LG Electronics and Toshiba unveiled high-definition video recorders that use next-generation blue-laser technology at the Consumer Electronics Show.
LG Electronics will show its LG-XBG420, a high-definition video recorder that supports both Blu-ray removable media and has a built-in 200GB hard-disk drive. It also offers a FireWire interface and a DVI connector. NTSC-only at this stage, the unit is likely to cost under $3,000 – about the same as Sony’s currently available Blu-Ray recorder.
LG and Sony belong to the nine-company group developing Blu-ray. The other companies are Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp and Thomson Multimedia.
Toshiba will show a prototype video recorder based around High Definition/High Density DVD (HD-DVD). The format is a competitor to Blu-ray and is being developed by Toshiba and NEC under the DVD Forum. It is expected to be adopted by the DVD standards group as the official successor to current generation DVD discs, although whether it or Blu-ray or another as-yet-unannounced format wins over consumers is yet to be seen.
Toshiba's device uses a recently developed optical pick-up that houses the red laser required for current DVD discs, the blue-laser required for HD-DVD discs, and a common lens to allow compatibility with both formats.
Commercial launch plans for the recorder have not been announced by Toshiba and the company is unlikely to make any predictions until at least version 1.0 of the format is finalized, said Midori Suzuki, a spokeswoman for Toshiba. Engineers are currently working on preparations for the first version of the HD-DVD format having already finalized version 0.9.
The company will also hold-off on launching a product until it decides that a market exists for such a device.