Will all players be dual HD DVD/Blu-ray by next year?

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will.jpgWill Head writes…

Despite the best efforts of the DVD Forum and the Blu-ray Disc Association to extol the virtues of their respective platform, there’s still no consensus on which format will emerge the victor.

With the launch of the PlayStation 3, it was claimed that Blu-ray had the upper hand. Earlier in the week it was announced that over 100,000 HD DVD players had shipped in the US – not including Xbox 360 add-on drives (presumably so they didn’t have to count PS3s). A slight increase here, another tiny advance there.

However, we’ve been here before – and I don’t mean the Betamax vs VHS battle of the 80s. There’s a much more relevant format clash, and one that still hasn’t been settled – DVD-R vs DVD+R.

But the fact it doesn’t have a clear winner isn’t an issue, thanks to dual format drives. There’s no choice to be made anymore – both -R and +R discs are easily available, so buy the one that’s cheapest, or you can find nearest, or that makes you feel best about yourself. It doesn’t matter.

LG is pushing ahead with its BH100 player that will playback both formats, albeit without all the interactive features. What’s more it’s also putting out a PC drive – the GGW-H10N – that will write Blu-ray and read HD DVD.

LG isn’t alone in this dual format approach – Samsung’s getting in on the act as well with the BD-UP5000 which will happily read both types of disc.

Surely it’s only a matter of time before even the most committed format supporters buckle and bring out a player that bridges the gap – after all it’s not like you couldn’t get Sony branded VHS video recorders.

Will Head