Matsushita Blu-ray Recorders to Hit Japan in Nov.

Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) will begin marketing efforts for its Blu-ray high definition DVD recorders in Japan on November 15, making it one of the first electronics firms to make such recorders available to consumers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Blu-ray and its next-generation rival DVD format, HD DVD, are currently locked in a head-to-head battle for supremacy in the high-definition DVD space, and many electronics firms and retailers are trying to decide on which format—if either—to throw their support behind.  Some firms have already picked a format, and other say they’ll offer titles in both formats, though the associated costs will likely deter many from going that route.

Matsushita (Panasonic) DMR-BR100 Blu-ray Recorder
Blu-ray Recorder

Toshiba developed the HD-DVD format, and Sony backs Blu-ray. Both types of discs are read with a laser, but they’re not currently compatible.  Additional firms that have expressed support for the Blu-ray format include Samsung Electronics, Philips Electronics and Sharp, according to the Journal.  Software giant Microsoft has said it would support HD DVD, and yesterday it unveiled a new HD DVD drive add-on for its Xbox 360 gaming console.

Sony intends to debut its first Blu-ray recorder before the upcoming holiday season, and Sharp will release Blu-ray recorders and players after the start of 2007, the Journal reports.

The two Blu-ray recorders to be made available by Matsushita will feature different hard-drive storage capacities, and the firm says it will ship roughly 3,000 units of each per month, according to the Journal.

Currently, 75 different films titles are set to be released on Blu-ray disc in Japan during the month of November.

In related news, three Warner Bros. employees have filed a patent application for a disc that can be written in three separate formats—Blu-ray, HD DVD, and the current standard DVD format.

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