Sony have launched their latest convergent device onto the Japanese market – a digital media centre for the home with huge storage and potential. The Vaio Type X is essentially a PC with four 250Gb hard drives and seven television tuners in it, though “only” 500Gb is available for PVR functions. This means that lucky Japanese owners can record everything that’s broadcast on the country’s seven network stations all week, and then just delete the shows they’re not interested in. This brings timeshifting television into an entirely different phase with consumers selecting what they don’t want to watch, rather than what they do want.
Recorded programmes are presented in a thumbnail view, so that users can visually select what they want to watch – Sony call this the Time Machine View, and content can be sorted in a number for ways, chronologically or by genre for example.
The Vaio Type X has two tuner cards with three analogue tuners each – plus an integrated tuner on the main board itself. A digital tuner is an optional extra.
The other 500Gb is for the PC part of the Vaio X, based around a 3.6Ghz P4 with 1 gig of RAM and an ATI Radeon X600XT video card.
Sadly, Sony have no plans to market the Vaio X outside Japan, so we will have to wait to see what they have planned for the international market.