Sony armada of Blu-ray recorders with everything on

Something for everyone as BD matures to offer options

Sony BD

Blu-ray decks are so thick on the ground these days, it's almost futile to bother looking at every one of the newcomers, but Sony Japan's new fleet of BD machines offers some useful pointers as to what we can expect in the West soon.

The range of six BD recorders starts at ¥110,000 (£570) for the BDZ-T55 model and runs up to ¥280,000 (£1,450) for the high-end BDZ-X100 – all have hard drives and support BD-Live, but it's the little tweaks that intrigue.

Small variations

The 320GB T55 kicks the range off with a still relatively large 320GB hard drive for everyday storage of recorded broadcasts that you won't want to bother the BD drive with.

Where it differs – and why it's cheaper – is that it has fewer ports slapped on its backside. In this case, there's just one HDMI socket and no USB option.

When can you find the time?

Moving past the mid-range L-series machines, which differ mainly in including Japanese-language photo-enhancement software, the top-of-the-range X100 has a 1TB hard drive that is good for an incredible 999 hours of video, albeit at the lowest quality setting.

Otherwise, there are myriad small differences between models over things like support for camcorder-to-disk dubbing, slots for memory cards and remote control by mobile phone (really).

Things to come

Even if you don't read Japanese, a glance at the feature table provided by Sony shows a vast range of options.

In other words, expect to be doing some serious head-scratching when you finally decide to pick up a Blu-ray player at a shop near you.