First hardware manufacturer with hybrid plans.

Samsung Electronics will be introducing a DVD player that reads both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs next year. The company is the first hardware manufacturer to reveal plans for such a hybrid HD player.

The news comes as uncertainty over the introduction of two competing HD formats comes to a head. The Toshiba-led HD DVD format, previously expected to launch in the fourth quarter, may not reach consumers until next year. Blu-ray players are still scheduled to debut in the first quarter of 2006.

Talks between the Blu-ray camp, led by Sony, and the HD DVD camp to come together to release one HD DVD format are still believed to be ongoing.