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LG to release HD-DVD/Blu-ray combo player this fall?

LG to release HD-DVD/Blu-ray combo player this fall?

Reuters is reporting that LG Electronics is planning to launch a "universal player" capable of playing HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs. The player, which (according to an analyst quoted by Reuters) would be released in the fall, would give consumers a futureproof upgrade option to next-generation high-definition optical discs while effectively allowing them to remain neutral as the format war between the two camps continues to rage.

Toshiba's first HD-DVD player, the HD-XA1, is scheduled to hit stores on or around March 28. Blu-ray players from Samsung, Sony, and Pioneer are scheduled to become available starting May 23, and Sony's PlayStation 3--which will play Blu-ray movies in addition to next-generation video games--has now been officially slated for a November 2006 worldwide release. While a universal player would be welcome news to videophiles, LG has yet to confirm pricing, availability, or even a model number for the supposed player. However, the combo player would be a logical step forward based on last week's news that the company was cancelling its previously announced Blu-ray-only player and backing HD-DVD in addition to Blu-ray. We have a call in to LG asking for further confirmation and clarification, and we'll pass along any news as soon as it arrives.