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Comcast, Panasonic Unveil Portable DVR

Comcast, Panasonic Unveil Portable DVR

U.S. cable giant Comcast and electronics manufacturer Panasonic (really a trade name of Japan’s Matsushita) have announced their new AnyPlay Portable DVR, which will enable customers to record television programming from their cable system, then simply take the high definition-capable DVR with them wherever they go. Users will be able to watch programming on the integrated 8.5-inch display, or plug the system into a larger-screen television at their destination to access their stored video programming.

The AnyPlay DVR will feature a 60 GB internal hard drive and integrated stereo speakers. To record cable programing, the AnyPlay will sit in “companion” docking station; however, playing back recorded programming doesn’t require the dock. The AnyPlay DVR will also support playback from standard DVDs and audio CDs; Panasonic reportedly says the system will work on cable systems other than Comcast’s.

“Consumers have told us they want easy and convenient access to all the great content Comcast provides, and the AnyPlay P-DVR does that,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement released at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Roberts is expected to highlight the AnyPlay device at his CES keynote today, but here’s the kicker: the device won’t be available to consumers until 2009.