Samsung decided to abandon Blu-ray, at least in the US, and will no longer produce additional Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray player models in this market.
Earlier, an article published in Forbes said Samsung only intended to stop producing 4K readers and will continue to launch new 1080p devices. However, confirmed to CNET, Samsung officially said it will not release both 4K and 1080p devices anymore, which is a sample 4K player which is expected to launch this year.
Specifically, a Samsung spokesman said: “Samsung will no longer introduce models of Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray players in the US market anymore”. Samsung launched its final 4K readers in 2017, and in 2018, they didn’t add any new readers. A high-end 4K reader model is expected to launch in 2019, UBD-M9500 product line is also being developed, but now has been completely canceled.
This is absolutely not surprising. The Blu-ray 4K UHD market is growing fast, but overall disc sales are down to double digits (down 11.5% in Q3 2018) and perhaps, the growth of streaming services. has made the future of this format a mystery. Last year, rival Oppo also left the Blu-ray market. Digital Entertainment Group said up to 2.3 million 4K Blu-ray capable devices were sold in the US in the first 9 months of 2018.
While Blu-ray has struggled, paid video streaming services have come to fruition, reaching households many times more than Blu-ray sales (Netflix alone has 150 million tafis). There seems to be a significant number of consumers who do not think they need an expensive Blu-ray player to enjoy home movies (Forbes says more than half of the movie sales still remain DVDs). Besides, Samsung devices do not support Dolby Vision, only support HDR10 and HDR10+, making them less attractive in the Blu-ray market.
Either way, Blu-ray will not be extinct like dinosaurs – in fact, they are still the best way to watch home movies with the same quality as movie theaters – but the “lives” of Blu-ray is increasingly threatened by the rise of streaming services. CNET said Samsung’s rivals would not give up the game. Sony is planning to launch a new Blu-ray device this year, and Panasonic has just launched the DP-UB9000 reader in overseas markets.