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LG to launch dual-format HD DVD, Blu-ray player

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LG will next week unveil a consumer optical disc player capable of handling both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc next-generation disc formats, it has emerged.

The company appears to have confirmed that it will launch the device at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, but it's keeping mum on details like availability and pricing.

Samsung is the name most associated with dual-format players - the LG rival last year admitted it was considering such a device, having been earlier rumoured to be working on one. Later, Samsung indicated it had nixed the notion, preferring to put its full weight behind the Blu-ray Disc format, which it has long been a supporter.

So is LG, having launched its first Blu-ray Disc machine almost a year ago. It too was rumoured to be planning to convert its BD199 player into a dual-format device, but in the end never did.

Instead, it seems a second-generation device will support both next-gen formats. Given the complexity a dual-format read mechanism is likely to necessitate, we wouldn't be surprised if LG opts simply to stuff two separate drives in a single box. Either way, it's not going to be cheap, but it could be what HD-keen consumers are waiting for. ®

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