Hitachi-LG First With Blu-Ray/HD DVD Combo PC Drive - InformationWeek

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Hitachi-LG First With Blu-Ray/HD DVD Combo PC Drive

The drive can record up to 50 Gbytes of data and will cost about $1,200.

Hitachi-LG Data Storage reportedly plans to unveil this month the first PC drive that can read Blu-ray and HD DVD discs.

The new GGW-H10N is a combination Blu-ray disc burner and reader, and an HD DVD read-only drive. The device is scheduled to be shown at the CeBIT conference in Germany in the middle of the month, the Web site CDRInfo reported on Tuesday. The drive can record up to 50 Gbytes of data, which is more than the market standard, and will cost about $1,200. The new product is scheduled to ship in May.

Hitachi-LG is a joint venture of Hitachi in Japan and LG Electronics in Korea. The company specializes in designing and developing optical storage drives and selling them to original equipment manufacturers. The company doesn't sell to consumers.

LG Electronics in January launched the first DVD player that could play both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs.

Some experts see combination Blu-ray/HD DVD drives as a possible way of avoiding a format war similar to the VHS-Betamax battle during the VCR era. Movie studios and consumer electronics leaders have taken sides in the current battle over high-definition formats. Sony, Hitachi, and Philips favor Blu-ray, while Toshiba and NEC support HD DVD. On the studio side, Sony, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox, and Walt Disney Pictures are exclusively releasing DVDs in Blu-ray. Universal Studios is distributing high-definition content only in HD DVD, and Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures are releasing DVDs in both formats.

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