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Toshiba unveils 1TB HDD/HD DVD recorder

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Toshiba will next month ship the world's first consumer-oriented HD DVD player capable of writing to next-generation recordable media, the Japanese giant said today. The unit also features a whopping terabyte of hard disk storage - sufficient for 130 hours' HD content, the company said.

The RD-A1 goes on sale in Japan on 14 July. It's got digital terrestrial and satellite tuners, along with an analogue tuner for back-up and a wide array of digital and analogue video and audio inputs and outputs, including HDMI.

There's a network port too, covered by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DNLA) system to stop content leaking out that way while enable cross-network playback, and there's HDCP copy-protection on the HDMI port, of course. Not to mention HD DVD's AACS anti-rip technology.

toshiba rd-a1 hd dvd recorder
Enough ports for everyone?

The player support HD DVD-R media in both single- and dual-layer (15GB and 30GB, respectively) media, but interestingly it will only support MPEG 2-encoded content, not the HD DVD standard's preferred MPEG 4 AVC or VC1 (aka Windows Media Video 9) codecs. However, even with MPEG 2, a 15GB HD DVD-R can hold just under two hours of HD content, Toshiba said.

The machine can read all the DVD recordable and rewriteable formats, along with CD-R/RW, though it will only write to DVD-R/RW/RAM, including their dual-layer versions.

The RD-A1 doesn't come cheap - Toshiba expects it to retail for around ¥398,000 ($3,467/£1,880/€2,746). It's physically no lightweight either, registering 15.2kg on the scales and measuring 45.7 x 40.8 x 15.9cm. ®

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