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In an interview with a German news-paper Samsung Electronics representative said that the company was planning to launch a player that would be able to play both emerging standards of DVDs – Blu-Ray and HD DVD – provided that the industry groups that back the formats do not propose a unified standard, an unlikely situation.

“We would welcome a unified standard but if this doesn’t come, we’ll bring an integrated (unified) solution to market. It will not be simple, but you will see our solution in the coming year. Otherwise, consumers will be too confused,” said Choi Gee-sung, Samsung’s head of consumer electronics, in an interview with Financial Times Deutschland published on Tuesday.

Blu-Ray and HD DVD standards are expected to compete fiercely in the coming years, as influential groups of consumer electronics makers back both. But supporting both formats in a single device can give a competitive advantage for Samsung or any other manufacturer offering similar player over those machines that can playback only one of the disc types.

It is yet unclear whether it is possible to develop a blue laser that could read both Blu-Ray discs as well as HD DVDs and how much such a laser may cost. Another way to create a device that could perform both types of discs would be installation of lasers with different optical specifications into a single device, but it is also unclear, how much would such an approach cost.

At IFA 2005 exhibition in Berlin, Germany, Samsung displayed its BD-HR1000, the world’s first Blu-Ray supporting A/V center that can interact with personal computers via wireless or wired networks.

HD DVD is the next generation DVD format being standardized at the DVD Forum, which represents over 230 consumer electronics, information technology, and content companies worldwide. HD DVD can store up to 15GB of data on one layer. HD DVD players and HD DVD video software were originally expected to come to market in late 2005. The development of HD DVD is headed by NEC and Toshiba. It is claimed that manufacturing of HD DVDs is cheaper compared to the competing standard.

Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by thirteen leading consumer electronics and PC companies, such as Dell, Hitachi, HP, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition television (HDTV). Blu-ray makes it possible to record over 2 hours of HDTV, or more than 13 hours of SDTV on a 27GB disc. There are also plans for higher capacity discs that are expected to hold up to 54GB of data.

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