However, on the downside 1080p is only output by the BH100 if it happens to be the format that’s on the disc. For although LG has provided HD upscaling of standard definition DVDs, that upscaling tops out at 1080i rather than 1080p.
If you’re finding all these HD technicalities about as interesting as rice paper, then try this one on for size: the BH100 does not play CDs. Seriously. Somehow the quest for total ‘next-gen’ compatibility has lead to the sacrifice of the oldest disc format in the business. And frankly we’re none too chuffed about it.
It’s hardly surprising after this to find that neither SACD nor DVD-Audio are on the menu, while WMA, MP3 and DivX are similarly absent. Which is hardly surprising when the deck won’t take CD-R/-RW discs either.
Undoubtedly the biggest problem we have with the BH100’s feature list, though, is the fact that it doesn’t actually fully deliver on either of its HD format promises. Starting with Blu-ray, the deck is not made to the new Profile 1.1 specification set to become mandatory on all Blu-ray decks launched after the end of October. This means it is not equipped to handle some of the high-tech Java-enabled features due to appear on upcoming Blu-ray movie discs.
When it comes to HD DVD the situation is actually worse. For even though HD DVD is currently the most ‘finished’ of the HD formats, the BH100’s support for it is only partial. And that’s being kind.
For while the deck will play Blu-ray title menus without hitch, stick an HD DVD movie into it and you’ll just go straight into the movie, with likely no sign of the up-front menu screen you’d usually expect to see. The reason for this is that, bizarrely, there’s no support for the HD DVD ‘HDi’ interactivity system that’s used to create most disc menus.