CES 2006: Toshiba launches disk-drive camcorders with large storage capacity and 'media-free' functionality

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January 6, 2005 Toshiba has announced the introduction of the gigashot digital camcorders. Part of the company's gigastyle family of products, gigashot camcorders, like the gigabeat digital audio players, are hard drive based models. With large capacity (30 GB or 60 GB) hard drives built in, the cameras offer 'media-free' functionality and massive storage capability - for example, up to 13 hours of high quality 9.6 Mbps recording is possible using the 60GB model at its highest quality setting. The gigashot camcorders combine a high quality video camera with a still camera, all-in-one easy to use package. With the capability of snapping digital photos while continuing to shoot video, gigashot makes it exceedingly simple to catch those special moments in either still images or video.

Both gigashot models use MPEG-2 video encoding for all video recordings. What this means to the consumer is extremely high quality video recording every time and the ability to burn to DVD quickly and easily without any reduction in resolution caused by the conversion of video formats. Consumers can select from different bit rates (or quality settings) to suit their needs. For example, up to 13 hours of high quality 9.6 Mbps recording is possible using the 60GB GSC-R60 at its highest quality setting. In addition, if the consumer needs more recording time at a still high quality video level (6 Mbps), up to 20 hours is possible (10 hours with the 30GB GSC-R30). With as much as up to 55 hours of recording time, there is never any need to buy additional media.

The new Toshiba GSC-R30 (30 GB) and GSC-R60 (60 GB) models feature built in 1.8" hard disk drives, a 2.5" diagonally measured LCD screen (210k pixels) and a 2 Mega Pixel color CCD Sensor. Both models also come with an SD memory card slot. In addition, both models offer an electronic image stabilizer to correct hand movement while filming and a gravity sensor for protection in case the camcorder unexpectedly falls to the ground. The GSC-R60 comes with a docking cradle that includes a USB port, Ethernet connectivity, an AC adaptor and an A/V output.

gigashot enhances transfer of content by including USB 2.0 and Ethernet /S-Video/AV interfaces. Users can transfer content to their PC and selected Toshiba DVD recorders for playback and editing purposes and in turn can save the content onto a hard disk drive or burn it on a DVD.

Toshiba's gigashot includes AC/DSEE and PowerProducer software, so there is no need to buy additional software. The bundled software allows instant recognition of the camera, still image editing, video editing, DVD authoring and burning. It even offers a 3 button "burn to DVD" option for the ultimate in simplicity.

Both models are expected to be available in stores next month (February) with pricing set at $US799 for the GSC-R30 and US$999 for the GSC-R60.

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