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Samsung Celebrates Pending Blu-ray Launch

New York – Samsung formally launched the world’s first Blu-ray Disc player during an elaborate event at its Samsung Experience showcase store in the Time Warner Center.

Samsung’s digital video and audio products group senior marketing VP Jim Sanduski said the first shipment of players will go on sale at select Samsung dealers beginning June 25th at an expected $1,000 retail price.

“I can say with 100 percent certainty that the June 25th launch will happen,” Sanduski said. “We have literally thousands of units that are already in the distribution channel on the way to retailers’ shelves.”

Sanduski said Samsung has created a special demo disk that will allow dealers to give full demonstrations of the player’s high-definition capabilities.

The player, model BD-P1000, will include full 1,920 by 1,080p output capability via an HDMI output for both native and up-converted source material. The player will also output 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i resolution levels through both the HDMI and analog component video connectors.

Another late addition to the player was an 11-in-two multi-memory card interface, instead of the originally announced nine-in-two reader. The added memory card formats include Mini-SD and Memory Stick Pro Duo.

The player will use Samsung’s proprietary one pickup with two-lens technology that allows it to play standard DVDs and CDs in addition to Blu-ray discs. Supported DVD formats include DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+RW, and DVD+R.

Additional features include pop-up and always-on menu options; a full color high-definition animated button; and improved bitmap and text subtitles. Supported audio formats include 192KHz LPCM, Dolby digital & Dolby Digital Plus, MPEG 2, DTS and MP3.

In a related announcement, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) said it will launch the first slate of Blu-ray Disc titles on June 20th. The first wave, which will include seven BD titles, was timed to coincide with the commercial rollout of the Samsung BD-P1000 and Sony’s BD-compatible VAIO PC.

The first releases will include mostly catalog titles including: “50 First Dates,” “The Fifth Element;” “Hitch;” “House of Flying Daggers,” “XXX,” “The Terminator” and “Underworld Evolution,” the new sequel to the Kate Beckinsale vampire movie “Underworld.”

On June 27th, Sony will release “Ultraviolet” as its first Blu-ray title scheduled for day-and-date release with the DVD movie. Other titles scheduled for June 27th BD releases will include catalog titles: “The Last Waltz” (MGM) and “A Knight’s Tale.”

On July 11th, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release “Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addition,” followed on July 25th by “Kung Fu Hustle,” “Legends of the Fall,” “Stealth,” “Species,” “SWAT” and “Resident Evil Apocalypse.”