Toshiba Announces HD DVD Recorder 
Home Theater News HD DVD Hardware News
Written by Scott Selter   
Monday, 26 June 2006

Toshiba has announced their RD-A1 HD DVD recorder. The recorder comes complete with a 1 Terabyte (TB) hard drive for up to approximately 130 hours of high definition video and audio.

The recorder also comes with a full set of audio and video outputs. Because the recorder is only set at this time to be released in Japan, the list of actual inputs and outputs that may appear on the US version is not concrete. However, based on those available on the Japanese version, the recorder will have Digital Coaxial audio as well as analog 5.1 audio outputs.

Video inputs will include component, S-video, composite, and of course HDMI. Surprisingly though this costly machine, currently set to be released at a price of about $3,400, does not come with at least two HDMI ports. It would be convenient if this machine, for all that money, could also act as an HDMI hub and allow for HDCP-compliant pass through back to your TV or Audio/Video Receiver.

Rumor has it that the ABT scaling processor in the recorder cannot resolve 1080i to 1080p. However, it is being said that the recorder will be able to output a true 1080p signal unlike the HD-XA1 and HD-A1 predecessors.

Toshiba is set to release the RD-A1 HD DVD recorder in Japan on July 14, 2006. A US release may follow shortly after the Japanese release, as this was the case with the HD-XA1 player.

What has me concerned is how stable is this recorder going to be? I mean let’s face it; the first two players introduced by Toshiba are not getting the most wonderful of reviews. Extremely slow start up times and numerous lockups requiring hard reboots plague them. That just won’t fly when it comes to a recorder. Let’s hope that Toshiba has remedied the player problems in this recorder, especially since it is going to cost $3,400, and it won’t even record Blu-ray discs.

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