Women and Children First

The Korea Times is reporting that Samsung and LG will stop making Blu-ray/HD DVD combo players. This is another blow to the fast-sinking HD DVD luxury liner. Cutting their losses, and also cutting the throats of early adopters who adopted the wrong baby, Samsung and LG will pull the plug on their combo players, able to play both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. Instead, they will focus on Blu-ray from now on. This means that if you have a huge stack of HD DVDs, you have several fewer options for playing your "legacy" discs.

Samsung was an early supporter of Blu-ray, and introduced its BD-UP5000 combo player as an insurance policy in case HD DVD succeeded. That player launched in November, but Samsung ended production in February. That adds up to an expensive hedge bet that didn't pan out.

LG was late to the party, but developed two "Super Blu" combo players, the BH-100 and BH-200. The BH-100 was just launched at CES in January. Both are now goners, footnotes in history, proving that a "Why can't we all just get along" strategy isn't always the best.

In any case, HD DVD is the big loser (again). Toshiba has already pulled the plug, and now these combo options are gone. My sad advice: Watch all your HD DVD movies, and try to get sick of them. That way, you won't feel bad when your player breaks, and the discs are unplayable. -Ken C. Pohlmann