Last night LG said it would release a combination Blu-ray/HD DVD player in early 2007. The news comes with no other details, but I expect the company to divulge a bit more information, perhaps including a mocked-up image or even a physical box of some kind, at the company's press conference, scheduled for 8 a.m. PT this Sunday at CES. Until then we're in the dark as regarding questions such as "When exactly?" "How much?" and "Is this for real?"
LG has made a similar announcement before, so I'll believe in this player when I see it. That said, a combination player would be a huge step toward calling a truce in the format war, and there's no doubt that both Blu-ray and HD DVD could use a popularity boost. This announcement also makes the purchase of a stand-alone Blu-ray player (PlayStation 3 notwithstanding) or HD DVD player seem even more premature than it did already. If you can buy a player that will handle both formats, you'll be able to actually purchase movies you want and not have to worry about whether they'll work with your player. If LG's and other combo players hit the market soon and prices tumble at their usual rates, average HDTV owners might actually want to consider buying the hardware and discs.