It looks like another manufacturer of optical media players
will be launching multi-format devices which will play and record to both
Blu-ray and HD-DVD as well as standard DVD and CD formats.
Ricoh has just announced at Interopto 2006 that it is developing a set top Blu-ray
and HD-DVD hybrid player which we should expect to see on store shelves by
the end of 2007 followed by a recording device.
There aren't many details on the final products themselves besides some
snapshots of information on the optics Ricoh will be using in the players and
drives which are capable of reading BD, HD-DVD, DVD, and CD optical media
Recently Ricoh also announced that it had developed a component which would
allow devices to read both types of high-density media which would lead to the
development of hybrid Blu-ray/HD-DVD players.
Ricoh is not the first
to announce a hybrid product for the new high-density media formats though.
Many companies have decided to form joint ventures to combine Blu-ray and
HD-DVD technologies to produce products which will allow consumers to play
content off both formats which will eliminate costly purchases on the consumer
side. LG Electronics has also dropped plans for a standalone Blu-ray player in hopes
of unifying both
standards in a single package. Technical and pricing information for
Ricoh's upcoming product has not yet been announced but we will keep you
updated as it becomes available.