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Toshiba to release first HD DVD recorder in Japan

Posted: 26 Jun 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RD-A1  HD DVD  recorder  Toshiba  Yoshiko Hara 

After offering a low-priced Rs.22869.17 ($499) HD DVD player this spring, Toshiba Corp. has challenged Japanese consumers with a price tag of about Rs.1,55,822($3,400) for its first recordable HD DVD product, slated to hit the market in the middle of July.

Toshiba was the first company to introduce a video recorder that integrated a hard disc drive and a DVD video recorder. The HD DVD recorder, dubbed RD-A1, is similar in concept, integrating an HD DVD-R recorder and a 1Tbyte hard disc recorder in one unit.

Toshiba expects to sell 10,000 units in Japan within this year. "We announced RD-A1 as a part of the future marketing strategy for HD DVD recorders overseas," said Yoshihide Fujii, president and CEO of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Co.

But overseas markets differ from the situation in Japan with regard to DVD recorders, he said. Recording type DVD players accounted for 40 per cent of sales in Japan last year and are projected to account for 67 per cent of sales this year, according to Toshiba's estimates.

"But in the United States, players account for 90 per cent and even in Europe, 80-85 per cent is players," Fujii said. He said he believes that people in markets outside of Japan would also want to record HD content and keep it in a collection. The company plans to promote in overseas markets the virtues of first recording to hard disc, and then archiving to DVD, Fujii said.

"But this RD-A1 is offered to only limited consumers in Japan as a symbolic model," he said.

As to the HD DVD player sales, Toshiba's goal is to achieve sales of six to seven lakh units by March, the end of this fiscal year. "We may revise the target upward," said Fujii. Toshiba plans to introduce a new player model before the year-end sales season to boost the sales.

Timed with the introduction of the HD DVD recorder, Hitachi Maxell and Mitsubishi Chemical will market single-layer and dual-layer HD DVD-R discs in July.

A single layer disc has 15Gbyte capacity to store an hour and 55 minutes of video footage if recorded at a data rate of 17Mbps. The dual layer disc has 30Gbyte capacity to record for 230 minutes at 17Mbps.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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