EETimes has quoted several manufacturers of key components in next generation DVD players who say they are designing hardware specifically for such devices. We've already seen NEC's hardware and its (lack of) response among CE manufacturers, but someone must be ready to build such a device as they will soon be joined by fellow chipmakers STMicroelectronics and Broadcom. They expect to have customers rolling out universal players next year, and that they will "represent a significant volume" in 2008 but couldn't name any or expected prices, citing NDAs. Making hardware capable of living up to the minimum specs required of both HD DVD and Blu-ray's capabilities won't be cheap or easy but their sources don't expect the price premium to be be very large, and mostly on account of royalties. We've been disappointed again and again so far on the possibility of combo players, we'll see if 2007 is the year.

[Via CNET]