Toshiba delays HD DVD-based DV-R in Japan

Posted by Scott M. Fulton, III

Tokyo (Japan) - Reuters is reporting that Toshiba has delayed the introduction of its HD DVD-based high-definition video recorder, the RD-A1 - originally scheduled for tomorrow - to the Japanese market, by about two weeks. The reason, the company says, is to allow inventory to build up, since procurement has run at a slower rate than expected.

Toshiba RD-A1 profile

Toshiba's RD-A1 high-definition video recorder, which is having a harder-than-anticipated time emerging from its factories.

The DV-R had been announced at a press conference just last 26 June. It features a 1 TB (that is indeed a "T") hard disk, which promises to store up to 130 hours of HD content. Stored programs can then be burned to a dual-layer HD DVD which will hold up to 230 minutes. But more curious still is Toshiba's promise that the RD-A1 will support full 1080p (progressive scan) resolution, which is a feature that American users of Toshiba's first wave of HD DVD players have yet to experience. The first wave of HD DVD movie discs have been encoded with 1080i (interlaced) resolution, although many videophiles report noticing few, if any, visible differences.

It does raise the point, however, of whether technological factors are to account for the delay. No, says Toshiba, simply the company's inability to produce machines at the anticipated rate. This brief, but noteworthy, delay could be the first indication that reports of possible shortages in the supply of blue-laser diodes may be accurate.