Sony to sell 500GB hard disk video recorder

A new Sony Corp. hard-disk based video recorder will go on sale in Japan in November, capable of recording for two weeks nonstop, the company said Tuesday.

The Cocoon CSV-EX11 uses a pair of 250G-byte hard disk drives to record up to 342 hours (over two weeks) of video in the lowest of three quality modes. Standard mode cuts this to 171 hours, while high quality mode reduces this further to a still-respectable 114 hours -- or just under five days.

There is no DVD drive built into the recorder but it is possible to link the machine via Ethernet to a Sony Vaio computer running the company's "Click to DVD" software. The PC can then be used to edit the video and record it onto a DVD disk, said Mina Naito, a spokeswoman for Sony. The system is not intended to be used with non-Sony PCs and requires the "Click to DVD" software.

In addition to analog video outputs the recorders also feature a D1 digital video output. Other features include support for an on-screen program guide and the ability to connect and control some models of satellite tuner.

The CSV-EX11 will go on sale on Nov. 1 in Japan at ¥160,000 (AUD$2,158). A version with a single 250G-byte hard disk drive, offering just under half the recording time at all quality modes, will go on sale at the same time, for ¥120,000.

It is almost exactly a year ago since Sony launched the first digital video recorder in the Cocoon range. Looking back at the first product shows just how far such technology has come in a year: the Cocoon CSV-E77 went on sale on Nov. 1 last year and included a 160G-byte hard disk drive for a price of ¥130,000.

Sony has no plans to sell either of the two new recorders outside of Japan, Naito said.

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Martyn Williams

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