Toshiba Corporation today announced the launch of a new digital video recorder (DVR) with HD DVD drive that integrates key new features that bring greater freedom of recording to the HD DVD, including recording of HD video to standard DVD discs.
The new DVR, HD DVD VARDIA RD-A301, integrates HD Transcoder, which achieves longer recording time for high-definition (HD) video, and also supports"HD Rec", which allows recording of HD video to standard DVD discs in HD quality. The RD-A301 will be available in the Japanese market in the middle of December, and advance orders will be accepted from November 1.
The RD-A301 integrates an HD Transcoder that converts MPEG2 video, the standard for digital HD broadcasts, to MPEG4 AVC, a high-efficiency video compression technology that supports longer recording times while maintaining picture quality. As a result, longer HD videos can be recorded to HD DVD-R discs. The DVR also supports "HD Rec", which facilitates recording of HD video on conventional DVD discs, such as DVD-R discs. "HD Rec" allows a single-layer 4.7GB DVD-R disc to store up to two hours of HD video, working in combination with HD Transcoder.
By utilizing the MPEG4 AVC HD Transcoder when recording HD broadcasts to its integrated 300-gigabyte (GB) hard disk, the RD-A301 can store as much as 159 hours of video in HD picture quality, compared to about 39 hours for HD DVD recorders without the new features. The new DVR also integrates an HD DVD recordable drive that supports recording and playback of HD DVD-R, DVD-R, DVD-RAM and DVD-RW discs, allowing consumers to record to various kinds of DVD discs. The powerful combination of these capabilities with the new HD Transcoder and "HD Rec" offers viewers a wide range of choices of recording media, including highly affordable DVD discs.
The RD-A301 also supports dual recording of HD broadcasts, a very popular feature of earlier VARDIA models, and can record two digital HD broadcasts simultaneously. This is a must-have feature when viewers want to record two programs that are on at the same time. The new DVR also achieves significant advances in downsizing, with a height of only 69mm.
From November 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008, Toshiba will run a HD DVD player and recorder marketing campaign that will include a free HD DVD of "Transformers", this year's mega-hit movie, for purchasers of a relevant HD DVD product who register for the campaign.
The new DVR is compliant with the EU RoHS directive on environmentally hazardous substances, which came into force in July 2006.
Explore further: Post-Betamax, the format wars continue in a digital world