Panasonic to sell Blu-ray recorder

Item comes in two models, both priced around $2,000

TOKYO — Matsushita will launch the first Blu-ray recorders on Nov. 15 in Japan.

In addition to recording high-def images from TV and copying them to discs, users will be able to play pre-recorded Blu-ray discs.

The recorders will come in two models: the 500 GB hard-drive recorder will be able to store 63 hours of content and costs $2,564; the 200 GB drive model costs $2,051.

Initial production will be 3,000 units a month for each model.

Matsushita has not yet decided when to begin sales of the recorders abroad under its Panasonic brand.

Rival Toshiba launched an HD DVD player in July.

Sony, the leader of the Blu-ray camp, plans to begin selling its own Blu-ray recorder by the end of the year.

The local market for recorders is not expected to take off until prices fall to around $1,000.

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