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LG Electronics, a leading consumer electronics company, has announced its second “Super Multi Blue” player capable of playback both Blu-ray as well as HD DVD movies. The novelty comes with lower manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) as well as support for HD DVD interactive capabilities.

The new LG BH200 player supports playback Blu-ray and HD DVD discs as well as interactive features of both: BD Java as well as HDi. Previous-generation LG BH100 players did not feature HDi, which made HD DVD promotion group to prohibit usage of HD DVD logotype to promote the BH100. Hopefully, the LG BH200 will become the first “official” hybrid new-generation DVD player.

The previous-generation LG BH100, which was unveiled early this year at Consumer Electronics Show, had manufacturer suggested retail price $1199, whereas the revamped BH200 has MSRP of $999. Nevertheless, initially the novelty will cost more than the predecessor as the BH100 can now be acquired for $800 - $850 in the U.S. Still, even at $800 - $1000 the universal Blu-ray/HD DVD are considerably more expensive than single-format devices. For example, Toshiba’s entry-level HD A2 costs starting from $250, whereas Samsung’s BDP-1200 costs from $400.

Samsung Electronics is also projected to release its own hybrid new-generation digital video discs players this Fall. It is expected that the product will feature both BD Java as well as HDi, though, there are reports that it would be considerably cheaper compared to LG’s solution.

ABI Research forecasts that eventually universal Blu-ray/HD DVD players will dominate the market, as the outcome of the ongoing format war is still unclear.


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