Slowly but surely, the spinning discs are disappearing and Samsung just put another nail in its coffin. The company said Forbes that has finished production of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players – and CNET was able to confirm that Samsung is also halting production on at least some of its 1080p Blu-ray players.
“Samsung will no longer introduce new models of Blu-ray or 4K players to the US market,” a Samsung spokesperson said. CNET.
Technically, there is still a possibility that Samsung may continue to produce its existing Blu-ray players for the next several months or years (the company still has a few models for sale) or to introduce new ones in specific countries outside the US We’ve asked Samsung for clarification.
But practically speaking, Samsung could have announced that it is exiting the Blu-ray business, as Oppo did last April.
Even though Samsung was enthusiastic enough about 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to beat all other companies with the first player in 2016, it’s not that surprising that Samsung may be pulling out early. Discs are on the decline, and research company Nielsen has recently used Blu-ray and DVD players as the example of a technology that is on its way out.
“Some devices, such as DVD / Blu-ray players, are in the decline phase of their product lifecycle as video streaming devices take center stage,” reads the Q2 2018 report from Nielsen, adding that only 66 percent of viewers who watch it now have one, down from 72 percent the year before. Nielsen also says that the average adult in the US spends only 5 minutes a day, by far the least of any on-screen activity, using a Blu-ray or DVD player.
And streaming services have also increased greatly, especially by making 4K streams less expensive. Apple and Google sell 4K movies for the same price as 1080p HD now, and will upgrade their HD movies to 4K for free. Amazon notably lowered its prices as well. Plus, a great 4K streaming device has never been cheaper than it is now.
You could definitely argue that discs are still the best experience, with the best picture and audio quality. I prefer to pop on a Blu-ray myself. But between increased streaming and the fact that 4K movies aren’t always truly 4K, but are often dominated at lower resolutions, they may not be compelling enough for business anymore.
Maybe Sony wasn’t being stingy when it omitted a 4K Blu-Ray player from the PS4 Pro. Maybe it was just being smart.