, and IR emitter for use with cable boxes and other set-top boxes. It doesn't feature DVD-R recording or built-in 5.1 decoder.
The DVD-Audio player, the DVD-A901, will also feature 3:2 progressive output, as well as HDCD decoding but — because of low-price DD/DTS receivers — no built-in DD or DTS 5.1 decoding. Suggested price is $299.
Four DVDs in Samsung's 2001 line feature progressive output.
The company reported that its DVD/VCR combo, available since May at $299, is selling out. It plays MP3 CD-R discs, most CD-RW discs, and S-VHS tapes, but it doesn't record in S-VHS mode. Panasonic and SonicBlue also offer a combo model.
In addition Samsung began July shipping its entry-level progressive-output DVD, the $199 DVD-P401 without DD/DTS 5.1 decoders. It plays CD-R discs and most CD-RW discs but doesn't feature an MP3 decoder. The company's 2001 DVD player lineup starts at a suggested $149.