Straight from Ceatec, C|Net is reporting that the next gen recorders using that fancy blue laser are not coming to the United States anytime soon. Although I find it very hard to believe, it is backed up with a common sense comment from a Toshiba marketing manager: In the US they like to capture shows on a TiVo!
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.
You dang right we do! The companies also let it slip that the price tag for these puppies is a little high for an immediate world-wide roll out, and I tend to agree. The C|Net article quotes some yen figures that [they] have run through a currency converter, indicating prices in Japan: Panasonic’s BW 200 and BW 100 Blu-ray recorders will run about $2,500 and $2,200. Sony’s player sells in the same price range. And these are the bargains! The Toshiba, that also sports a terabyte hard disc drive will set you back $3,375. Don’t put your wallet away yet, did I mention you need a darn big 1080p display to really justify owning one of these things? That’s another $4,000 thousand or so.
Having said that, this is still an amazing comment to read, a lack of a desire to market in the US, but seeing is believing. Of course, things could change. In the meantime, I will capture all my 720p and 1080i HD programming on my $200 Dish Network 100 hour HDMI DVR that will arrive on Thursday. So, I guess they know what they are talking about.