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Samsung kills HD DVD/Blu-ray combo player

Demise of HD DVD leads company to pull the plug on the product announced just two months ago.

It's becoming clear that early adopters of the HD DVD video format will find fewer and fewer products that will play their discs.

Samsung will halt its plans to release the combination HD DVD/Blu-ray player, the BD-UP5500, introduced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. Samsung issued a statement late Wednesday, saying that though the product "remains a practical solution...the window of opportunity is smaller than it was before. In light of recent announcements, Samsung will not introduce the BD-UP5500 Duo HD Player."

Samsung BD-UP5000
Samsung pulls the plug on its latest combo drive before its release. Samsung

The announcement doesn't come as much of a shock. Even at its launch there were questions whether the product was relevant, and if so, for how long, since just a few days earlier Warner Bros. made its bombshell announcement that it would support Blu-ray exclusively, effectively dooming the HD DVD format.

There are very few options left for owners of HD DVD discs. Last month Toshiba decided to bow out, followed soon by Microsoft's announcement it would no longer produce external HD DVD drives for its Xbox 360 video game console. Samsung has one other combo player and LG Electronics still makes two combo players.

Samsung will, however, keep moving ahead with plans to release its next Blu-ray only player, the BD-P1500, which is still on track for a spring release.