Blu-ray set-top recorders, and DVD recorders for that matter, have never really caught on in the States. Most users here seem satisfied with hard-drive based recorders and don’t want to deal with a portable media. Japan AV-types scoop up these recorders though, and Panasonic is launching four new models aimed right at their home turf. We aren’t going to dive in, and run through specs of player/recorders that will more than likely won’t hit our shores, but the VHS-to-Blu-ray caught our attention. (alright, specs and pics of the three of models available after the break)
Priced at an impressive 160,000 yen ($1,457 US), the DMR-BR630V takes those vintage VHS tapes and dubbes ‘em onto Blu-ray. We don’t know how big of a market there is for such device, but it might do an alright job upconverting those old tapes thanks to an onboard second generation MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 encoder. Throw in a 320 GB drive along with an impressive BD-live enabled Blu-ray player, and this seems like a great all-in-one platform. Still, no word on US availability, but if you’re Japanese is up to snuff, you can pick up any of these four units in September over there.