The LG BH200 dual-format HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc player  (Source: LG)
LG hybrid player to support the latest in Blu-ray Disc features

The Blu-ray Disc Association mandated that all players of the format released after October 31 must adhere to an updated feature set that is currently not standard on today’s hardware. The new “full profile” players will include support for picture-in-picture and greater memory capacity, opening the door for more elaborate special feature and documentary extras with Blu-ray Disc movies.

Last month, LG announced the BH200, its second-generation dual-format HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc player. Like the earlier model, the BH200 will play both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies – but added in the new model is support for interactive features on both formats.

At the time of the announcement, it was also reported that the new player would support both HDi and BD-Java, making it one of the first full profile Blu-ray Disc-capable players to hit the market. Video Business corroborates the information, reporting that LG product development director Tim Alessi saying at the HDTV DisplaySearch Conference that the BH200 will be full profile complete.

The new Blu-ray Disc specification will introduce to the format such features that are already an integral part of many HD DVD titles. Warner Bros. released 300 on both high-definition formats, but the HD DVD version was capable of picture-in-picture features and other web-enabled items.

For fans of 300, an executive producer of the film said at a Comic-Con International panel that there may be a second release of the Blu-ray Disc with new content following the release of new picture-in-picture hardware.

Other hardware manufacturers have yet to announce firm dates on their full profile Blu-ray Disc players. Pioneer said that its first full profile machine will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show 2008. Owners of PlayStation 3 will be relieved to learn that adherence to the new specification may come in the form of a firmware update, though the release of such software is unknown.

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