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Sharp's Aquos LCD TV with Blu-ray recorder inside

The company's integrated TV/Blu-ray Disc recorder will be available in Japan only.

Sharp Aquos Blu-ray recorder LCD TV
Sharp's Aquos TV will come with a Blu-ray recorder built in. Sharp

Sharp will make the first LCD TV with a Blu-ray Disc recorder built in.

The high-definition disc recorder will be wedged into the side of Aquos DX-series TVs. It will have dual digital tuners, allowing users to watch and record simultaneously on different channels. It will record using the encoding format MPEG4 H.264/AVC.

The TVs will be available in sizes ranging between 26 inches and 52 inches for the equivalent of $4,923 to $1,674.

The catch? They're only available in Japan for now, but Sharp is planning to sell it in the U.S. by the end of the year, according to PC World.. Whether it would find success stateside is a little murkier. While competitor Panasonic has already said it's bringing Blu-ray recorders to the U.S. by the first half of 2009, some other CE manufacturers aren't so sure.

Sony, the most high-profile backer of the Blu-ray format, has no immediate plans to bring Blu-ray recorders here. The general lack of interest in DVD recorders (compared with interest in DVD players) thus far, doesn't bode well for widespread interest in recording devices for a format that still hasn't totally caught on with average consumers.

Plus, it's unclear what you'd actually be able to do with a Blu-ray recorder here, as studios tend to be sensitive about how consumers manipulate and use their content.