Japan: Toshiba Launches DVRs for HD DVD

Toshiba said this week it will add two models to its Vardia brand digital video recorders that include HD DVD recordable drives as part of its advanced functions. The new DVR scheme allows the recording of two HD programs simultaneously. The new DVR units also include what Toshiba said is a faster drawing of the graphic user interface, as well as improved disc operation.

The HD DVD DVRs (Vardia RD-A600 and Vardia RD-A300) will ramp up in Japan starting by the end of June, Toshiba said, with no word yet on when they may ship globally.

Toshiba said the RD-A600 model (600 GB) records about 78 hours of HD content to its hard drive; the RD-A300 (300 GB) can capture up to 39 hours (depending on content). Both DVRs have HD DVD-recordable drives that can record HD programs directly to an HD DVD-R disc.

The Vardia DVRs are backward-compatible for standard DVDs and CDs, and come with integrated 1080p-centric upscalers from Anchor Bay Technologies of Los Gatos, Calif.