Sharp AQUOS shows Blu-ray DVR
A relatively new trend in home entertainment is the complete digital entertainment hub. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 both portend to fulfill this end with the future inclusion of cable TV tuners, creating a single box where you can play video games, watch movies, download video and audio, and even watch and record live TV. What we’re also beginning to see are devices without video gaming in mind to fulfill this niche.
Enter the Sharp AQUOS BD-HDWXX (from Akihabara). This set top box features a Blu-ray player (presumably BD1.1), digital and analog TV tuners and a hard drive. There are three models with different sized hard drives; BD-HDW22 at 250GB, BD-HDW25 at 500GB and BD-HDW30 at 1TB sizes.
Details are still slim, but it looks to me that this is a Japan-specific device. It doesn’t say if you can copy recorded content to Blu-ray, but in the land of the rising sun that’s an important feature so I’m sure they’re working with content providers on that.
My prediction is that we’ll see more devices like this coming stateside at CEDIA Expo in September but with the inclusion of Tru2Way CableCARD slots and DLNA ethernet support. It’s true the same functionality is available with Media Center products, but a lot of people are still worried about the Windows operating system on those. The Media Centers also feature a lot of functionality most people will never need or use, like home automation. And they’re still worried they’ll have to reboot their house.