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Panasonic DMR-E700BD

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Panasonic announced this week that it will be releasing a Blu-ray recorder - the DMR-E700BD. Blu-ray is a next generation replacement for DVD, offering even higher capcities. Available from July 31st the machine is inevitably a Japan only release and there’s no word as yet on pricing. The recorder joins Sony’s BDZ-S77 which was the only Blu-ray recorder available to buy – if you live in Japan.



The new machine means Panasonic has pipped Sony to be the first to release a recorder that can write to the new dual-layer discs, which lift Blu-ray media to a capacity of 50GB. The DMR-E700BD will also write to DVD-RAM and to DVD-R.

Online UK AV retailer AV Land lists the Sony machine here and the new Panasonic here. However, we checked with the company and were told that it can’t actually supply to the UK, and that the pages are there just to keep enthusiasts informed about the latest Blu-ray developments – which sounds like a good idea to us.

With Blu-ray receiving support from industry heavyweights such as Dell and HP, we expect to see the format gain ground in the PC industry, where it’s impossible to have a disc with too much capacity.

Panasonic claims that the DMR-E700BD can record up to 4.5 hours of digital HD programming or up to 63 hours of analogue programming. BSkyB in the UK has announced that it will be start broadcasting High Definition content in the UK in 2006, by which time recorders such as this will hopefully be not only available but also affordable. No doubt this means that we can look forward to seeing, in full HD quality, the pained expressions of the England football team as they launch all of their penalties skyward at the next World Cup.

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