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LG Electronics, a second tier maker of consumer electronics and other digital devices, reportedly said that it would introduce Blu-ray disc only player later during the year. While this was not said directly, but the plans for a hybrid player that can playback both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs may have been scrapped.

During the Summer Line Show in New York, LG’s vice president of sales and channel marketing, Bob Perry, reportedly outlines plans to remain part of the Blu-ray camp and to make an appropriate product announcement later in the year. CEPro web-site claims that LG Electronics have scrapped plans for a player, which could playback both types of discs: Blu-ray and HD DVD.

Earlier this year LG pulled back with the release of a Blu-ray disc only player and wrote a letter to its clients saying that it would enter the market with a player that can tap two different markets – Blu-ray, which is going to have negligible market presence in 2006, but has serious potential in the future, and HD DVD, which will have stronger market share in 2006 and also potential to grow.

“In light of uncertainty in this early stage of the market for pre-recorded high-definition optical discs, we have decided not to introduce the BD199 as originally planned for this spring,” a message reportedly signed by Bob Perry, vice president sales and channel marketing for LG Electronics, reads. The memo reportedly claimed that the dual-format player is planned for late summer/early fall introduction.

The reasons why LG is back with its original BD199 plans are unclear, but technical grounds are definitely not excluded. Hybrid player would cost LG quite a lot to manufacture and while the device brings indisputably more value compared to one-format players, the price tag would put LG to compete on the same pole with Sony, Pioneer, Panasonic and other tier-one makers, something, which the company may not want to do.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics recently said it would market Blu-ray/HD DVD player in late 2006 or early 2007.

“We don’t have a plan to make an HD DVD-only player, but are considering a universal player. We are preparing HD DVD [support] now and if we launch a universal player it will be the end of this year or early next year,” said Kim Du-Hyon, an assistant manager in Samsung’s home-platform product planning division.


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