Samsung's Blu-ray is over


In the United States, Samsung bows out Blu-ray discs, the electronics giant confirming that it would no longer offer disk-based media players. The company's latest Blu-ray players were launched in 2017, with 4K Ultra HD support as well as applications for streaming services.

However, 2018 has arrived and gone, and no new Samsung Blu-ray players have arrived in the United States. As a rule, the company would use IFA in Berlin, Germany and CES in Las Vegas NV to unveil its latest models.

The news comes as a little surprise, the spirit. Blu-ray has been relegated to the background in recent years and, while home-cinema enthusiasts still prefer disk-based media for its high-resolution streaming services such as Netflix, iTunes and other flat-panel -forms have gained popularity. Samsung itself is eager to do so, with built-in apps for the most popular services preloaded on its smart TVs.

Forbes has been notified of the shutdown, and Samsung has confirmed that it no longer has 4K Blu-ray players for the United States. This happened after anonymous broadcast dealers told the company they should not expect new equipment this year. Samsung confirmed to CNET that ordinary, non-4K Blu-ray players were also abandoned, the 1080p Full HD models, more affordable, also getting the ax.

This means the premature end of at least one high-end Samsung Blu-ray player supposed to be on the road map for 2019. Although not yet officially announced, the drive would be a one-device model. No other specifications have been disclosed.

That leaves those who hang on Blu-ray in a much smaller market. Samsung's decision follows an announcement by Oppo last year that it would also leave the Blu-ray player space. This is despite its recent models that have proved particularly welcomed by users.

Of course, Samsung was not the only company to make the drives. Sony and Panasonic are still in space, as well as some other companies, so it's not as if those who wanted a Blu-ray player would stay completely in the cold.

What Samsung could do in other regions is not clear at this point. Although the US Blu-ray market is now too small to warrant continuation, the situation in other countries may well be very different. The success of streaming services depends, after all, on a number of factors, including licensing agreements and the prevalence of broadband Internet connections with no bandwidth cap. This could mean that Samsung's Blu-ray hardware is still available elsewhere.

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