I thought we’d seen the first generation of high definition media in just about every market segment by now but I’d forgotten a major one which Toshiba has just plugged: the hard disk recorder.
Tosh’s RD-A1 is the new undisputed Mac Daddy in the sector both physically (it measures 457 x 408 x 159mm and weighs 15.2Kg) and technologically since the monstrous device supports full 1080p resolution broadcasts, contains a whopping 1TB (yes, I said terrabyte) hard disk and can archive content using the integrated HD DVD-R drive.
That’s a lot of figures so I’ll take a step back and dissect them for you. Firstly it is indeed bigger than George Foreman, Secondly, the 1TB capacity will provide up to 130 hours of high definition recordings which is more than enough for any human being who doesn’t wish to emerge from their home with translucent skin and hyper sensitivity to sunlight. Lastly, the HD DVD writer can handle both single layer (15GB) and dual layer (30GB) discs which are capable of holding 115 minutes and 230 minutes of HD video respectively.
In addition, the shiny super heavyweight supports playback from and recording to all conventional DVD-RAM/RW/R discs (something we can expect from both rival HD format players) so your existing video collection doesn’t go up the swanny. Dual recording (one digital, one analogue) can be carried out simultaneously, there’s also a PIP (picture in picture) mode, and interactive TV guide.
No price or shipping date was supplied by Toshiba but after some crafty (and dare I say it: downright sneaky) digging I got the company to confirm the RD-A1 will be bending shelves in Japan from 14 July for a not altogether unexpected 398,000 yen (roughly 1,880 quid). It’ll reach our currently intermittently sunny and rainy isle in the next couple of months.
I can hear the hammering from AV enthusiasts strengthening their TV racks as we speak.