updated 12:00 pm EST, Wed February 14, 2007
Sharp AQUOS Blu-Ray
Sharp this morning launched a sweeping update to its AQUOS media recorders, including its first-ever Blu-Ray burner. The BD-HP1 not only plays the next-generation disc format on TVs but records HD footage as well, writing as much as 25GB of video captured from either of its two i.Link (Firewire) connections. The extra space creates enough room for three full hours of HD video and 6.5 hours of standard-definition video, Sharp says. In Japanese form, the BD-HP1 will ship with individual HDMI and D4 outputs for connecting to HDTVs. In its home territory, the new AQUOS recorder will ship on March 20th for $1,199; a US launch is unannounced but likely, and should replace the Japan-native D4 port with component video.
The electronics giant also updated its AQUOS DVR line for avid TV viewers. The ACW60, ACW55, and ACW52 are designed to record shows regardless of what's live on TV, according to Sharp: each has dual digital tuners for over-the-air broadcasts as well as a third analog tuner, ensuring that the owner can always watch a digital show while recording a conflicting program. The ACW60 in particular sets a storage record for the company, holding 1TB of video for either live viewing or backups to DVD. It ships on February 20th for $1,654 along with smaller 500GB (ACW55) and 250GB (ACW52) models.
Completing the announcements today are the AC55 and AC52. Functionally very similar to the ACW editions, each drops the second digital tuner but keeps all the other features of their premium counterparts. These 500GB and 250GB versions will arrive in stores at the same time as the Blu-Ray burner but haven't yet received a listed price. Unlike the BD-HP!, the five AQUOS DVRs are unlikely to arrive in the US.