JVC has developed a digital video recorder, but its £1,300 price tag is likely to frighten off all but the early adopters.
The company's HM-DR1000 D-VHS digital recorder will let viewers tape in digital from virtually any source, including analogue TV programmes and digital DV camcorder recordings.
The D-VHS digital recorder records onto D-VHS tapes, which cost about £20 each and can record 21 hours of programming. This equals around 10 full-length films. The system is backwards-compatible with VHS, which means that consumers will also be able to watch their old video tapes.
JVC is confident that there will be a place for D-VHS alongside recordable DVD when it arrives. "Recordable DVD will be a lot more expensive and people who have already DVD players will have to buy new recordable ones," said Neil Mancais, JVC's head of marketing. "Tape is a medium that consumers are familiar with, so this will give them a very smooth transition from analogue to digital."
Mancais admitted, however, that JVC is also working on recordable DVD. "We believe there is a place for both D-VHS and DVD," he said. The digital recorder has an internal memory for some 2,000 titles, which can be searched by date or programme category.
JVC is likely to use the recorder as a basis for a home server because it can store large amounts of data.
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