Toshiba Delays HD DVD Recorder Launch

Toshiba is delaying the launch of its first HD DVD recorder by about two weeks, the company said Thursday.

The RD-A1 will go on sale in Japan on July 27 instead of this Friday as originally planned. Toshiba blamed the delay on difficulty in procuring some components used in the machines, but wouldn’t identify the components in question.

"Production is up and running, but we want to be sure we have enough inventory to provide retailers nationwide with the product," said Keisuke Ohmori, a spokesman for Toshiba in Tokyo.

The RD-A1 is the first HD DVD recorder to be announced by any company. The machine includes a 1-terabyte hard-disk drive for day-to-day recording and the HD DVD drive for storage of TV shows that consumers wish to keep. A dual-layer HD DVD-R disc will be able to store about 230 minutes of high-definition video, while the hard disk has enough space for 130 hours of HDTV. The suggested retail price is 398,000 yen (US$3,468).

Toshiba RD-A1
Toshiba RD-A1

Toshiba has yet to announce international launch plans for the RD-A1.

Launch delays for high-definition video disc players have been more the rule than the exception.

Toshiba originally promised its first HD DVD player in 2005, but it didn’t go on sale in Japan until March and in the United States until April.

Companies supporting the rival Blu-ray Disc format haven’t fared much better. Sony has delayed the launch of its first Blu-ray Disc player several times, and it’s now due in October. The first Blu-ray Disc player to launch came from Samsung Electronics and went on sale in the United States in June, but that was a month later than originally planned.

-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)

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