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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Matsushita Prototypes Consumer Digital Recorder with HDD
  • October 8, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is developing a consumer digital recorder using a hard disk drive, a company spokesman told Nikkei Electronics.
    To find uses for the recorder, the major electric appliance manufacturer is developing two prototypes, which it introduced at Electronics Show 98 to be held in Osaka from Oct. 6-10.

    The prototypes are: (1) a digital TV broadcasting receiver with a recording function using a hard disk drive, and (2) a device connected by the IEEE 1394 interface to a digital video system camcorder.

    Both prototypes use a 12.7-GB 3.5-inch HDD, which is now commercially available. They are capable of recording about an hour of super density video data and about five hours of the MPEG2-based SDTV broadcasting.

    The former device can record MPEG2-based broadcasting data by a reservation method adopted for the Electronic Program Guide system. When users refer to a program history on the EPG, the device will automatically indicate the top of recorded programs with an animated icon. By selecting a specific program, they can have immediate access to the program and replay it.

    The latter device can replay recorded programs in specific ways by transferring picture data shot by the digital camcorder to a HDD. Such replay, for example, a maximum 32-times fast forward and very slow at one sixteenth the normal speed, is difficult with existing VTRs.

    Matsushita has also prototyped a settop box Media View. The device was designed in anticipation of being used when more than one digital recorder is used in one household.

    A kind of universal settop box, Media View can receive broadcasting satellite broadcasting, communications satellite broadcasting and terrestrial wave broadcasting. With multiple IEEE 1394 ports, it can link to another digital video VTR, D-VHS VTR or another HDD recorder.

    The most notable feature of the settop box is its user interface and software. It can be used for different broadcasting media and with different types of recorders because of its centralized control using an EPG screen.

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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    Updated: Wed Oct 7 18:05:59 1998 PDT