How much money have you got?

— 11:22 AM on August 10, 2000

Well, the first DVD recorder will soon be on store shelves; you can check out the details in this Wired article. Keep in mind this is a home theater component a la a VCR, not a DVD-R drive for your computer. Keep in mind as well that it costs a ton of money ($4,000 retail, with $35 blanks), actually uses DVD-RAM instead of DVD-R (meaning that the discs won't play in regular DVD players), and has a whole ton of other limitations.

For example, the box has only analog inputs, so any digital source you record has to first be converted to analog. Now obviously the movie industry won't allow any digital outputs on DVD players, because otherwise really really stupid people with an extra $4,000 laying around would copy $15 DVD's onto $35 blanks. But not even being able to record DSS channels digitally is somewhat of a disappointment given the price tag.

Quality is reported to be "better than a VCR" even in the longest play mode of four hours. Of course, for $4K it'd better be. There's a quote from the article that sums it up nicely: "I think four grand is a lot to spend unless you're compelled to be the first guy in your gated community to own one." At this point, the product appears to be targeted at people who would pay a $3,800 premium to be able to point at the thing while telling their neighbors "Look, it records on a disc!"

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