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JVC Unveils New SR-HD1500 and SR-HD1250 Blu-ray Recorders (Yes, RECORDERS!)

By Chris Chiarella

JVC Professional Products (a division of JVC U.S.A.) has announced two new Blu-ray disc/Hard Disk Drive (HDD) recorders, the SR-HD1500 and SR-HD1250, both of which combine a recording BD drive with an internal hard disk to simplify the process of duplication and disc authoring, without the need for a PC. Users can now author pro-quality BDMV discs with menus, or BDAV discs, while the onboard MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 H.264 encoding support both HD and SD sources. The decks work with either BD-R or BD-RE ("erasable") blank media. The built-in format converter can also downconvert HD content for recording to a standard DVD.

Before we allow visions of Blu-ray disc dubbing or HDTV recording dance in our heads, we should point out that safeguards (including the lack of an HDMI input) prevent the recording of copyrighted content, or even time-shifting of HDTV programs via broadcast or cable. The decks do however offer a variety of digital inputs, including USB and i.Link (firewire) ports plus an SDHC card slot to mate with a wide variety of camcorders, with composite and S-video ins as well, for legacy devices. Videos are transferred first onto the deck's hard drive, where they can be crafted into final form with the help of JVC's user interface and basic editing capabilities, then burned to Blu-ray.

The JVC SR-HD1250 Blu-ray/HDD recorder combo deck was the coolest thing I saw all morning...

...until I got a load of the even better-featured SR-HD1500.

The top-of-the-line SR-HD1500 offers a 500-gigabyte hard disk drive (double that of the SR-HD1250), supplies a RS-232 port for added control options, supports Final Cut Pro files (.MOV) and can create more elaborate disc menus. Available next month, the SR-HD1500 will carry a suggested retail price of $2,550, with the SR-HD1250 coming in at $1,995.

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