We've seen a fair few Blu-ray players announced recently that also offer high-definition PVR functionality, some of which can even burn this recorded data to disc as well. On the HD DVD front though, devices are far thinner on the ground, but Toshiba looks set to change that, with the Vardia RD-A301.
First and foremost the player boasts a 300GB hard drive for storing HD content, dual hybrid tuners, allowing that now favourite ability to record one channel while watching another and as well as being able to record to HD DVDs using the H.264 codec, it also supports the HD Rec standard, allowing HD content to be burned to standard DVDs and Toshiba claims that up to two hours of video with 5.1-channel sound will fit on a single layer disc.
Elsewhere the player will output up to 1080i over HDMI, which is a disappointing blot on its otherwise impressive résumé. On the audio front Dolby TrueHD and DTS sound formats are supported. No UK release date is yet available, but the Vardia is being released in Japan this December for around ¥100,000 (£400-odd).