Hybrid Blu-ray HD-DVD Player Availability


I was wrong. Just a few weeks ago I speculated that we wouldn’t be able to purchase a next generation hybrid disc player in 2007. Heck, I even saw a glass enclosed model at CES but refused to believe it would make it to retail any time soon. But the rumors started that LG Blu-ray HD-DVD hybrid players (BH100) would be available at Best Buy 2/4, then a unit showed up in someone’s home, and yesterday Gizmodo posted a hands on review.

I had figured this project (and others like it) would be derailed, that to sell a device like this a vendor would need endorsements from both consortiums — something I didn’t see happening this early in the game. However, it looks like the player is in stores despite the lack of support for many HD-DVD interactive features. I suppose Toshiba’s HD-DVD camp could try to block this, but I dont’ see them stuffing it back into Pandora’s box.

The LG BH100 retails for $1200, cheaper than buying both a stand-alone HD-DVD and a Blu-ray player… but not cheap. Best Buy and CompUSA already have the box on their websites, and actually indicate local (to me) store availability! I don’t think I care enough at this point to fork over that much money… I’m fairly content with cable HD, Xbox HD video rentals, and upscaled DVDs. Though, I am keeping my eyes open for Xbox HD-DVD drive specials.