Despite being cracked open faster than an ice cold beverage on a hot day, it doesn't mean that the next generation optical formats are going to back down. Au contraire . In Japan, Sharp is rolling out the BD-HP1, a Blu-Ray drive that not only plays back high-def content, but can also record it.
You'll need single-layer BD-R/RE discs for it to do its job, but using those you'll get over two hours of 1080p video or 6 hours of standard definition content. Besides its recording tricks, it can play back DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW discs over HDMI, S-video or composite, with optical and coaxial digital audio and surround sound support.
Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, there's a catch. Recording is accomplished via the BD-HP1's FireWire ports (though they're using Sony's iLink moniker), and as such only seems to work with Sharp's own Aquos LCD TVs. Supposedly you can also use the FireWire connection to copy material from a hard drive to a Blu-Ray disk, though Sharp says you'll need one of their Aquos HD Recorders.
The BD-HP1 drops in Japan on March 20th, though no official price has yet been announced.
[via Engadget ]