Shortly after Panasonic showed off its new 45nm UniPhier chip, it unveiled a trio of new Blu-ray recorders, all if which utilise the new LSI. So, if you've been waiting for a high definition video recorder that offers unprecedented compression, without sacrificing quality, wait no more.
All three of the recorders announced offer both Blu-ray recording and HDD recording, with each model separated by the capacity of the hard drive. The entry level DMR-BW700 sports a 250GB disk, while the midrange DMR-BW800 is equipped with a 500GB drive. But it's the top of the range DMR-BW900 that's the real show stopper, with a 1TB drive inside it's svelte body.
Thanks to the new UniPhier chip, each of the players can squeeze 18 hours of Full HD, 1,920 x 1,080 video on a dual layer 50GB Blu-ray disc. The DMR-BW900 can then store a further 381 hours of Full HD video on its massive hard drive.
Both the DMR-BW900 and BW800 can both also output 1080p 24, which should keep serious home cinema enthusiasts happy. While the SD card slot on all the players will allow users of Panasonic HD camcorders to copy movies directly from SD card to either the internal hard disk or a Blu-ray disc for archiving.
Of course all three of these Blu-ray recorders are only available in Japan, which usually annoys me greatly. However, considering that the only high definition source in the UK is currently Sky, you'd have a tough time finding anything to record onto either the HDD or Blu-ray. Panasonic indicated that once terrestrial high definition services start in the UK it would consider releasing Blu-ray recorders - hopefully that won't be too much longer then…