Samsung Exits 4K Blu-ray & HD Blu-ray Player Market in US

Samsung

Samsung

Samsung last introduced a new Blu-ray player in 2017 and had been conspicuously quiet about new players for a while, shying away from the tech at the most recent trade shows such as Berlin's IFA or CES in January. A new high-end 4K model was rumored for release later this year, but following no announcements at CES 2019, it's now been confirmed that the company has no plans to produce any new models in the U.S. going forward. Cnet reports that Samsung have confirmed to them they will no longer develop new Blu-ray players, either 1080p or 4k variants, for the USA market.

The move to abandon the Blu-ray player market is not surprising as the proliferation of cheap 4K streaming devices and services has made accessing 4K content easy, eliminating the hassle of dealing with physical discs. Samsung was reportedly working on a high-end Blu-ray player for release in 2019, according to Forbes, but those plans have been scrapped. This ruled them out for home theater enthusiasts who either don't have HDR10 TVs or simply prefer Dolby's approach to HDR video. Physical media sales have been declining at double-digit percentage rates for a few years running.

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This decision follows in the footsteps of fellow manufacturer Oppo Digital (related to Oppo the phone manufacturer, but not the same company), which chose to stop making Blu-ray players in April 2018, although pledging to continue providing tech support and offering refunds for recent buyers.

The decision seems relatively unsurprising given the context of the market. And it probably doesn't help that the widely owned PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles are also perfectly adequate Blu-ray players for most consumers. Last year, Oppo also left Blu-ray players behind.

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