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Samsung ceases production of new Blu-ray and 4K players for key territories

The Seoul-based company has confirmed that it will no longer be introducing new Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray, or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players to the US market.

Previously, the company told Forbes that it was wrapping up production on new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players.

Now, Samsung has told CNET that it “will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models in the US market,” according to a spokesperson.

While Blu-ray was intended to supersede DVD - being theoretically capable of storing high-resolution video and audio in a greater density than DVD - the format has failed to achieve dominance. Instead, Blu-ray has fallen awkwardly between the ubiquity of DVD and the sudden growth of video-on-demand and streaming services.

Research companies have warned that DVD and Blu-ray are in decline, as streaming services – which offer wide ranges of media (including in up to 4K resolution) at a flat monthly subscription fee or to buy or rent for a small fee per film – have exploded in popularity. Meanwhile, streaming devices, such as Google’s Chromecast or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, are allowing this high-resolution media to be streamed directly to televisions.

According to a 2018 Nielsen report, the average US adult spends approximately five minutes per day watching media with a DVD or Blu-ray player. Meanwhile, the British Association for Screen Entertainment has reported that positive numbers for home entertainment have been driven largely by digital film sales.

In April 2018, Chinese consumer electronics company Oppo Digital announced that it would be exiting the US Blu-ray player market.

Samsung announced its last range of 4K Blu-ray players at CES 2017 and has since scrapped its plans to launch a new high-end 4K Blu-ray player this year, choosing to focus instead on smart TVs and smartphones. However, it remains possible that Samsung will continue to introduce new Blu-ray player models outside the US market and will continue to manufacture existing Blu-ray players for years to come.

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