Blu-Ray Recorders from Panasonic
Matsushita’s Early Start, the DMR-E700BD
Panasonic parent company Matsushita demonstrated its first Blu-Ray player at CES, 2006. Panasonic’s Blu-Ray recorder is set to be the first next generation optical storage recorder on the home-entertainment market. The new Blu-Ray unit is due to be available to the public in July, 2006.
The DMR-E700BD will support 25 GB single-side and 50 GB dual-layer Blu-Ray discs. 50 GB dual-layer rewritable discs will allow Panasonic’s new Blu-Ray system to record up to 4 hours of digital high-definition programming. The four hours of recordable space for high-definition television extends to 9 hours for standard-definition programming when using the same dual-layer rewritable Blu-Ray discs. The unit will be compatible with single-layer rewritable Blu-Ray discs with only half the capacity. The Panasonic DMR-E700BD will also support DVD-R and DVD-Ram for recording analogue (standard definition) television only.
The July, 2006 release date makes the DMR-E700BD one of the earliest Blu-Ray players available. Panasonic will also launch its own rewritable media at the same time as the player/recorder. The price of this device has not been released, but if it’s anything like Sony’s first Blu-Ray recorder it’s going to cost somewhere between $2500-$3500 dollars. This price is a little steep for many early technology adopters, but this will be the only game in town that can record your high-definition programming; however, most people will probably wait until the price of these devices descends from the stratosphere.
The bad news for North American early-tech adopters is that the release of Panasonic’s recorder is going to only be in Japan. Its release to North America could be soon thereafter, but Matsushita says it will hinge on the development of the formatting for this continent.
The Blu-Ray standard was created by Sony as the replacement of DVD for high-definition media. The Blu-Ray standard is currently embroiled in a format war with HD DVD, Toshiba’s vision of what next generation media should look like.
The big question about the player/recorder is this: Were they really going for the retro 80’s VCR look?