Sharp today annoucned
the April release of two new Blu-ray Disc recorders equipped with hard disk drives and capable of recording two HDTV broadcasts simultaneously.
The company's latest series of its 'AQUOS Blu-ray' products includes the BD-HDW55 and the BD-HDW53 models, equipped with a 500GB and a 320GB hard disk drive, respectively.
Both models are taking advantage of a new transcoding method that allows them to store uncompressed full HDTV broadcasts significantly faster than previous models did. In addition, the recorders feature image enhancing technologies for noise-less playback of the recorded content.
The devices are equipped with a ground analog and two ground/BS/110 S digital tuners and support recording/playback MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video and MPEG2 AAC and Dolby Digital (2ch) audio content. The supported media for recording include BD-R/RE, DVD-R/RW, and DVD-R DL (no AVCREC). Of course, direct recording on the on-board HDD or a BD is supported.
Last but not least, the new BD devices support recording of the program of the Japanese SKYPerfecTV!HD broadcasting.
Both the BD-HDW55 and the BD-HDW53 models will retail in Japan next month for about 110,000 Yen ($1200) and 100,000 Yen ($1090), respectively.
Sharp also today annoucned the release of its first BD-RE discs under its own brand. The new discs for 1x~2x recording come pre-formatted for use with the new AQUOS BD recorders, and can store up to 50GB of data. The company will also release its first BD-R (SL and DL) discs in April for 4x recording.