Sharp's bargain Blu-ray is missing a bit

How do you make a 25GB BD-RE disc-swallowing Blu-ray recorder for not much dough? Just leave out one or two standard ingredients, that's how.It looks

How do you make a 25GB BD-RE disc-swallowing Blu-ray recorder for not much dough? Just leave out one or two standard ingredients, that's how.It looks like a BD recorder and acts like a BD recorder, but this BD-HP1 costs only slightly more than a lo-def DVD burner would have set you back a few years ago.So what's the catch? Well, Sharp's gone and left out the TV tuner. So instead of quietly recording programmes itself, the bargain box borrows the tuner inside your TV to catch its weekly dose of Skins.It hooks up to the telly via iLink (read Firewire), which can activate the tuner without needing to turn the whole TV on. Nice.Sadly Sharp's only tested it with its own Aquos sets so if you own anything else you might find yourself having to invest in a new plasma just to get it all working. Oh, and once you do, you won't be able to record one show and watch another at the same time.If all that hasn't put you off, a European version of the Japan-only BD-HP1 will be out later in the year.

Essentials

Sharp BD-HP1 Price: £TBA (¥150,000 in Japan) On sale: TBA (20 March in Japan) Contact: Sharp Related stories: The first Blu-Ray player and recorder