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Sony preps 50GB next-gen Blu-Ray video deck

Will include a hard drive too

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Sony has committed itself to shipping second-generation consumer-oriented Blu-Ray video recorders by the end of the year, the company said today.

The new systems will support single-side, dual-layer Blu-Ray rewriteable discs with a total capacity of 50GB. Current Blu-Ray rewriteable discs provide 23GB of storage on a single layer.

The second-generation machines will also support the so-called 'BD-ROM' format - the Blu-Ray equivalent of today's pre-recorded DVDs, Sony said. As yet, the BD-ROM specification remains incomplete, but Sony hopes to have it ready in April. Holding up the final version of the spec. is the question of what, if any, copy protection mechanism to mandate.

Sony's movie division has said it will release content on BD-ROM in time for the 2005 Christmas sales season.

The consumer electronics giant didn't say much else about the new machines, other that it will offer two products, one of which will include a hard drive and presumably a time-shift recording facility.

Sony's BDZ-S77 Blu-Ray video recorder

It is also planning to incorporate a terrestrial digital TV tuner in the machines alongside the digital tuner built into its current model, the BDZ-S77, which was released last year. ®

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