The Bottom Line: The Samsung BP-U5500 follows up their BP-U5000 which just started to roll to stores recently. The fuctionality remains similar: Blu-ray and HD DVD playback along with CD and DVD support in a single box. The news is the $599 MSRP which might even break the $500 barrier once discounted.
The Catch: The BP-5000 is having some issues with audio format support, that Sammy hopes to fix by software soon. Hope this set ships cleaner.
SAMSUNG INVITES NEWCOMERS INTO THE WORLD OF HD HOME ENTERTAINMENT WITH NEW DUO HD PLAYER Samsung's BD-UP5500 Offers the Convenience and High-Performance of Blu-ray and HD DVD Playback for First-time HD Consumers LAS VEGAS, January 6, 2008 - Samsung Electronics, a market leader and award- winning innovator in consumer electronics, introduces a new Duo HD disc player offering the ideal solution for those consumers new to the world of HD home entertainment. In addition to the Blu-ray and HD DVD playback capability found in the CES 2008 Innovation Award Honoree BD-UP5000, the next-generation BD-UP5500 is a fully functioning Blu-ray Bonus View player packaged in a slim and sleek cabinet design. Opening access to both HD formats for a wider consumer audience with this new Duo HD player, Samsung continues its commitment to developing products that make life simpler through its breadth of innovative technologies. Both the Samsung BD-UP5000 and BD-UP5500 Duo HD Players will be on display at booth #11033 during the International Consumer Electronics Show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 7 through 10. "With the excitement surrounding the launch of the BD-UP5000 in 2007, Samsung is equally excited to offer a next generation Duo HD player that gives consumers the convenience of enjoying both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats in one single HD player," said Reid Sullivan, vice president of Digital AV marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "By supporting the latest interactivity in both formats, both Samsung Duo HD players enhance the experience of watching home movies with access to bonus content, alternative camera angles and behind-the-scenes footage." Page 2 of 3 BD-UP5500 Duo HD Player Designed to invite both novices and aficionados into a world of vivid HD picture quality, Samsung's BD-UP5500 next-generation Duo HD player brings together the streamlined playback of both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats in one easy-to-navigate device. The HDMI 1.3 connection allows for expanded color and surround sound through one cable and CEC functionality enables users to effortlessly manage an entire home theater with only one remote. For added convenience, the BD-UP5500 features an easy-to-read display and direct touch controls. With the latest BD-Java and HD DVD interactivity available, the BD-UP5500 takes movies to new heights with interactive menus, innovative picture-in-picture settings, and in-line bonus content such as alternate camera angles, behind-the-scenes footage, director commentary and actor interviews. Additionally, using the BD-UP5500's ethernet connection, users can experience a broad array of immersive viewing options with numerous movies as well as download new firmware to easily upgrade the player's capabilities. For a true, cinema-quality experience at home, the BD-UP5500 supports the latest audio decoding. With 7.1-Ch PCM, DTS-HD High Resolution and Master audio, and Dolby TrueHD Bistream output via HDMI 1.3, the BD-UP5500 accurately reproduces every delicate nuance with lifelike precision, just as the directors intended. For those consumers who still want to enjoy their existing collection of DVDs and CDs, Samsung's BD-UP5500 is also a fully-functioning DVD and CD player. The BD-UP5500's minimalist 2.3-inch slim design and simple piano-black finish makes it the perfect complement to most HDTVs and will serve as the centerpiece to any media or living room. The BD-UP5500 will be available in the second-half of 2008.