SEOUL, South Korea Samsung Electronics said it has shipped the industry's first Blue-ray optical disk player to U.S. retailers for sale starting June 25.
The player, dubbed BD-P1000, has been delayed by Samsung, which cited incomplete testing. It is expected to attract consumers who want to view high-definition disks on their existing HDTVs.
Samsung backs the Blu-ray Disc spec, along with Sony, Matsushita, Philips and Dell on the hardware side. Seven of the eight major movie studios, including Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and LionsGate Pictures support Blu-ray. An influx of Blu-ray content is hitting the market with the launch of the player, according to Samsung.
The BD-P1000 plays Blu-ray software titles via a native 1,080p HDMI output for films digitally mastered in 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. It also upconverts conventional DVDs to 1,080p through the HDMI digital interface, so picture quality for traditional DVDs is more detailed when played by the disk player.
Besides all the existing DVD formats, the BD-P1000 plays both standard DVDs and CDs. Samsung has included a 10-in-2 multimemory card interface that supports all the major formats including Compact Flash, Secure Digital, XD Picture Card and Memory Stick.
Connectivity includes HDMI, Component, S-video and composite outputs. Supported audio formats include: Dolby Digital & Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, MP3 and 192-KHz LPCM.
Samsung will sell the BD-P1000 for $999.99, or twice the price of devices that play HD-DVD disks.
Separately, Sony Pictures said Thursday (June 15) it will release the first batch of sever Blu-ray Disc movie titles on June 20. The studio said the release was timed to coincide with the availability of Samsung's player and Sony's Blu-ray Disc-compatible Vaio PC.