CES - LG to launch combo Blu-ray disc, HD DVD player

Combo Blu-ray-HD DVD player wasn't a question of if, but when

It was bound to happen: In the mess known as the high-def format wars, eventually, it was clear a manufacturer would cross party lines and release a single player capable of handling both Blu-ray Discs and HD DVD discs. The question wasn't if; it was a question of when.

LG Electronics is the first to cross that line: The company has just announced it will be launching the first dual-format high-definition disc player at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. The LG press release issued in Korea early Thursday morning is short on details--the player will launch in "early 2007", but beyond that, we have no information on pricing--but that's of little consequence for now. I imagine the details will become clear by Sunday, when LG holds its press conference at CES.

LG stated it was considering a dual-format player at the CeBIT show last March, but the company has been quiet about its progress until now. The company is the first to formally announce a dual-format player; prior to this, Ricoh and NEC had both announced they had developed components that could read both Blu-ray and HD DVD media, but neither had announced actual products. Samsung had also made rumblings about coming out with a dual-format player, but the company backtracked on those reports early last year.

The LG announcement dramatically alters the competitive landscape for Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. The mere announcement of a dual-format player could stall the market for high-definition players and discs, as consumers anticipate the dual-format player's arrival. A dual-format player would offer consumers a hedge against obsolescence, in the event one of the disc formats dies out over time.

And once the dual-format player does come out, it could ignite the market for high-definition players and discs, a market that's still in its infancy.

Price will likely play a big role, though, in the dual-format player's success. If the player is expensive--and, certainly, I expect it to carry a premium over a standalone player, at least at launch--its high price may deter consumers from buying right now. However, if the dual-format player's premium is an acceptable one to consumers, then the player could take off--in turn driving consumers to buy movies in high-definition, without having to worry about which studios are backing which disc format.

However, while a dual-format player will help consumers worried about buying into the wrong format, it won't help content producers. Dual-format players will remain a rarity, for at least the next year. If dual-format players do become the norm, studios will be faced with a quandary: Continue to support both formats, a costly endeavour, or release new and catalogue content in just one of the disc formats--thereby foregoing support of those early adopters who bought into whichever disc format falls by the wayside.

Are you itching to buy a high-def disc player? Does news of a dual-format player make you more likely to buy a high-def disc player in the next year?

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?