Blu-ray and HD DVD? LG Does Both!

LG was the first press event of the day, and at 8AM the assembled press corps was suitably bleary-eyed. But the big news (which had broken a few days before the show) drew a huge crowd and kept all of them awake. Oh, LG did announce 12 new 1080p displays, including 9 LCDs and 3 plasmas. But it was their Super Multi Blue player that shook up the opening of the 2007 CES.

Yes, that's Blue, not Blu. Blue in that it plays not only Blu (that's Blu, not Blue)-ray and but also HD DVD discs. It’s the world's first dual format HD player. There were rumors of its availability early last year, but at the time LG cagily stated that they had no plans for such a player in 2006. But now it's 2007 and it's here. And, at $1199, with an expected in-store arrival next month (February) it will be here very soon.

The details? Up to 1080p out (from the HDMI connection). Compatible with all video HD video formats (MPEG-2, AVP, VC-1). It will output all audio formats, including DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD (the last two via 5.1-channel PCM, from the HDMI 1.2 or analog audio connections.) There is a single loading tray and a single pickup system.

LG also announced a dual format computer drive, at the same price. It will not only play back both HD disc formats, but also record CD, DVD, and Blu-ray discs (with an appropriately configured computer.