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Sharp readies 1TB BD recorder for Japanese market

harp plans to launch a Blu-ray recorder with a 1-terabyte hard drive. Capable of recording 127 hours of high-definition digital programming, the 1TB model will go on sale 1 December in Japan for about ¥300,000 ($2,615).

The Osaka-based company said it has no specific plans at the moment for overseas launch of these products.
Toshiba already offers an HD DVD recorder with 1 terabyte of storage.

Unlike in the US and Europe where they account for 10-15% of total DVD households, DVD recorders – with high capacity hard disk drives – are in 60% of Japanese DVD homes. The units are used extensively to record off-the-air terrestrial and satellite TV programmes, including increasingly the “Hi-Vision” HDTV satellite services. Rather than destined for Blu-ray movie playback, the Blu-ray-equipped HDDs recorders are thus primarily targeted to Hi-Vision recordings, requiring large disc capacity.

Sharp also plans to offer seven more new Blu-ray recorders by year's end in Japan in a bid to replace VCRs and conventional DVD machines.

The company will initially produce a monthly output of 30,000 of the Blu-ray recorders, which will be priced between ¥100,000 ($871) and ¥120,000, with another two models with hard-disk storage, priced at ¥200,000 and ¥300,000, being sold beginning in December.

"We see huge potential for these models as about 80 percent of people are still using older, analog-type recorders," Masafumi Matsumoto, a senior executive vice president at Sharp, said at a briefing in Tokyo.

All Sharp recorders will be Blu-ray compatible by 2011, Matsumoto said.

Story filed 30.09.07

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