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Samsung Plans Dual-Format HD Disc Player

Samsung is working on a dual-format, next-generation optical disc player that will support both the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) disc formats, the Financial Times Deutschland reported.

According to the report, Choi Gee-Sung, Samsung’s consumer electronics chief, said the machine will launch sometime next year.

Claude Frank, Samsung America’s digital video systems director, acknowledged at the recent CEDIA Expo that Samsung is working on a dual-format player, but stopped short of saying the player would play both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. He said a new dual-format player would most likely be demonstrated at International CES in January.

According to reports, Gee-Sung said Samsung, which is a member of the Blu-ray camp, is still hopeful that a unified format solution will be settled, but his company is preparing to give consumers one player that will handle both disc formats.

The report did not discuss how Samsung plans to hurdle the complications that the two very different disc structures present in designing a dual-format system, short of using two separate pickup systems.

Meanwhile, Samsung showed at CEDIA Expo its DVD-TR520 twin-tray DVD recorder, which ships this month at a $449.99 suggested retail price. The dual-deck will allow disc-to-disc dubbing at 2x, 4x and up to 6x speeds. The deck will copy a two-hour disc in 20 minutes, Samsung said.