Hands On: LG BH200 Combo Blu-ray and HD DVD PlayerS

You've seen the pics, you've read the specs, now it's time to put a stopwatch on this second-generation combo player from LG. Expected to sell for around $1000 when it hits the streets in mid-October, it's able to play just about any disc format, including good ol' CDs. But we wanted to know, how long do you have to wait after you insert an HD DVD or Blu-ray disc before you can see the first video? We tested Sharp's Blu-ray player last night and it took 34 seconds. Let's see how this one stacks up.

We hit the stopwatch first on a Blu-ray disc, and the time from tray insertion to first video was an eventual 31 seconds. For HD DVD, it was a bit quicker, at 29.7 seconds. We'd rather see this time shaved to under 10 seconds.

And oh yeah, the 1080p video coming out of the player was just perfect, in both Blu-ray and HD DVD trim. And, looky there, it's the official HD DVD logo sitting there, absent in the first-generation player because of alleged Microsoft recalcitrance. Word is that the Redmondians didn't want to see some crazy idea like a dual player hitting the market, making consumers' lives easier. Apparently all is forgiven. [No, the original LG player didn't do true HD DVD because it couldn't handle interactive menus. -B.Lam]