Toshiba D-R1 DVD Recorder

If Toshiba's D-R1 is any indication, consumers are in for a lot of fun with the coming generation of DVD recorders.

The company's "Super MultiDrive" machine is a combo hard-disk drive/DVD-RAM recorder, with simultaneous record/play capability, DVD-R and DVD-RW compatibility, and output options that include legacy video and progressive scan. Standard recording modes include long play (4.6Mbps) and standard play (2.2Mbps). Incoming video signals can be processed at rates varying from 1.4Mbps to 9.2Mbps in 2Mbps increments, at the user's discretion. As with TiVo and ReplayTV digital video recorders, simultaneous record/play is possible with the D-R1 using the machine's hard disk.

"Time Slip," as Toshiba calls this function, isn't possible recording onto DVD of any variety. The Super MultiDrive offers editing features not previously available on consumer gear, and comes with the Gemstar VCR+Plus programming system embedded. Features include RF input, composite and S-video inputs and outputs, an IEEE-1394 "FireWire" digital video jack for use with compatible camcorders, and high-definition component video outputs. Audio output options include a two-channel digital stream at 192Kbps or 384Kbps. Performance enhancements include "virtual surround sound," 10-second instant playback, and digital zoom.

Styled in black and silver, the Toshiba D-R1 is expected by company marketing execs to be mated primarily to high-def flat panel displays. Suggested retail price is $599.