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.

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Source: Forbes, SlashGear

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  • Korguz - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    " I believe if people want a disk player, they probably own a console, and if they don't, they're most likely streaming using Netflix anyways "
    i doubt that.. a console is at least 300 bucks.. a blue Ray player, less then $100. netflix.. maybe.. but im not one of them.. i prefer optical media over streaming...
  • GreenReaper - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - link

    At the time I bought it, the Xbox One S was the cheapest *UHD* Blu-ray player (and why get anything less?). You can get them for $250 right now, probably less on sale; about what a Samsung or Sony equivalent would cost. I appreciate that's not cheap, but you get to play games too, and it's a streaming box as well - potentially a better one than the dedicated machines, since it's a bigger market and so is likely to have support for longer.
  • Korguz - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - link


    standalone blueray player ( or UHD player ) is still cheaper then a console ( where i am at least ), but as you mentioned, IF there are also games that one would like to play on a console, then it could be a better buy.. for me at least, xbox or playstation, dont have have enough games that interest me to warrant the purchase over a standalone player..
  • HStewart - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    I think this more a statement about Samsung quality than 4k BluRay and I am not sure the numbers are valid. 4k is definitely here to stay and I have found that Dobly Atmos tracks make a bigger difference that HDR video. But I have two 4k Samsung Bluray players and I serious question there quality especially when you put Bluray movie in the player and it fails but work fine on Sony player or even and Xbox One S.

    As for streaming, I serious doubt it gets it quality especially sound quality that 4K UHD has.
  • mode_13h - Saturday, February 23, 2019 - link

    Did you ever update the firmware on your Samsung players?

    Disc compatibility issues do happen, with blu-rays. Manufacturers are often pretty good about fixing these as the come up, but you need to update your firmware.
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    Optical media has been lagging a lot, even worse as backup media. 25GB
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    25GB is just to low for backup (50 and 100GB BD's are simply horrible in $/GB)

    By this time anyone would expect a 150-250GB PER LAYER new optical media.
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    That could open the path for movies with more bit depth in color, higher bitrate and less compression artifacts.
  • Ej24 - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    Was doing dinner and movies at a friend's place. They chuckled when I said I still bought blu-ray disc's. They were like ummm have you heard of streaming? The whole time we watched movies by streaming that night they were a stuttering disaster. And occasionally had to drop bitrate to a pixelated mess. This is why I buy movies and series I really love on uhd/HD blu-ray, it'll always be perfect, crisp, no stuttering. Plus I usually redeem a digital copy on Vudu with the code that comes with the disc anyway so I can still stream if I want.
  • Ej24 - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    Also it's worth noting very few streaming services offer dolby atmos audio. Having spent way too much money on my atmos setup I fully intend to take advantage whenever possible and blu-ray allows that (assuming the audio was recorded for atmos)

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