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Panasonic preps 'first' Blu-ray player and recorder

Pre-recorded BDs? No problem

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Panasonic is gearing up to launch what it claims are the world's first Blu-ray Disc recorders capable of playing back pre-recorded BDs. The units - the Diga DMR-BW200 and DMR-BR100 - can burn content from their built-in hard drives to BD-R/RE discs at 4x speed, the company claimed.

With almost all BD-R/RE drives currently available designed for connection inside a PC and none as yet able to play pre-recorded BDs, Panasonic's claim is probably correct. There have been BD recorders made in the past, but these arrived before the formulation of the BD-R/RE and pre-recorded BD specifications.

panasonic's diga blu-ray hdd recorders

The machines both support single- and dual-layer BD recordable and rewriteable media, and ship with, respectively, 500GB and 200GB of unformatted HDD storage capacity. The higher-end model also contains no less than seven TV tuners, Panasonic said: one analogue and two digital terrestrial tuners, plus two BS and CS satellite tuners.

Panasonic also touted the DMR-BW200's Firewire/iLink connection as a way to hook up a VHS player and copy over your old recordings onto the new machine's hard drive and, later, to BD archive discs. The players also contain SD card slots capable of handling the new SDHC format.

The players can also record and read DVD-RAM, DVD-R/RW and DVD-R DL media. They can also read regular DVDs and CDs.

The DMR-BW200 and DMR-BR100 go on sale in Japan on 15 November. Panasonic did not specify a price, and there's no word yet on US and European availability. ®

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