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Will ITV HD wreck the launch of Blu-ray recorders?

May 13th, 2009 · No Comments

Panasonic Freesat Blu-ray deck is a jawdropper, exclusive hands-on review of DMR-BS850 | Home Cinema Choice

Could ITV scupper the launch of Blu-ray recorders in the UK? As I exclusively revealed in my review of Panasonic’s amazing new Freesat Blu-ray recorder, the DMR-BS850 (click the link above to read it), the broadcaster is still flagging its hi-def Freesat content as Copy Never. Unlike the BBC, which has moved all its transmissions to Copy Once (and is even promising to adopt a policy of Copy Always during the Summer), ITV material cannot be archived onto Blu-ray media. This even applies to old back catalogue movies.
Although ITV does not contribute a massive amount to the monthly HD content on Freesat, its co-operation is vital if Blu-ray recording is to take off in the UK. Consumers simply won’t understand or appreciate why it is possible to archive Last Of The Summer Wine from BBC HD but not a Martin Clunes documentary from ITV HD. They’ll simply decide “Blu-ray recorders don’t work” and move on.
David Preece, who heads up Panasonic’s AV marketing operation, acknowledges the situation, telling me “It’s too early to give a definitive answer” about ITV HD’s strategy, adding  “this doesn’t mean that there will be no change – simply it’s in progress of discussion.”
Panasonic continues to have discussions with Freesat on the matter. Watch this space.
DMR-BS850, Blu-ray

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