Last month, Sharp announced the DX series of AQUOS LCD HDTVs for the Japanese market. The sets come in 26″ to 52″ sizes, but they all have one important detail in common; they all include a built-in Blu-ray DVD recorder.
Now, including standard DVD players in an LCD TV is fairly common these days. A built-in Blu-ray high definition player is less common. But including a Blu-ray HD DVD recorder is downright unique at this point. It’s an interesting strategy; people will want a DVD player of some sort with their TV, so this has that need covered. The big point is that there are not many choices for HD recorders. You can pay a subscription fee for a TiVo, or you can use recording features from your digital cable service, or you can roll your own high-def video recorder. Having one built into the TV set itself could be very convenient. I could not find out whether the drive can record on reusable media or not. If you can’t erase a disc after you’ve watched it, that would be not as appealing.
Sharp is only selling these models in Japan for now, and there is no word of when they may be marketed in the U.S. Given the slower uptake of Blu-ray in this country, it makes sense to see how they sell in Japan first.