CES NEWS: Samsung says hybrid HD DVD/Bluray player WILL come to UK - plus new wireless AV systems

Samsung's hybrid HD players - able to fully support both Blu-ray and HD discs and interactive functionality - are still some months away, despite being launched back at IFA last August.

The first BD-UP500 Duo Player - already available in the US - may reach the UK in March, but Samsung says it may hold off to release a newer model worldwide in June/July - the BD-UP550 priced £499 and pictured above. The higher-spec player will include support for 7.1 audio, as well as Ethernet connectivity.

Meanwhile the HT-BD2 Blu-ray home cinema in a box - also previewed back at IFA - is now set for a March/April launch in the UK (price to be confirmed), along with a new £299 Blu-ray player, the BD-P1500, complete (again)with full Blu-ray profile1.1 spec and Ethernet connection. The existing, BD-P1400 player continues in Samsung's line-up until then.

But Samsung's home cinema plans aren't all about HD - there's plenty of DVD excitement, too: much of it wireless, and with every player and system including 1080p DVD upscaling.

Highlight of the line-up is Samsung's first soundbar-style home cinema in a box - the HT-X810, due in May for around £500. Recognising that most soundbars suffer from a lack of bass, Samsung has included a subwoofer with the pseudo-surround sound DVD system - one that works wirelessly via a 5.8Ghz connection. The HT-X810 (pictured below) will come with both a stand and wall-mount option.

Samsung's popular X200 range of home cinema systems will be replaced by two new HT-X710 models - a £349 2.1 set-up and a £399 5.1 package, each again with upscaled DVD playback. An add-on, wireless, 5.8Ghz-transmission kit is available for the systems, which are styled to match Samsung's new Touch of Colour TV range. The systems will be in shops from April.

Also coming up from Samsung is an entry-level 2.1 system, the A100, able to be mounted horizontally or vertically. It'll be available from March, priced £299.

Finally, a super-stylish standalone DVD player aimed at second-room use - the DVD-F1080 (below). The compact, curvy player will be available in a gloss-black finish from March and gloss-white from May, and is expected to cost around £70.

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