It looks as if online streaming has taken another high profile victim, as Samsung has announced it will no longer be making new Blu-ray players.
Samsung's UBD-M9000 4k UHD Blu-ray Player. Credit: SamsungTo be more precise, the company told Forbes (via The Verge) that it was ending production of new 4K quality players, and CNET further reported that some of Samsung’s 1080p players were also being discontinued.
It’s important to point out that this doesn’t mean existing models will no longer be produced or sold. But it does mean that any currently on the shelves will be part of the last generation of Samsung’s Blu-ray products.
While a new model of 4K Blu-ray player was apparently in development according to Forbes’ report, this project has now been scrapped.
This decision follows in the footsteps of fellow manufacturer Oppo Digital (related to Oppo the phone manufacturer, but not the same company), which decided to stop making Blu-ray players in April 2018, although pledging to continue providing tech support and offering refunds for recent buyers.
Samsung was present at CES 2019 in January, showing off products like its The Window TV, smart domestic appliances, and both folding and 5G smartphone prototypes. But among these, no Blu-ray items were there to be found, in hindsight an early hint at this announcement.
The Blu-ray format as a whole is by no means dead yet. Anyone who buys games on physical discs for their Playstation 4 or Xbox One are using Blu-ray, and while video streaming is now the most dominant form of viewing TV shows and movies outside of watching TV normally, some visual media aficionados appreciate having the guaranteed high quality video provided by Blu-ray.
It would seem that this isn’t enough to persuade Samsung to keep its development of new players going though. We’ll have to wait and see if more major manufacturers follow suit in the coming months.