Toshiba will introduce new HD DVD recorders with huge hard drives into the Japanese market at the end of June. Its upcoming VARDIA RD-A600 (pictured) has a 600GB drive able to record about 78 hours of digital HD broadcasts to HDD. Its sibling RD-A300 has a smaller capacity 300GB drive, but is still able to store 39 hours of HD programming. The two models are functionally identical, and are able to record two digital HD television programmes simultaneously. They also have playback support for DVD and CD, and use a1080p up-scaler from Anchor Bay Technologies to up-rez standard definition DVD to 1080p. A dual-layer 30GB HD DVD-R DL disc can store nearly four hours of digital terrestrial broadcasts which can be extended to four and half hours by eliminating superfluous information from data broadcasts.
Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD can be decoded in the player and output as L-PCM through the HDMI output. The recorders can also be networked in order to stream content direct to Toshiba REGZA Z2000 LCD TVs. Don’t get too excited though. There are no plans to market the recorders outside of Japan.