The LG BH100, the combination Blu-ray and HD DVD player selected by CNET as the best product of CES 2007, is definitely coming out on time, according to LG spokesman John Taylor, but it won't have the official HD DVD logo. The logo pictured on the CES demo unit will not be printed on the shipping player because the BH100 did not gain approval by the DVD Forum, the body responsible for HD DVD licensing. The reason is that the BH100 cannot support HDi (formerly known as iHD), the interactive layer of HD DVD discs.
I've read reports that the lack of HDi support means that the player cannot access menus at all, but I highly doubt that's the case. In fact, during the BH100 demo at the LG press conference at CES, the company's rep made a point of browsing to the menu system of Batman Begins on HD DVD, selecting a chapter, and jumping there. From what I understand, lack of HDi support means the player won't be able to access interactive functionality available on some discs, such as picture-in-picture commentaries and Web-enabled features, for example. Given that most peple I know don't watch the special features anyway, I doubt lack of HDi would be a deal breaker for that tiny part of the population actually considering the purchase of this $1,200 player.
For that tiny part, the joy hits stores February 4 according to Engadget HD's Best Buy tipsters.