If you'd like to try out HD media but don't want to be stuck with a dud device or feel limited by selection, hybrid players are one option. Unfortunately, they have been much rarer than their single-format cousins and often much more expensive. That's definitely changing, and a new unit coming out from Buffalo is bringing hybrid drives closer to where standalones were a year ago.

Buffalo recently announced the “MediaStation” hybrid external drive, offering Blu-ray and HD DVD support, and it will retail for around $650. That isn't cheap, especially when you consider that buying two internal standalone drives would run you less. However, hybrids are inherently pricier, and external drives carry even more of a premium. Those two facts combined make the drives relative price much easier to understand, and might actually up the ante for other manufacturers. The drive is expected to be available within the next few months.