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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?