LAS VEGAS—LG Electronics jumpstarted the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a day early with a press conference that included a demonstration of the companys highly anticipated Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD DVD combo player that is scheduled to arrive in retail stores in March.
The price? Only $1,199, roughly double the price of conventional next-generation DVD players.
The BH100s disc reading system incorporates two laser diodes—one for regular DVD discs and one for HD DVD/BD media. LG mentioned that an optional third laser could be added in order to support CD audio discs although this third pickup wont be included in the BH100 at launch.
In addition to dual lasers, the BH100s laser pickup system utilizes separate lenses for BD media and DVD/HD DVD media respectively. With all of this lens and laser shuffling, LG is claiming the BH100 will offer 25 second load times for BD movies and 30 second load times for HD DVD movies. Judging by LGs live demonstration of a HD DVD/BD disc swap with the BH100, this estimate appeared to be accurate.
The BH100 fully supports the features of the BD format including Blu-ray Disc Java, allowing for full use of interactive and other features that may be included with a BD movie. Unfortunately, the BH100s HD DVD interactive feature support is non-existent as the formats iHD technology is not supported.
While the BH100 appeared to play HD DVD movies just fine, popup menus appeared quite generic as the on-screen chapter selection lacked the thumbnail images seen on other HD DVD players.
The BH100 A/V connection options include an HDMI v1.2 port as well as component video output. An Ethernet port was present on the BH100 players demonstrated at the LG conference. Audio outputs in addition to HDMI include digital optical (Toslink) and 5.1 analog. LG confirmed that the BH100 will support 1080-line output resolution at 24p, 30p, and 60i refresh rates.