South Korea’s LG Electronics has launched the so called Super Multi Blue Player at the 2007 International CES exhibition, that has just opened. The player, LG BH100, will be introduced in the he United States during the first quarter of 2007, and is the first player on the market with the capability to play both Blu-ray and HD-DVD disc formats, addressing the challenge of the current format war between the two new high-definition video-technologies.
The player will be available in the US from the first week of February for $1,199 (£619) that’s significantly more than the priciest HD DVD player, but only slightly more than the average Blu-ray player.
The player includes both red and blue laser diodes, which enables it to read all three disc formats. While users can take advantage of all the interactive features included on Blu-ray discs, however, it is currently limited to simply playing HD DVDs without their interactive functions.The player will play 1080p content, currently the highest possible video resolution available, and has an HDMI 1.2 output.
LG developed the Super Multi Blue Player to end the confusion caused by the current competition between Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Customers are no longer forced to choose between the two formats. As Full HD TV is already gaining ground, we are hoping that the Super Multi Blue Player will play the trigger role in expanding and advancing both Full HD TV and high-definition DVD market volume together.
In addition to offering Full HD 1080p picture quality from high-definition discs, the player incorporates interactive functions based on BD-Java, which allows advanced menus and functions to be displayed over the video of Blu-ray discs. And, while the same level of advanced menu interactivity is not available while playing HD DVD discs, the powerful combination of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD audio-video playback technologies is like no other on the market, says LG.
The unit supports various A/V formats, including MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264 video, MPEG1/2 audio, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, DTS and DTS-HD audio, and includes multiple inputs/outputs such as HDMI out, component/composite video outputs, and optical/coaxial/discrete 5.1 channel audio outputs, among others.
Many expected the format war to be decided by which format could offer the most compelling content, and in another sign that the two camps could be forced to call a truce, Warner Bros. is also expected to announce it will sell movies and TV shows as a hybrid disc called Total HD that will play in the Blu-ray and HD DVD formats.