So who is going to be first to deliver a Blu-ray player to the UK market? Up until today we would have said Philips, but apparently the Dutch company might not be the one to back. The company has a player in the pipeline but is focusing on the US market first. It is set to launch in the US in the second half of 2006 at a price which CEO Rudy Provost describes as 'competitive'. However he acknowledged that Europe has a long way to go in HDTV and the implication is that we won’t see the Blu-ray player or the Blu-ray PC recorder until 2007.
Sony has also announced its debut Blu-ray player, the BDP-S1 at CES and has penciled in an early summer launch for the model in the US. Given Sony's commitment to HD (every other sentence at its press conference was peppered withe the word high def) there must be a good chance that it'll arrive in the UK before Christmas.
However we have a sneaky feeling that it could be the Koreans that get there first. LG is planning an early summer launch for its BD199 and it would certainly be making a statement if it shipped the model to Europe first.
Our money though is on Samsung and its BD-1000. It is likely to be first to launch in the US - Samsung is saying Spring - and the company is very keen to be seen as a market innovator not just in the US but Europe too.