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Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Samsung aims high with new DVD player

Samsung Electronics is launching its first assault on the high-end DVD Video player market. The South Korean company, which has already become a leading player in the low-end of the market, is attempting to attract audio- and videophiles with a new machine that packs some high-end audio functions.

The DVD-HD1000 took a team of 30 engineers more than a year to develop, said Jun Yim, a spokesperson for the South Korean electronics maker. That compares with an average six months for a lower-end product. The majority of the extra time was spent fine tuning the audio side of the player, for which Samsung called in engineers from Japan's Luxman, a maker of high-end audio equipment.

Audio support in the player includes DVD Audio, a next-generation audio disc format from the DVD Forum which is gaining some fans amongst audiophiles, and HDCD (High Definition Compatible Digital), a Microsoft-backed format that features 20-bit encoding of music to deliver a better sound than CD's 16-bit encoding on discs that can also be player at conventional quality in a CD player.

Getting the Picture

On the video side, the player supports DVD Video and Video CD. There is also a converter that can take the 480-line interlaced (480i) video from the compact disc and convert it to either a 480-line progressive (480p) signal for a compatible standard definition television set or a 720-line progressive (720p) or 1,080-line interlaced (1080i) signal for a high-definition television. Although the process cannot add definition to the original signal, it does result in a slightly better picture, said Samsung.

The player measures 16.9 inches by 16.1 inches by 5.5 inches.

The DVD-HD1000 is being launched in the South Korean market at a price of $2,500 as part of the company's "Pavv" line of high-end video products. Sales are planned for international markets although dates have yet to be decided, said the spokesperson.

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