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October 2007's coolest gadgets revealed

3mm thick TVs and HD video recorders

Every year in October, Japan's largest electronics show, Ceatec, showcases all that's new and upcoming from the world's sharpest consumer electronics vendors. Ceatec 2007 brought us some world-first technologies, including a 3mm thick TV, a laptop with super-charged graphics processing and some new high-definition video recorders.

Here are our picks from Ceatec and other new gadgets from the past month:

Panasonic Blu-ray Disc recorders

Panasonic kicked off Ceatec by unveiling of three new Blu-ray Disc recorders. The recorders can cram up to 18 hours of high-definition video on to a 50GB Blu-ray Disc - something that hasn't been possible until now.

Previous recorders took the MPEG2 digital TV stream as it was transmitted and recorded it directly to disc resulting in a recording capacity of about four hours on the 50GB discs. However the new Panasonic recorders can convert this into the more efficient MPEG4 AVC compression system and thus the greater storage capacity on each disc. They also have built-in hard-disk drives. All three recorders will go on sale in Japan on November 1 with the top-of-the-range BW900 costing ¥300,000 (£1,300).

There are no immediate plans to sell them overseas but Panasonic said it is examining the possibility.

Panasonc Blu ray recorder

Panasonc Blu-ray recorder


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