Surprisingly for the electronics titan, Samsung has not released any new Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray players for the US market since 2017. And now in 2019 it looks like their development of Blu-ray players has ceased entirely, as the company recently confirmed that it has no plans to release any new Blu-ray players.

Sales of movies on physical media have been on the decline for years now as streaming services have been gaining market share. To make the matters particularly worrying, sales of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are considerably behind sales of Blu-ray and DVD movies. In fact, despite being technologically obsolete, DVD is still the most popular format, according to a report from MediaPlayNews that cites NPD VideoScan. On the week ended on February 9, DVD commanded 55.2% of unit sales, Blu-ray captured 39.8%, whereas Ultra HD Blu-ray only had a 5% unit share. Whether this is entirely consumer-driven however is up for debate; some believe that the lion’s share of DVDs are being purchased by disc rental services.

Presumably because of low popularity of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs among consumers, Samsung has backed off plans to release any new Blu-ray players. Specifically, the company has confirmed that they don't have any plans to launch new UHD BD players in the US; however they have not elaborated on other markets. Keeping in mind that the US is the largest market for consumer electronics, canning the product category here means that it would be quite surprising to see it maintained in other markets.

Apart from Samsung, Oppo also recently pulled the plug on its Blu-ray players as well. Furthermore, in an odd move from the studios, several high-profile movies including The FavouriteStan & Ollie, and Holmes And Watson, will not be released on UHD media.

Meanwhile, though Samsung is set to bow out of the market for Blu-ray players, there are a number of other makers that will continue to offer players, including Sony, and Panasonic. Both companies introduced their new decks back at CES 2019, so it does not look like they will be cancelling this product category any time soon. In the meantime, market researchers predict that shipments of Blu-ray players will decline from 72.1 million units in 2017 to 68.0 million units in 2023.

Related Reading:

Source: Forbes, SlashGear

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • LordConrad - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    The elderly play a big roll in the survival of DVD. All the elderly people I've met, either socially or during IT calls, all have DVD players. Often the DVD players are attached to older CRT televisions. Their thinking is "It works and I know how to use it, so why spend money on something new?". Besides, their eyes might not be able to see the difference between DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Vitor - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    The main problem with streaming is the highly compressed shitty audio. Netflix stereo is a ridiculous 96kbps, when it should be 256 or 320.

    5.1 should be at least 640kbps.
  • noeldillabough - Sunday, February 24, 2019 - link

    It's not rocket science, uhd Blu rays cost 5 or more time the DVD. They're pricing them out of sale on purpose to eliminate the format way better to stream instead. It's worked, only a matter of time and there's no more players, first OPPO, now Samsung
  • aratorejke - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    From everything I've read, the Samsung BD players were buggy or missing features. LG, Sony, Panasonic and maybe Philips will soldier on. And if you have a game console, you already have a Bluray player
  • colombiqq - Saturday, August 31, 2019 - link

    I have recently upgraded to 4kTV and am mulling options for video. Prefer PC to console, though enjoy both streaming and DVD/Blu-Ray. I have not taken the plunge for a 4k movie player, but streaming isn't going to get me Blu-Ray quality most of the time, so <a href=" xxxstreaming</a> just isn't viable with my current provider. Agree with other posters, in my experience streaming quality is at times inconsistent.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now