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Toshiba puts back HD-DVD recorder launch

Difficulty procuring components

Toshiba has announced it is delaying the launch of its first HD-DVD recorder by about two weeks.

The RD-A1 will go on sale in Japan on July 27 instead of this Friday as originally planned. Toshiba blamed the delay on difficulty in procuring some components used in the machines but wouldn't identify the components in question.

"Production is up and running, but we want to be sure we have enough inventory to provide retailers nationwide with the product," said Keisuke Ohmori, a spokesman for Toshiba in Tokyo.

The RD-A1 is the first HD-DVD recorder to be announced by any company. The machine includes a 1TB (terabyte) hard drive for day-to-day recording and the HD-DVD drive for long-term storage. A dual-layer HD-DVD-R disc will be able to store about 230 minutes of HD (high-definition) video, while the hard drive has enough space for 130 hours of HDTV. The suggested retail price is ¥398,000 (about £1,878).

Toshiba has yet to announce international launch plans for the RD-A1.

Launch delays for HD video disc players have been commonplace. Toshiba originally promised its first HD-DVD player in 2005, but it didn't go on sale in Japan until March and in the US until April.

Companies supporting the rival Blu-ray Disc format haven't fared much better. Sony has delayed the launch of its first Blu-ray Disc player several times; it's now due in October. The first Blu-ray Disc player to launch came from Samsung, and went on sale in the US in June. That was a month later than originally planned.

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