Blu-ray burners are shipping today from a host of companies, and more are coming soon. In comparison, the HD DVD realm has been a silent wasteland, with no PC burner in sight, and no word on when we might see one. Until now.
The first whispers of HD DVD burning surfaced this summer at the Computex trade show in Taipei, where Toshiba demonstrated a slim-line HD DVD writer for notebook PCs. The company declined to announce a ship date for the product at the event, although media manufacturers such as Imation, RitekUSA, and Verbatim announced impending media availability at that time.
Later in June, Toshiba introduced the first HD DVD recorder for the living room: the $3600 RD-A1, also the first high-def-capable disc recorder to support the Advanced Access Content System (AACS, required for playing back Hollywood movies). However, that model--like the already-shipping (but non-AACS-compatible) Blu-ray Disc recorders from Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony--was designated for sale only in Japan.