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Sharp Plans Replay, DVD-R Decks

Sharp announced here that it plans to market both a Replay hard-disc recording device and a DVD recorder based on Pioneer’s DVD-RW recordable disc format.

Both products are expected in the U.S. later in the year, Sharp said. The DVD-RW recorder will first appear in the Japan market this spring at an expected retail price of $2,200 U.S. for the deck and between $30-$35 for blank media. Pricing for the United States has not been determined, but it is hoped to be ready for introduction in the third quarter.

The deck is said to record video with 32-step resolution increments. Each DVD-RW disc will hold between one to six hours of full-motion video and sound, depending on the resolution setting.

It will include component, S-video and composite video outputs but will not offer a digital interface in the first generation.

The Replay hard drive recorder will offer a 28GB hard drive capable of caching up to 20 hours of video content. Replay provides a subscription-free electronic program guide service that viewers can use to select the programs they wish the device to record.

Sharp representatives said they will initially offer a Replay-supplied set-top recorder carrying the Sharp brand. It will be available to the vendor’s broad distribution network.

Panasonic is expected to be the first major CE brand to supply Replay recorders. The device will ship soon at a price to be announced later.