No future Blu-ray player models are expected from the company in the US.
According to reports by Forbes and CNET, Samsung has exited the 4K Blu-ray and HD Blu-ray player market in the US. A new high-end 4K model was rumored for release later this year, but following no announcements at CES 2019, it’s now been confirmed that the company has no plans to produce any new models in the US going forward. With that said, it’s possible that the company could continue producing players in other regions.
While no specific reason has been given for the decision, Forbes speculates that the move has been made in response to the relatively niche nature of the 4K Blu-ray player space, increased market share from competitors like Sony and Panasonic, and Samsung’s lack of Dolby Vision support. Though two 2018 Samsung 4K Blu-ray player models were announced at last year’s CES, it does not actually appear that they were ever released in the US. This makes the company’s 2017 lineup, led by the UBD-M9500, as its final run of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players.
The news of Samsung’s exit from the 4K Blu-ray player market comes just as the first wave of HDR10+ capable 4K Blu-ray discs are being released from 20th Century Fox. Samsung is one of the primary backers of the new dynamic metadata HDR format, and is the only manufacturer in the US to currently support the tech through its TVs. Though a firmware update has been released to support HDR10+ playback via the company’s 2017 4K Blu-ray player lineup, Samsung’s absence from the disc hardware market going forward could prove to be a drawback for the format.
Outside of Samsung, Oppo Digital announced its own exit from the 4K Blu-ray player market last year. Meanwhile, Sony and Panasonic revealed a few new 2019 4K Blu-ray player models at CES last month. LG, however, has not detailed any new 2019 models yet.