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Samsung confirms it's stopping Blu-ray player production

Samsung's UBD-M9500 Blu-Ray player. Image credit: Samsung
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Samsung has confirmed that it will not be making any new Blu-ray players, having not announced a new player since the launch of its UBD-M9500 4K player at CES 2017.

The news was first reported on by Forbes (opens in new tab) who claimed that the company is  "no longer going to be making any new models of 4K Blu-ray player". 

Samsung later released a statement confirming the news to CNET (opens in new tab), saying "Samsung will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models in the US market." 

Streaming dominates

Samsung's last player, the UBD-M9500 4K Blu-ray player impressed with its high-quality built-in display and great multimedia features, but dwindling sales of physical media has likely spelt the end for the company's Blu-ray ventures.

In the age of streaming, DVD and Blu-ray sales have dipped dramatically, with unit shipments for the global Blu-ray player market expected to decrease from 72.1 million in 2017 to 68 million in 2023, according to market researchers (opens in new tab).

With only three new Blu-ray players launched at CES 2019, the preference for streaming over physical media is becoming ever more apparent – but that doesn’t mean companies like Panasonic and Sony aren’t still innovating in the Blu-ray player market. 

There are actually quite a few benefits to watching films on Blu-ray as opposed to streaming; whether it's the uncompressed video and audio quality and the additional special features of a Blu-ray disc you're after, or if you are looking to upscale standard definition or 1080p content to Full HD or 4K respectively, a great Blu-ray player can deliver a truly cinematic experience.

Still, if streaming continues to get better and physical media sales continue to fall, Samsung may not be the only company to halt Blu-ray player production this year. 

Via What Hi-Fi? (opens in new tab)

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.