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Toshiba Launches New Hard Disk Recorder with HD DVD in Japan


TOKYO--Toshiba Corporation today announced two high-end additions to its VARDIA digital video recorders (DVR) that add the capabilities of HD DVD recordable drives to a wide range of advanced functions. The new DVR introduce the ability to record two digital HD television programs simultaneously, and also integrate Toshiba’s new “VARDIA engine”, which supports significant enhancements to ease of use and performance, including faster drawing of the graphic user interface (GUI) and improved HD DVD disc operation. The HD DVD VARDIA RD-A600 and HD DVD VARDIA RD-A300 will be rolled out in the Japanese market from the end of June.

The new models offer consumers a choice of hard disk drive capacities. The 600-gigabyte (GB) RD-A600 can record about 78 hours*1 of digital HD broadcasts to its hard drive in HD picture quality, while 300GB RD-A300 can record about 39 hours*1. Both integrate an HD DVD recordable drive that can directly record HD television programs to an HD DVD-R disc or transfer HD images stored in HDD to an HD DVD-R disc. Like standard DVR, the new recorders allow users to build libraries of their favorite content, whether dramas, movies or sport, but add the ability to do so in vibrant, high definition detail, by storing HD content to HD DVD-R discs.

The versatility of the new VARDIA DVR extends to playback support for packaged content, including HD DVD, DVD and music CDs. An integrated high-performance 1080p compatible up-scaler from Anchor Bay Technologies, Inc., can up-convert standard definition DVD to an output resolution of 1080p, complementing the performance of an HDTV and allowing viewers to enjoy standard DVD in high picture quality.

Both DVR are compliant with the EU RoHS*2 directive on environmentally hazardous substances, which came into force in July 2006.


The growth of digital terrestrial broadcasting and increasing penetration of large screen, high definition TVs are spurring demand for the ability to record HD broadcasts and to enjoy the full potential of recorded HD content. Toshiba is launching RD-A600 and RD-A300 to meet consumer demand for HD DVD digital video recorders at affordable prices. By enhancing the VARDIA series with two new high-end DVR, the company aims to win a further share of the market for hard disc DVR.

Key Features of New Recorders

1. Support HD DVD for enhanced experience of HD picture quality
The integrated HD DVD recordable drive supports recording of HD television programs to HD DVD-R discs and playback of HD DVD content software. A dual-layer 30GB HD DVD-R DL disc can store nearly 4 hours of digital terrestrial broadcasts*3. This can be extended to as much as 4.5 hours, depending on the channel, by eliminating subordinate information from data broadcasts*4,5. Superb sound is also provided by support for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD 5.1ch and L-PCM 5.1ch. Surround sound can be decoded and output in L-PCM through HDMI output. Alongside superb image and sound recording and playback, the new recorders also support an extensive range of advanced features.*6

2. Support for double-recording of HD broadcasting program
By integrating digital tuners into two systems covering the full range of HD broadcasting sources—terrestrial, broadcast satellite (BS) and 110o communications satellite (CS)  broadcasts—the new VARDIA DVR can record two digital HD broadcasts simultaneously,    a must-have feature when viewers find that two programs that they want to record are on at the same time—even as they watch a third program. RD-A600 can store about 78 hours*1 of digital terrestrial broadcasts to its hard disk in HD picture quality, and RD-A300 about 39 hours*1.

3. Enhanced ease of use with new “VARDIA engine”
The new “VARDIA engine” significantly enhances the new recorders’ ease of use, achieving faster response times in displaying program guides and menu screens and in programming recording than present Toshiba’s digital video recorders. “VARDIA engine” introduces two new capabilities to double-recording*7: live chase play of a program as it is still being recorded; and playback and editing (chaptering, etc.) of other recorded programs while recording, for the first time in any Toshiba DVR. The new DVR offer improved speeds in loading HD DVD discs than the RD-A1, the first HD DVD recorder, and match the operability of HD DVD as HD-XF2, Toshiba’s latest HD DVD player.

4. Support for the up-conversion to 1080p in playback of current DVD

Support for the up-conversion to 1080p output is achieved through implementation of Anchor Bay Technologies, Inc.’s high performance scaler, which converts and displays 1080i broadcasts at 1080p. The scaler also enables conversion and playback of HD DVD and DVD content software and recorded image in DVD discs at 1080p*8.

5. “i.LINK Dubbing” of HD image between Toshiba recorders
Connection to other Toshiba DVR that support i.LINK allows HD content stored in the hard disk of the second recorder to be moved to a hard disk of the new recorders and stored on an HD DVD-R disc. This allows viewers to build an HD DVD library of HD images recorded in the past on a DVR with a standard DVD drive.

6. “Net de Server HD” for viewing via network
With the integrated feature of “Net de Server HD”, the new DVRs support network streaming of HD content stored in them, including copy restricted content, for viewing on Toshiba REGZA Z2000 series LCD TVs supporting DTCP-IP.

*1 Recording of digital terrestrial broadcasts at approx.17Mbps in TS mode.

*2 RoHS is a European Union environmental directive that eliminates the use of six hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

*3 Recording of digital terrestrial broadcasts at approx. 17Mbps.
*4 Recording of digital terrestrial broadcasts at approx. 17Mbps.
*5 A single-layer 15GB HD DVD-R disc can record as much as 2 hours and 15 minutes of digital terrestrial broadcasts by eliminating subordinate information from data broadcasts. (Recording time at approx. 17Mbps of transfer rate is around 1 hour and 55 minutes.)

*6 Updates to recorder firmware may be required for some interactive features, depending on content, which may also require an always-on broadband internet connection. Some features may require additional bandwidth. Some features subject to delayed availability.

*7 When both programs are recorded in TS mode.
*8 When connected with 1080p compatible HDTV through an HDMI output. Some content may not up-convert. Since up-conversion is from standard definition video, image quality may not match that of an original high-definition source.

RD-A600 and RD-A300 support AACS (Advanced Access Content System), the next generation content protection system.
An HDTV or HD display equipped with D3/D4 input, HDCP capable HDMI input, or component video input is required for high-definition viewing. Other TVs or displays can display content, but not in high definition. Also, some content may not playback or playback in lower resolution on equipment with D3/D4 and component video output.
HDMI and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks of HDMI Licensing, L.L.C.
HD DVD and DVD are trademarks of the DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation.
Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories. Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
DTS and TDS Digital Surround are registered trademarks of DTS, Inc.
i.LINK is a registered trademark of Sony Corporation.
Other company names and products names are the trademarks or registered trademarks of each company.
Service via the Internet may be subject to temporary cessation or termination without notice.
Some discs may not playback or record.
Some discs may be incompatible with playback and/or record.
Recording of audio and video is for personal use only, and unauthorized use is prohibited under the copyright laws.
While Toshiba has made every effort at the time of publication to ensure the accuracy of the information provided herein, product specifications are subject to change without notice.
Not all discs and output connectors are compatible and no guarantee of performance is made hereby.
Actual writing speed may decrease from the actual speed.
These digital AV products integrate diverse software. The hard disk and HD DVD drive are connected via an ATAPI interface, a PC-based connection standard, and both the hardware and software are managed via operating system software, like a PC. For this reason, it takes some time to load the system.
While designed to be robust, the hard disk contains moving parts, and may be damaged if proper conditions of use are not observed. If a part of the hard disk platter becomes damaged, programs recorded on that part may exhibit block noise with increasing frequency when played back. If you notice such noise or problem, you will have to replace the hard disk, at cost.
We do not recommend using the hard disk for long term storage of programs. Transfer important programs that you want to save to a recordable DVD disc. Recordable DVD discs are also susceptible to damage if not handled and stored carefully, and as a result some of all of the programs stored on them may become unplayable. Reduce these risks by using high quality DVD recordable discs and checking their playability from time to time. Recovery of programs deleted from the hard disk is not guaranteed.
Hard disk capacity is calculated on the basis of 1GB =1-billion bytes.


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