Forget LG - let the DVD wars begin!
One of the first big new products to come out of CES so far is LG's combo HD-DVD/Blu-Ray player, modestly called the SuperMultiBlue. Samsung is also in the game. If the players work well, they could short-circuit the next-gen DVD wars before they begin, just as the much-hyped dash versus plus (never heard of it, right?) wars never materialized due to dual-format players.
LG's been talking about this for a while, and finally the specs, and price point, are out. At best, the player represents a third way out of the tough choice consumers face today (if they're really really excited about high-def video) between HD and Blu -- it plays both, and it upconverts regular DVDs. At worst, it's yet another confusing device to keep consumers far away from the whole thing.
While it's a great product, and surely a plus for LG's emerging CE business, the price point is a good reason the SuperMultiBlue won't end any format wars quite yet -- it's $1,199, compared to Toshiba's HD-DVD player ($430 at Wal-Mart) or the Playstation 3, which has a Blu-Ray player (about $400). Most folks willing to take a flyer on either format would probably pick something cheaper, just to limit their up-front investment in a still-sketchy product, especially seeing as how movies for the two are still pretty similar and very limited.
Also at CES, an HD-DVD discussion moderated by presidential-cousin-cum-infotainment-guru Billy Bush (why him, we don't know) tells us that HD-DVD sales are doing at least as well as DVDs did in their first year. And one attendee, a blogger at the U.K.'s Techdigest, details HD-DVD's plans for file sharing. If the hardware question does eventually become moot, HD-DVD will seem pretty farsighted for focusing on improving their discs so early in the game.
I believe that great.....maybe they should fight over it
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