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Sony displays Blu-ray Disc recorders

Coming to Japan in December

Sony will launch a pair of Blu-ray Disc video recorders in Japan this December, the company said today.

The machines both feature hard-disk drives for day-to-day recording and a Blu-ray Disc drive for longer term storage. The BDZ-V9 has a 500GB drive and the BDZ-V7 has a 250GB drive. There are two digital tuners in each recorder, so that two high-definition programs can be recorded simultaneously.

Both models were unveiled during a news conference at the Ceatec show, which opened today and runs until Saturday at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, east of Tokyo.

The recorders are designed to appeal to videophiles with demands for high specifications, including Linear PCM audio and 1080p (1,080 lines progressive scanning) output, which is the highest of several image levels judged to be high-definition. The recorders can be connected to Sony's recently launched high-definition camcorders by a Firewire connection and can playback the AVCHD-format discs used in the cameras.

The higher capacity BDZ-V9 will be launched on 8 December and the BDZ-V7 will follow about a week later on 16 December. They will cost ¥300,000 and ¥250,000 (about £1,350 and £1,125) respectively.

The machines fill an important gap in Sony's high-definition strategy, which by now has HD-capable products in several parts of the consumer video market - including televisions and video camcorders. These will be joined in November by the PlayStation 3 game console and then in December by the two new recorders announced today.

Launching the recorders internationally is possible, but nothing has been decided as of yet, Sony said.

Sony also announced the addition of Blu-ray Disc to more PCs in its Vaio line. The Vaio Type-R master is an Intel Core 2 Duo-based system, loaded with high-definition editing and authoring software. It will be available from 28 October at prices between ¥230,000 and ¥550,000 (£1,035 and £2,480) depending on system configuration. A Blu-ray Disc drive will be offered as a build-to-order option with Sony's Type-L computer.

With the new computers, Blu-ray Disc is now available in four of Sony's Vaio product lines.

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