Tokyo: Japan’s Hitachi said on 20 March it plans to sell the world’s first high-definition TVs with removable hard drives.
Users can expand high-definition recording capacity with the new hard drives and Hitachi hopes the feature will boost sales and keep steep price falls at bay, executives said.
Hitachi has promised to bring its flat TV business into the black in the January-March quarter.
Japan’s biggest electronics conglomerate will equip plasma TVs and liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs with 250-gigabyte internal hard drives and removable 80-GB or 160-GB drives starting on April 20 in Japan.
It hopes to market the TVs overseas in one to two years’ time.
The hard drives, called information versatile disks for removable usage, are programmed to prevent duplication of copyright high-definition material while allowing content to be transferred.
Hitachi is pricing the larger 160-GB removable drive at around 35,000 yen ($300) and the 80-GB hard drive at around 20,000 yen. The 160-GB drive can record 32 hours of programmes.
If prices fall in the future, the removable drive could eliminate the need for HD-DVD and Blu-ray DVDs for high-definition recording, but Hitachi will keep making DVD players, said Masanori Yoshino, general manager of Hitachi’s Planning and Marketing Division. “Hard drives are a very different medium from optical disks and we will study both,” he said.