Sony, Gemstar team up on DVD technology

Cyberbiz Brief

Sony will use Gemstar’s interactive program guide in its new Blu-Ray recordable DVD receiver, creating a TiVo-like capability with considerably more flexibility to take recorded programs and watch them on other devices.

The BDZ-S77 is Sony’s first device with the high-capacity Blu-Ray technology, which uses a different kind of laser and other advancements to cram up to 50 gigabytes of information on a recordable DVD-like optical disc.

The various versions of recordable DVDs now available in the United States can hold about a 10th as much information as Blu-Ray discs. As a result, such discs are inadequate for recording high-definition TV programming, a big deal in Japan where as many as seven channels are now broadcasting full schedules in HD.

Sony and eight other big consumer-electronics companies developed the Blu-Ray format to meet that need, though many of the companies have no plans to introduce Blu-Ray equipment in the United States because of studio opposition over piracy concerns. Nonetheless, by incorporating the Gemstar guide into its device, Sony means to simplify the process of recording TV shows from both terrestrial and satellite broadcasters. The BDZ-S77 debuts in April in Japan.

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