Toshiba's HD DVD Recorder Debut Pushed Back Two Weeks

Toshiba Corp. said Thursday it will postpone the sale of the world's first HD DVD recorder because of a production delay.

The new recorder, the RD-A1, had been slated to go on sale July 14, but the release will be pushed back to July 27, the Tokyo-based electronics maker said in a release.

The delay is due to problems in securing some parts for the recorder, and Toshiba will not have enough units ready for a nationwide release until the later date, according to company spokesman Keisuke Omori.

The new machine combines an HD DVD burner with a one-terabyte hard disk and can record and store up to 130 hours of high-definition broadcasts.

The product is a key element of Toshiba's battle against rival Sony Corp. (SNE) to establish the standard for next-generation DVD technology. Sony and its allies are pushing an alternative technology called Blu-ray.

HD DVD players are already available, but the RD-A1 will be the first model that can record disks.

Toshiba has said the recorder will carry a suggested price tag of 398,000 yen (US$3,470; euro2,725). The electronics maker hopes to sell 10,000 recorders by the end of 2006, Omori said.

He said the company hadn't decided when the product will be launched overseas.

Sony has been selling Blu-ray recorders since 2003 in Japan, but prices have been high and uptake low.

Both HD DVD and Blu-ray can deliver dazzling high-definition video and can store much more data than today's DVDs, but are incompatible with each other.

Toshiba launched HD DVD players in Japan in March, and in the United States in April. Sony plans to begin selling personal computers equipped with Blu-ray drives later this month.