CES 2007: LG highlights hybrid disc player

LG Electronics announced a world-first at its 8am press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show ( CES ) this morning - a Super Multi Blue Player capable of spinning HD DVD and Blu-ray discs

The BH100 goes on sale in the first week of February in the US for $1,199 (£610) at major US electrical stores Best Buy and Circuit City.

LG - which has been a long-time supporter of Blu-ray - made the decision to launch a hybrid player once it became obvious that people were hesitant to plump for either Blu-ray or HD DVD player at this time.

LG hinted that its launch of a universal player was a step toward the eventual adoption of a universal high definition video format that would combine the best elements of both HD DVD and Blu-ray technologies.

LG said that the path to a unified format was likely to be a rocky one with arguments between members of the respective HD and Blu-ray camps. It was also unable to put a time frame on when or, indeed, if such a universal format would appear.

Fierce competition for flat panel

LG also chose the conference to talk about it latest moves in flat panel display technology.

The company said that worldwide competition was fierce, with display prices dropping 80 percent in the last year alone. LG also predicted that there would be some high profile casualties as its rivals either chose to pull out of the market, or to become niche players.

LG also said it would be getting into portable satellite navigation for the first time, building on its 25 year history in-car telematics, and that it would build on the global success of its Chocolate mobile phone with a range of new models.

Finally it also unveiled a 100-inch LCD TV - the world's biggest - and announced the launch of a three-dimensional (3D) 43-inch display.