Mitsubishi Japan has come up with an anticipated alternative to recording high-definition TV to costly Blu-ray discs by releasing a pair of machines that can record HD TV to standard DVDs.

Late-generation Toshiba HD DVD recorders featured the same ability under the banner of HD Rec, so it was only a matter of time before the same thing came to Blu-ray.

AVCREC to the rescue

Mitsubishi’s offering – as featured in the Japan-only DVR-BZ200 and DVR-BZ100 – is a transcoder known as AVCREC that compresses high-bandwidth MPEG-2 broadcasts into lighter MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) on the fly.

The result is up to two hours of high-def TV on a regular 4.7GB DVD or eight hours on a Blu-ray disc.

Although AVCREC works only with Japanese HD TV broadcasts, it’s still worth sharing with you the price of the new DVRs. A mere ¥200,000 (£1,020) will get you the BZ200, which includes a 500GB hard drive, while ¥160,000 (£815) will secure the 250GB BZ100. We’d wait.