The first hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD player went on sale in the US on Saturday 3rd February, marking a milestone in the ongoing battle between the two formats. The so-called Super Multi-Blue BH-100 player (pictured) from LG became available through 500 Best Buy and Circuit City stores, priced at 1,199 dollars. It shipped despite speculation that its inability to player the iHD layer of HD DVD discs might deprive it of its HD DVD compatibility claims. When fed an HD DVD disc, the player fails to offer access to a disc’s interactive features, or even the menu system.
“We know our customers want high-definition content for their HDTVs. We also know a format war keeps people on the sidelines,” said Mike Vitelli, senior vice president of merchandising at Best Buy. “With this new dual-format player, LG is offering a viable solution to this dispute. This is the kind of customer-focused approach that Best Buy looks to bring to our customers.”
The player is expected to reach the UK as early as April.