As DVD-R drives have become more readily available in the U.S. several software solutions have popped up for recording digital video to DVD from digital video cameras, memory sticks and other digital sources. None of these solutions provided a convenient way to record television broadcast – until now.
This Thursday, Sony Electronics Corporation unveiled its newest PC Vaio desktop that includes a DVD drive and TV tuner along with built-in recording technology. Similar to Microsoft’s UltimateTV or the TiVo systems, Sony’s Digital Studio software allows the user to record broadcast directly to a hard drive for later viewing. Unlike these other systems however, the Sony system allows users to burn the information directly to a DVD-R disc which can then be played back in any DVD-ROM or standard DVD player. For viewers using digital cable or digital satellite setups as their television inputs, this system will allow allow them to record television programs at near DVD quality on a permanent storage device.
Similar to its existing multimedia oriented Vaio setups, Sony’s Vaio Digital Studio PC, model number PCV-RX490TV, runs Microsoft Windows ME, and also includes Sony’s MovieShaker, DVGate, Media Bar, OpenMG Jukebox, PictureGear, Smart Capture and VisualFlow multimedia software. Priced at about $2,600 and due in June, the Digital Studio PC uses a 1.7GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor and has an 80GB hard drive.