Toshiba to deliver first HD-DVD recorder in July

Toshiba has announced today that it's about to launch the world's first home entertainment product to include a recordable HD DVD drive.

The product in question is the RD-A1 - and actually the HD-DVD recording is just the start of its talents. For it also sports an enormous one terabyte hard disk capable of recording up to 130 hours of high definition broadcasts.

The HD-DVD recording functionality, meanwhile, should see the deck able to fit up to 230 minutes of HD content onto one dual-layer, 30GB HD DVD-R disc.

Other facts and figures about the deck include the ability to simultaneously record to the hard disk two TV programmes, one digital HD and one analogue; support for the 1080p output via HDMI, allowing viewing of 'full HD' progressive scan signals; upconversion of standard DVD to 1080p; and support for HD-DVD features like pop-up menus and picture in picture facilities.

The RD-A1 is scheduled to hit Japan on July 14.

Sony delays Blu-ray debut. Again

First it was June 30th. Then it was July. Then it was August 15. Now, rather scarily, the 'target' US launch date for Sony's first ever Blu-ray player, the BDP-S1, is stated on to be 'on or about' October 25.

With Toshiba's HD-DVD players already on sale in the US, these ongoing delays for Blu-ray could potentially prove disastrous for Sony's baby. And at the very least they'll mean that the BDP-S1 only has a month or so to fly by itself before the cheaper PS3 Blu-ray option becomes available. Assuming the PS3 isn't delayed as well, of course...

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