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More details on Samsung's HD DVD/Blu-ray combo player

Samsung reveals even more details about its upcoming HD DVD/Blu-ray combo player, the BD-UP5000, at CEDIA.


Editors' note: Toshiba has officially announced that it will stop producing HD DVD products, bringing an end to the format war. For that reason, CNET recommends that consumers should avoid buying this player for high-definition movie playback, as very few HD DVD discs will be produced in the future.

We've already known most of the details about the upcoming Samsung BD-UP5000 HD DVD/Blu-ray combo player for a while, but today at CEDIA they announced a few more nuggets of info. Here's a summary of what we know:

BD-UP5000's key features

  • 1080p output at 24 frames per second on Blu-ray and HD DVD
  • HQV video processing
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD
  • Firmware upgradeable for DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio onboard decoding (see this blog for more information)
  • HDMI 1.3 port
  • Ethernet port
  • $1,000 MSRP, available Q4 2007

The spec sheet we got from Samsung also mentioned "stereo and 5.1/7.1-channel audio outputs", but we have not yet been able to confirm if that refers to multichannel analog outputs (as we suspect) or the ability to output multichannel audio via HDMI. We've also inquired to see exactly how Samsung plans to implement its support for DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio--whether by onboarding decoding or by enabling bitstream output. Note that if they enable DTS-HD support by enabling bitstream output, you will need a newer receiver with onboard DTS-HD Master Audio decoding to take advantage of the lossless high resolution soundtrack.

Overall, we have to admit we're pretty impressed with the BD-UP5000 compared to LG's combo player, the BH200. The inclusion of HQV video processing at the same price point is a nice upgrade, since HQV can improve performance on both standard DVD and high-def discs. Samsung's decision to support high-resolution audio, albeit by a firmware update, is also a plus over the BH200 which has currently only announced support for bitstream output. Of course, both combo players still have to face the fact that you can buy both a PlayStation 3 and Toshiba HD-A2 for less.