LG to focus on dual-format Blu-ray/HD DVD players

By Sarah Falson & Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Next month LG will launch the Super Multi Blue dual-format Blu-ray/HD DVD player in Australia, in the hope that consumers don’t want to be constricted to purchasing only one format.

The player, which allows users to play either of the next generation DVD formats on the one machine, is evidence that LG doesn’t believe the format war will end any time soon, but rather the two next generation DVD formats will remain selling side-by-side in retail channels.

“The big thing for us is that next month we release our first Blu-ray offering, the Super-Multi Blu. It’s a hybrid player, so it will play back both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats,” said LG marketing manager, Darren Goble.

“We’re still part of the Blu-ray Association globally, and locally we are still working with the Blu-ray Industry Working Group, and I do think that Blu-ray has quite good momentum in the Australian market at the moment, but at this point in time however, we are sticking with the multi-format players.”

According to GfK statistics, there have been 4,300 Blu-ray discs sold in Australia since November last year, opposed to HD DVD’s meagre 200.

Goble queries the presence of HD DVD discs and players on the market however, suggesting that lack of market presence is the main reason HD DVD’s sales have been so low.

“I’m not sure what’s been available from HD DVD up to this point,” he said.

The Toshiba Home Entertainment account has recently been transferred from distributor Castel Electronics to Toshiba Information Systems Division (ISD). Toshiba ISD has now been managing the account for only two days.

Toshiba ISD general manager, Mark Whittard, was unavailable for comment today but a spokesperson for the company assured Current.com.au that HD DVD players were on the market.

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