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Toshiba Corp., the main driving force behind the HD DVD hardware, unveiled on Friday the world’s first HD DVD recorder for desktop personal computers. The company hopes that by releasing the device it will make the emerging format more popular among personal computer (PC) users.

.“HD DVD adoption is growing rapidly in all applications – from gaming to A/V editing. With its remarkable resolution, higher storage capacity and interactive offerings, HD DVD brings a superior media experience to consumers. Toshiba’s new writer will greatly transform current PC offerings,” said Scott Maccabe, vice president and general manager, Toshiba storage device division.

The Toshiba SD-H903A drive can playback, read, record and re-write DVDs (8x speed for DVD±R, 4x for DVD±RW, 2.4x for DVD±R DL) as well as playback, read and record single- and dual-layer HD DVDs (at up to 1x), HD DVD ROM discs (at up to 2.4x) it also can playback and burn CDs (24x CD-R and 16x CD-RW). The drive has a 8MB buffer to ensure there is no data interruption. It is remarkable that the drive uses modern Serial ATA interface, which is found in the absolute majority of new PCs shipped today.

Toshiba will feature the new drive at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2007, in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 8 to 11, at the Toshiba booth and the HD DVD promotion group booth.

Sample shipments of the new drive, SD-H903A, are scheduled to start this month. Volume shipments of the SD-H903A are scheduled to start in February. It is unclear whether the drive will actually be available in retail, or will be only sold to system manufacturers.

Back in 2006 Toshiba demonstrated an array of its HD DVD devices for personal computers, including SD-T913A HD DVD burner for mobile computers with slot loading, SD-U913A and SD-L902 9.3mm and 12.7mm thick HD DVD recorders for notebooks with tray loading, SD-H902A HD DVD burner for desktop computers as well as USB 2.0 HD DVD recorder that can be plugged to any PC.

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