Are There Blu-ray Disc Recorders?

JVC SR-HD1700US and SR-HD1350US Blu-ray Disc Recorders
JVC Americas Corp., division of JVCKenwood Corporation
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The Blu-ray format provides consumers with access to high definition quality video (and audio) in a disc-based format that is suitable for a home theater experience.

However, when Blu-ray technology specifications were developed, it was insured that in addition to playback, that it provided the ability to record.

The Blu-ray Disc Format Supports Both Playback and Recording - But....

Unfortunately, although Blu-ray supports high definition video recording, and Blu-ray Disc recorders are marketed and sold in Japan, and other select markets, there are no current plans (as recently as 2017 and into the foreseeable future) to market stand-alone Blu-ray Disc recorders in the U.S market for consumers.

Why There Are No Consumer Blu-ray Recorders In The U.S.

The are two main reasons why there are no consumer Blu-ray Disc recorders in the U.S.

One reason is mostly a business decision that involves the wide popularity of TIVO and Cable/Satellite DVRs in the U.S., along with the new conveniences, such as internet streaming, which manufacturers feel would affect the competitive success of Blu-ray Disc recorders.

However, the second reason is far more sinister: copy-protection. U.S. TV broadcasters, Cable/Satellite providers, and movie studios have always be paranoid (with some justification) about video piracy.

Allowing consumers to have the ability to record high-definition content onto a physical disc format would make it easier to make unauthorized permanent copies that look very close to the original source and either pass them around, or even sell them. This possibility, from a business standpoint, has the potential to decrease sales of the same content on commercial Blu-ray Disc or reduce cable/satellite subscriptions.

However, the broadcasters and movie studios have thrown consumers a bone by allowing the recording of high-definition content on cable/satellite, and over-the-air DVRs, which solves the problem of permanent storage, because as a DVR hard drive fills up, some, or all, recordings need to be deleted in order to make space for new recordings.

Unfortunately, consumers cannot make high definition copies that stored content onto a DVD or Blu-ray disc due to a special layer of copy-protection that allows the content to be recorded on the DVR, but not copied to a disc format.

The powers-that-be have even restricted the ability of consumers to record their content onto DVD, which isn't a high definition format.

This has resulted in increased use of copy-protection signals imbedded in cable/satellite, and even some broadcast TV programming that prevent recording to disc-based formats, such as DVD or Blu-ray.

What Types Of Blu-ray Disc Recorders Are Available

The only exception in the U.S. market is a line "prosumer" Blu-ray Disc recorders introduced and manufactured by JVC, followed by another one offered by Teac's professional division: TASCAM.

In addition, Sony introduced its DVDirect VBD-MA1 (which has since been discontinued - but you may still be able to buy it used).

However, these units do not have RF connections paired with onboard HD TV tuners, and do not have either component (red, green, blue) or HDMI inputs for recording high definition TV, cable, or satellite content.

However, if you desire high definition video recording on disc, with some limitations, you can buy Blu-ray Disc Writers to install in your PC or purchase a PC or Laptop with Blu-ray recording capability built-in.

Also, if you are a consumer residing in North America, and you are still interested in purchasing a professional or "prosumer" Blu-ray Disc recorder, knowing that the ones available for the North American market do not have built-in HDTV tuners, HDMI, or HD-enabled component video inputs for recording high definition broadcast, cable, or satellite programming. Listed below are your choices as of 2017 - Look over their official product pages carefully before committing to a final purchase decision (click on the model numbers for the details):

  • JVC SR-HD1350US
  • JVC SR-HD1700US
  • JVC SR-HD2700US. This Blu-ray Disc recorder does feature an HDMI input. However, it cannot be used to record from HD Cable/Satellite boxes or Blu-ray Disc players due to the presence of HDCP copy-protection. In other words, the HDMI input can only be used to record from non-copy-protected sources, such as portable or studio HD camcorders or video cameras.

Blu-ray Disc Recording Formats

The two types of Blu-ray Recording formats are:

  • BD-R: A record-once only format disc, similar in concept as a DVD-R, DVD+R, or CD-R disc.
  • BD-RE: A re-writable format disc that can be erased, edited, and re-used multiple times, similar in concept to DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, or CD-RW disc.

Also, most, if not all, Blu-ray recorders released so far also record in one or more of the current standard DVD recording formats, such as DVD-R/-RW or DVD+R/+RW.

Additional Factors To Take Into Consideration

One important point to remember is that Blu-ray discs you make yourself can only be played on a Blu-ray Disc player or recorder.

Also keep in mind that even if you copying a VHS tape onto a Blu-ray disc, the recording result will still look like VHS. A Blu-ray Disc recorder will not magically make everything Blu-ray Disc quality. The same goes for copies of DVDs, the result will still look like DVD. Of course, in both cases the same copy-protection rules apply as they do for DVD recorders - you can only make copies of home recorded VHS tapes and DVDs - you cannot make copies of most commercial VHS tapes or DVD movies.

Information about further availability and capabilities of Blu-ray Disc recorders will be added to this page as it becomes available.