Matsushita, best known for its Panasonic brand name, has unveiled a DVD video recorder that features simultaneous playback and recording. The company claims this is allegedly a world first.

The DMR-E20 video recorder can write to DVD-R (digital versatile disc recordable), DVD-RAM or the recently launched 8cm mini version of DVD-RAM.

The recorder is an update of the DMR-E10, the company's first DVD-based video recorder that was launched a year ago. The most distinctive new feature allows users to replay a previously recorded program from any point in the program while the machine is recording another show.

The company also unveiled two types of DVD-RAM discs and a DVD-R disc with a total recording capacity of 9.4GB. This allows users to record up to 12 hours of video in extended play mode, Matsushita said.

Matsushita plans to start selling the device in Europe this autumn. European pricing is yet to be set, but in Japan the DMR-E20 will cost around £800.