October 3, 2006 5:17 AM PDT

Japan says no to Blu-ray, HD DVD recorders for U.S.

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MAKUHARI, Japan--Blu-ray manufacturers and supporters of HD DVD high-definition DVD technology don't see eye to eye on a lot of issues, but there is one thing that they agree on: They don't want to sell high-definition recorders in the United States.

This week at Ceatec, a high-tech trade fair near Tokyo, Sony and Panasonic announced Blu-ray players that can also record shows.

Toshiba, the leader of the competing HD DVD camp, also showed off its home player-recorder. These devices will be sold only in Japan for now. All three companies said they don't have current plans to bring these products to the states.

Why? History is one reason. "In Japan, 80 (percent) to 90 percent of the demand for DVD players is for player-recorders," said Keisuke Ohmori, group manager of the international media relations group at Toshiba. The figure is a lot lower in the United States.

"In the U.S.A., you record on TiVo," he added.

Digital broadcasting is also catching on rapidly here. The country will be fully converted to digital broadcasting by 2011, later than in the U.S., but the popularity of the format is growing rapidly. Broadcasters have launched discussions to move the date forward, Ohmori said.

Broadcasting companies in Japan also started showing an ad on TV a few months ago, in which a popular singer croons a song about July 24, 2011, the official deadline for the conversion to digital, he added. The ad has generated interest among younger consumers.

Representatives from Sony and Panasonic echoed the notion that digital broadcasting is becoming more prevalent in Japan than in other parts of the world.

The high prices for these devices also militate against a worldwide launch in the near future. Panasonic's BW 200 and BW 100 Blu-ray recorders sell for 300,000 yen and 240,000 yen, respectively. That's about $2,500 and $2,200. Sony's player sells in the same price range.

Toshiba's player sells for 398,000 yen ($3,375), though HD players use less-expensive components. Ohmori, however, said that's because Toshiba puts 1 terabyte of hard-drive storage in its player-recorder. The drive on the most expensive Panasonic unit is half the size, at 500GB.

High-definition video gobbles up a lot of hard-drive space. A dual-layer Blu-ray disk with 50GB on it can hold six hours of HD video, a Panansonic representative said.

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yen, Japan, broadcasting, HD-DVD, Blu-ray

32 comments

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Clarification
"A dual-layer Blu-ray disk with 50MB on it can hold six hours of HD video, a Panansonic representative said."

They really mean 50 GB :)
Posted by AuriRahimzadeh (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Typo fixed
Thanks for catching that.
Posted by Jon Skillings (249 comments )
Link Flag
DirecTV HD DVR
Will these Blue Ray recorders......record saved programs from my HD-250 DVR I have from DirecTV?
Posted by JEFFDUBE2 (7 comments )
Link Flag
The bottom line
Even though price is a factor, I'm not alone in staying away from either player or recorder until there's either one format or one unit implementing both formats.

Period.
Posted by JRosner (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't want to?
I don't understand the article very well. It seems like it's talking about High Defintion Hard Disk recorders and not Blu-Ray or HD DVD optical disc recorders.

Why wouldn't the japanese manufacturers want to sell Blu-Ray or HD DVD optical disc recorders outside Japan?

Or is it saying that they don't see the NEED to sell or not WANT to sell HD HD recorders outside of Japan because TiVo has captured the American marketplace?

What about the rest of the world that has adopted Digital tv broadcasts? They aren't ever going to sell HDHD recorders or even Blu Ray or HD DVD recorders?

This article has confused me...
Posted by Kiyomizu (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My Mistake
Hard Disk is Hard Drive, my apologies.

Kiyo.
Posted by Kiyomizu (30 comments )
Link Flag
Understanding the issues
Ok, let me see if I understand this article. Does this mean Blu-ray is dead in the USA as far as Sony and Panasonic are concerned? Why would they be afraid to compete with TiVo? So, does this make an American consumers choice an easy one as only HD-DVD will be coming to our shores? Personally, I believe because two formats of HD media are emerging this slows the acceptance of High Definition as people like me can not afford to pick the wrong format. We hold off, sometime for years, before we see a dominant player we can trust will be around. Im old enough to remember the eight track days and a similar fight.
Posted by racassano (3 comments )
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Confused Writer
I think the CNET staff writer at CEATEC got confused with the technology.

If I get the article straight, japanese people prefer to buy hard drive DVD recordable players and not hard driveless DVD recordable players.

I think Blu Ray and HD DVD manufacturers WILL sell recordable BR and HDDVD players in the US and the rest of the world. Just that in Japan, these players will come with Hard Drives too.

So, japanese manufacturers don't want to sell Hard DRive included BR and HD DVD players to the rest of the world.

I guess this is what the article tried to convey but messed up trying to get the point across in a simple and effective manner.

To the writer of the goofed up article: Go out and have some sake, eat yakitori and mingle with the japanese crowd outside the hotel. The night is young still.
Posted by Kiyomizu (30 comments )
Link Flag
USA and Canada are slower adopters than the rest of Asia
I guess the rationale for this is that Japan thinks USA/Canada are slower adopters for high tech nowadays. Just look at the cellphone industry, if you visit Asia, you'll see hundreds of diff brands of high tech phones, while people here are still grappling with the concept of camera phones. Even SMS hasn't taken off here, while in Asia you'll see hundreds of people on the street typing madly at their phones sending SMS messages worldwide. In Japan, HDTV has been prevalent there since the 1990s, while the US is just currently shifting to it (slowly if I may add).
Posted by roland827 (36 comments )
Link Flag
Confused Writer
I think the CNET staff writer at CEATEC got confused with the technology.

If I get the article straight, japanese people prefer to buy hard drive DVD recordable players and not hard driveless DVD recordable players.

I think Blu Ray and HD DVD manufacturers WILL sell recordable BR and HDDVD players in the US and the rest of the world. Just that in Japan, these players will come with Hard Drives too.

So, japanese manufacturers don't want to sell Hard DRive included BR and HD DVD players to the rest of the world.

I guess this is what the article tried to convey but messed up trying to get the point across in a simple and effective manner.

To the writer of the goofed up article: Go out and have some sake, eat yakitori and mingle with the japanese crowd outside the hotel. The night is young still.
Posted by Kiyomizu (30 comments )
Link Flag
I don't get their rationale
I don't have any interest in owning either format of high definition DVD PLAYER. I've seen the quality demonstrated at our local Futureshop and although it is superb,I'm not about to get suckered into buying a bunch of expensive HD movies that I will probably never watch again (I'm a slow learner but my experiences with VHS, Laserdisk, and DVDs is finally getting through to me).

On the other hand, to be able to RECORD HD television broadcasts in HD for repeated viewing is something that I have looked forward to since the 2 high definition DVD formats were first announced.

Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed by the announcement. I hope that at least one of the manufacturers gets off the glue soon. I believe they are missing a great marketing opportunity.
Posted by mac54 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't worry, China will save the day
Why worry? If Japan doesn't do it for US/Canada, then we'll still have cheaper HD-DVD or Blu Ray from good ol china... And since they're going to knock off the Japanese recorders anyway, I'll settle for the cheap knock offs with the names Astar, Apex, Benq, etc...

And by then Japan would've realized that they're coming in too late, since the no-name chinese brands have already had their foothold...
Posted by roland827 (36 comments )
Link Flag
Now we see true effect of DMCA.
It is not because of the small market in the US.
It is because of the Japanese Movie Makers (Sony) and the MPAA not wanting the US to pirate it's movies. Again, advantage: China.

I am not buying HD-DVD or BluRay readers or writers from Japan, ever. I used to be an early adopter with no conscience. No more.
Posted by TurboniumOxide (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
You nailed it.
If you read between the lines, this really says "We don't want to **** off the American MPAA with our recordable BR/HD-DVD unit and wind up in American court for EONS."

I swear America is it's own worst enemy. We stifle our own economy.
Posted by Axiomatic13 (24 comments )
Link Flag
Agreed
I was thinking the same thing. Thanks, DMCA! Oh, & a special thanks to our government who put it in place.
Posted by M A (51 comments )
Link Flag
Build our own?
Perhaps the answer is to build our own, since Sony does intend to sell Blu-ray Disc rewritable drives for PCs.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.emedialive.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=11910" target="_newWindow">http://www.emedialive.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=11910</a>
Posted by C.Schroeder (126 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They Better Not Wait Too Long
They better not wait too long: The availability of DVRs (eg, TiVo's), Windows Media/Vista PCs with monster hard drives, and broadband delivery of HD movies on demand (for saving to those DVRs and TiVos) is going to kill off the HD DVD/Blu-Ray markets.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wheres the market ?!
All jobs are in india so now US's buying power is sufferring. No new tech sells here fast anymore...

Hey, send those reocrders to india, they will buy. After all its a global market place - right ?
Posted by andy_23 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
so ture...
you are right on this one! Some of the technologies are adopted faster in Asian countries, including India as compared to US. Look at cell phones, mp3 players and other gadgets. US might be a much bigger market, but it is slow to adapt new technology.
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Why worry? Blu-Ray will fail anyway.
Blu-Ray will be the NEW BetaMax of the DVD world. The players will cost more the discs will cost more. It is a basic recipe for failure.

HD/DVD will win this war.
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
VHS was actually the Blu Ray
VHS was bigger costly and inferior to Beta Max in every way. What does that say about Blu Ray?
Posted by Mikeybabes (181 comments )
Link Flag
Capacity
Capacity is lower on HD-DVD. 'Nuff said.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
No way!
So far Blu-Ray have better support, HD DVD less.
It apears that HD DVD ia more like Betamax :D
Posted by DaveBG (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just get one from amazon.jp
Remember that both Japan and the US are in Blue-Ray region 1. If you want a Blue-Ray recorder just get one from amazon.jp. I think I will.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I Saw Blu-Ray At Best Buy
I was surprized and confused to read that Blu-Ray recorders would not be available in the U.S. I just saw one at a Best Buy in Iowa this weekend. A stack of 25GB recordable disks sat there right beside it. It was a Sony brand.
Posted by Psyclone (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Standalone or PC?
I have seen the drives for PCs available in the US, but I have yet to see a standalone recorder. The standalone ones are what the article is referring to.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
DirecTV HD DVR
Will it copy programs to Blue Ray Recorders discs?
Posted by JEFFDUBE2 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I don't agree that people in the U.S won't buy up HD HDD blue ray recorders. I am in the US and I have 4 DVD HDD recorders. I have also had just about every one of my friends buy a HDD recorder. VHS is dead, DVD recorders don't record for our needs and TIVO is a rip off. The demand is great for these things. People like TIVO only because that is the only option they think they have. If they can buy a unit and not have to pay a fee who wouldn't do it. The only draw back to our DVD HDD recorders is they do not record in HD and have no program guide but my friends still cancel their TIVO. Wake up Sony and LG! I love the unit LG has in Australia that can take multiple HDD's and easily swap them out. Come on, that is what we want in the US! Get BestBuy on board or advertise and it will sell. I alone have sold tons of the only remaining DVD HDD recorders for magnavox by telling people where they can buy them (Walmart.com). The US wants its HD-HDD, who doesn't have 1-5 HD TV's in their home these days. Heck the monitor for my PC is a 22" HDTV.
Posted by dgaustad (1 comment )
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