Sony's new Vaio Type X media device was previewed several months back on Gizmo, most significantly because it offered a staggering 1 terabyte of storage for media capture, with high-image-quality recording and playback of digital high-definition broadcasts.
The Vaio Type X home server debuted recently at the CEATEC 2004 convention in Japan. For around US $5000 it offers an entire rolling digital media library at your fingertips. Equipped with the 1-terabyte hard disk, the Sony VAIO Type X performs as an "audiovisual recording server."
A terabyte, in case you don't know, is 2^40 = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes or 1024 gigabytes, so memory isn't an issue. And with the liberation of space comes a change in the viewing and usage patterns of Vaio customers that will transform the way they interact with their media and the medium itself.
The device can record six channels of terrestrial analog broadcasts simultaneously, and the dedicated recording disk has enough space for one week of viewing pleasure. It also has a "television time machine" viewing function, allowing users to watch programs that have been recorded. They can also use the remote control to go back in time and arrange programs by genre, as well as enter key words to find their desired shows.
Designed and available specifically for Japanese use, the Vaio Type X is a true home server with four 250 GB hard drives separated by partition, two for handling PC files and two for audiovisual media like recorded TV programs and music.
Files can be manually transferred from the PC to digital television function. Driven by the pressures of Japan's seven network television stations and low cable take up, the Vaio can record shows on all stations automatically, allowing users to simply delete what they don't want later.
A special user interface allows easy thumbnail identification and cataloguing of recorded material. Users can sift through the flood of recorded media for their relevant show, comparing programs recorded during the same time slot or enabling searching for a particular program by name. It also groups shows by categories - sports or children's programming,, for example - selected by the owner for greater control over viewing content
As the home becomes the battleground for media attention, devices like the Vaio help navigate the media tsunami and sort and digest the programs that you find. With such massive recording and storing capabilities about the only thing the Vaio Type X wont do for you is turn the tv off!