Sony to roll out four Blu-ray recorders
Strategy to cement the format's popularity
The Sony Blu-ray Disc wagon shows no signs of slowing, with the company unveiling four forthcoming recorders based on the format. The top-of-the-range model incorporates a massive 500GB hard drive, enough for about 160 hours of HD content, while the whole range also provides 1080p 'full HD' resolution.
Sony's BDZ-X90: all-singing, all-dancing high-end model
Two models, the BDZ-L70 and BDZ-T70, will both feature 320GB hard drives, while the low-end BDZ-T50 will have the smallest capacity drive, 250GB. These three and the high-end BDZ-X90 can all read from and write to dual-layer Blu-ray Discs. It's also been rumoured that the top models have gold-plated HDMI connectors.
Each model operates at the cinema-style 24p 24 frames per second rate, while the X90 also operates at a higher 60p. The X90 also includes Deep Color technology, which allows for billions, rather than millions, of colours to be displayed on screen, and which will give viewers deeper blacks, Sony claimed.
All four models are compatible with DVD±R/RW formats and others. The top three models each have dual digital tuners and an analogue tuner, allowing them to record two TV channels simultaneously. The T50 has only a single, digital tuner.
The L70 model supports the Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) format, introduced by both Sony and Panasonic to enable HD recording on camcorders.
The bad news is that all four recorders will initially only be available in Japan, from early November, with the BDZ-T50 retailing for ¥140,000 (£602/€632/$1200), the BDZ-T70 for ¥160,000 (£688/€704/$1400), the BDZ-L70 for ¥180,000 (£774/€799/$1586) and the BDZ-X90 for ¥200,000 (£860/€904/$1844).
Japanese xenophobia strikes again
... just when Sony is trying to take Blu-ray to the world. The extreme xenophobia of the Japanese is, sadly, both denying us the goods, and giving the competition a leg up. It's historically typical of the Japanese to only sell their "best" technology in Japan so the filthy gaijin won't be able to compete.
By the time these recorders are marketed abroad, the competition will be already be selling HD-DVD recorders. And Sony will be wondering, "How did we screw up again?"
Makes me chuckle every time
"It's also been rumoured that the top models have gold-plated HDMI connectors."
I laugh heartily at this, absolute nonsense of a feature. Audiophiles are into gold plated connectors everywhere, the point being that gold is a superior conductor and therefore the signal purity is unhindered by cheap wires.
When its digital, and nothing more than a stream of 1s and 0s, does it matter? The signal quality is irrelevant, all it needs is more than or less than the switching voltage.
Sure gold has its place in computer components, its very malleable so using it inside of ICs is a preference because its easier to wire up, and there's usually some other odds and sods here and there in order to ensure that the elements which need precise resistivity etc... aren't tainted by bad conductors.
However, the issues which create a good case for using gold inside of a computer or microprocessor should never apply to signal transmission, and if it did make a difference I'm sure HDMI took a wrong turn during development.
So, what a waste of gold eh!
Forgive my colour ignorance... but... isn't black just black, no matter how many colours you have. I also suspect it's the TVs job to display black properly (which is the quality mark I use for choosing a TV).
I wonder if anyone at MPAA will let them record HD (HDMI) input?
Without that, these are expensive doorjams.