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Toshiba Bows New HD DVD DVR, Despite Revised Forecast

31 Oct, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Toshiba Corp. Oct. 31 said it would begin taking orders for a new digital video recorder with an HD DVD drive capable of recording high-def video on either an HD DVD or a standard DVD.

The consumer electronics giant made the announcement despite reportedly revising downward sales forecasts for both HD DVD and Blu-ray recorders in the Japanese market.

With HD DVR retail prices ranging from $1,200 to $1,700 for high-def recorders, Toshiba slashed sales projections 66%, from 400,000 units to $135,000 units, through March 2008.

HD DVD and Blu-ray recorders are available in the United States in limited release.

“Most people don't see the need to buy an HD DVD recorder right now,” said Yoshihide Fuji, president of the digital media network, according to a Financial Times report. “The market will grow by 2010, but unless prices decline, they will not sell.”

The RD-A301, which launches in December in Japan, includes 300GB of storage capacity and technological enhancements that make it capable of recording nearly 160 hours of HD video, compared to 39 hours for a standard such DVR.

Utilizing the special feature, HD Rec, the RD-301 can also record two hours of HD video onto a single-layer standard DVD.

Through Jan. 31, 2008, Toshiba will include a free HD DVD edition of Paramount Pictures' DreamWorks hit Transformers with the purchase of an HD DVD recorder or player.

Toshiba expects sales of PC laptops with HD DVD drives to reach 5 million unit sales in 2008. Total sales of HD digital video recorders are expected to reach 450,000 units.

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