Having already decided that half the physical-media film market should be Blu-ray by the years end, Sony understandably needs to offer some interesting products to compel people to buy into the HD format. One such device is the newly-announced BDZ-A70 Blu-ray recorder, adding one-touch video transfer to the mix.
To use this feature requires a compatible device, such as a Sony Walkman player, certain mobile phones (Japanese models only currently) or a PSP, which then plugs into the player's USB port. The one-touch transfer option then ports stored content to the appropriate folder on the device. The process certainly looks easy if the video Sony supplied with the release is anything to go by, though that isn't evidence enough us.
Quality-wise the transferred video is encoded in H.264 at a 320 x 240 resolution, with a bit rate of either 384kbps or 768kbps depending on user choice. Sony says a 60 minute program should transfer in under five minutes at the best quality, which isn't bad at all provided Sony isn't telling porkies.
On the Blu-ray recorder front there is a 320GB built in hard drive, for storing the content before transferring it, as well as the ability to record to dual-layer Blu-ray discs to free up that space.
Currently this is a Japan only announcement, with no UK (or any other country) release date scheduled, although we sincerely hope this will change. If you do live in the Land of the Rising Sun then you'll be shelling out a hefty ¥170,000 (£855) to get your hands on a BDZ-A70 at the end of this month.