New PVR Sets Storage Benchmark

Sony are releasing a new personal video recorder in Japan with enough disk space to store more than two weeks of video at its lowest quality setting.

Going on sale in Japan only, the $1400 personal video recorder doesn’t feature a DVD drive, but can be connected via Ethernet to the Vaio PC range, using “Sony’s Click To DVD” software.

Users can edit the footage stored on the PVR and then make their own DVDs, or store programmes off line permanently.

The EX11 has three quality setting which equate to High Quality (114 hours, 9Mbps), Standard (171 hours, 6Mbps) and Extended Play (3Mbps). The recorder makes use of an EPG for automatic recording and is equipped with two tuners and two MPEG2 encoders, allowing users to record two programmes simultaneously. Also useful is the inclusion of a memory stick slot for displaying photographs.

The PVR features two analogue and one D1 digital video output. Interestingly, Sony have chose Linux as the PVR’s OS. This seems to be increasingly common on this type of platform – TiVo recorders use an older Linux kernel.

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?