Sharp Blu-ray Recorder Hits, Aquos Required
Although the product has yet to hit stateside, the Japanese market yesterday received the very first Blu-ray high definition recorder. It's great news for home theater fans who can expect a similar product here soon, but unfortunately, as with anything this good, there's a clear silver lining. In order to use Sharp's Blu-ray recorder, the user must have a dedicated connection to one of the company's own Aquos HDTVs.
The connection is being called "Aquos Fami-Link" by Sharp, with the accessory using a four-pin version of FireWire for connecting to various components. Sharp has been using this kind of link for a while with its HDTVs and DVD recorders.
Some benefits to the connection and dedicated link:
Users can connect older Sharp Aquos HD recorders and transfer their saved content to the Blu-ray recorder
Capable of two full hours of 1080p high definition recording
Of course, the drawbacks to this early unit may outweigh the benefits. The dedicated link is meant to deter users from producing unauthorized, DRM-free copies of movies. In addition, this player, officially named the BD-HP1, will not record to DVD, but only Blu-ray disc. Suggested retail price is currently listed as "open", so it's tough to speculate on the ultimate consumer cost.