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See the article on etown at: http://www.etown.com/news/article.jhtml?articleID=3722



Unit debuts in Japan in late December 11/17/2000

By David J. Elrich

TOKYO, JAPAN, November 17, 2000 -- According to AsiaNet, Toshiba has announced the world's first combo hard-disk drive (HDD) and DVD-RAM video recorder for "taping" TV shows. The RD-2000 goes on sale on December 22 in Japan only; it will cost 270,000 yen (approximately $2500).

Currently, the only consumer DVD-RAM device available in the United States is the Panasonic DMR-E10, which has a list price of $3999. It does not have, however, a built-in hard-disk drive.

The RD-2000 has a 30GB hard-disk drive and a 4.7GB DVD-RAM drive. The two drives combined provide 33.5 hours of video storage. According to the AsiaNet story, that breaks down to 29 hours on the HDD and 4.5 hours on the DVD-RAM drive (at a transfer rate of 2 Mbps). It is expected that consumers would store programs on the HDD, then would archive them onto disc using DVD-RAM technology.

Toshiba has introduced the world's first DVD-Video recorder with a built-in hard drive. No U.S. release date has been announced.

Consumers can choose from four recording modes: Standard Play (4.6 Mbps); Long Play (2.2 Mbps); Manual (selectable between 2 Mbps to 9.8 Mbps in steps of 0.2 Mbps); and Just (the transfer rate is determined according to the remaining capacity of the disc in the DVD-RAM drive, regardless of the HDD's capacity).

The RD-2000 plays DVD-Video discs, DVD-RAM discs, Video CDs and music CDs. It also supports the DVD Forum-approved Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM).

etown.com highlighted a number of combination HDD recorders that were on display at the CEATEC Expo in October, including an HDD/S-VHS deck from JVC. The RD-2000, however, is the first such device to combine a hard disk and DVD-RAM technology. Whether the RD-2000 makes an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in January -- and on U.S. store shelves sometime in 2001 -- is sure to be among the top stories coming out of CES.

This story is an etown.com exclusive.


Remember, it's just television...

[This message has been edited by jleavens (edited 11-23-2000).]
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