October 05, 1996 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics Starts DVD Player Production

(SEOUL, Korea) - Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC) announced today that the company has completed development of a commercially viable Digital Video Disc (DVD) player. Samsung DVD player`s (model no. DVD-860) Korean market debut has been scheduled for November 1.

Year ago, Samsung`s DVD research and development team managed to develop the following key parts and technologies:

- DVD/CD Compatible Optical Pickup with Annular Mask Objective Lens, - DVD Disc with capacity to play 133 minutes of video, - High-Precision Deck mechanism, and - Variable Bit Rate (VBR) playback technique.

Furthermore, this year Samsung`s semiconductor division successfully developed four different kind of LSI (large scale integration) chip sets for DVD; playback, server, digital signal processor and AV decoder.

Global market for DVD players is expected to be just 400,000 units in 1996, since the new product is being introduced so late in the year. However, the annual market is forecast to grow rapidly, going from 2.9 million in 1997 to 3.6 million in 1998. According to the experts, some 12 million units will be sold in the world in 1999, and that figure will increase to at least 15 million a year by 2000.

Samsung believes that early introduction of DVD titles will be critical for determining how rapidly the new product become popular. Samsung Electronics is linking up with a fellow affiliate, Samsung Entertainment Group, to co-produce at least 10 DVD titles by the end of this year. Together the two companies plan to release more than 100 DVD titles in 1997 and to have at least 500 titles available on the market in the year 2000.

Samsung`s new DVD playter uses the MPEG 2 compression standard. It has over 420 lines of resolution, about twice as clear as the average VCR, and will come with a multi-channel Dolby AC-3 amplifier that delivers theater-quality sound.

The multi-aspect ratio enables Samsung`s DVD player to playback on TV screen with the conventional 4:3 horizontal-to-vertical ratio as well as on 16:9 wide-screen TV. A single DVD can play up to 133 minutes of video and accommodates up to eight different languages and written subtitles in as many as 32 languages.

Also on October 4, Samsung Electronics unveiled its DVD-ROM drive prototype, which represents the latest DVD technology. Samsung plans to have it commercialized by the end of this year and to have it replace existing CD-ROM drives in stages.

Next month, Samsung will begin selling a Home Theater System that includes a DVD player. Samsung has also incorporated its DVD player with TV and Laser Disc player. These new products are scheduled to come on the market next year.

The entire world has been waiting for the first DVD players to come out on the market. Toshiba, Matsushita Electric, and Pioneer are all reported to be launching their own versions of DVD player by the end of next month.

Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. (US$21 billion) is a world leader in the electronics, with operations in more than 60 countries. The company develops, manufactures, and markets audio and video products, household electronics goods, computers & peripherals, display products, telecommunications & information systems, software tools and semiconductors. It is the flagship company of the Korean-based Samsung Group (US$87 billion).

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