CES 2007: LG to roll out dual-format Blu-ray/HD DVD player in Q1

Las Vegas (LV) - LG Electronics has announced its much anticipated dual-format high-definition video player at a press conference preceding the official opening of the CES 2007. The Super Multi Blue Player will be available in the first quarter of this year for $1200, the company said.

If you just don't want to end up in the middle of the high-definition battle between Sony (Blu-ray) and Toshiba (HD DVD), then LG's new Super Multi Blue BH100 is your first opportunity to be on the safe side - no matter which format will gain the upper hand in the end. The device is the first player to supports both formats.

Two slots for two formats: The LG BH100

While it won't be cheap at $1200 (some Blu-ray players can be purchased for about $800 and the latest 1080p HD DVD player generation for $1000), the specifications of the device do not indicate that buyers will have to deal with a whole lot of compromises. 1080p resolution is supported for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, and the player can cope with the formats MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264, MPEG1/2 audio, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, DTS and DTS-HD audio. This means that you can throw any currently available high-definition video at the BH100 - including upcoming Blu-ray discs that hold HD video that is encoded with H.264 and 18 Mb/s.

The press event left some questions open. So far, we could not determine whether the player supports HDMI 1.3; we heard that the Blu-ray component will support interactive content (BD-Java), but we were not able to confirm that Internet connectivity (BD Live) will be available. We will bring this information to you as soon as we find out more.

LG also showed a previously announced PC drive, which combines a Blu-ray writer with an HD DVD reader. The "Super Multi Blue 50 GB drive" (model GGW-H10N) will also ship in the first quarter of 2007. Pricing of the drive was not announced.