Tsutaya online video portal to allow HD-to-optical disc burning

For all the digital download pundits who are quick to harp on the "limited viewing window" of downloadable material, chew on this. In a move that can only be described as "miraculous progress," Japan's own Tsutaya has somehow twisted the arms of four US film companies in order to allow HD content to be recorded to Blu-ray Discs or other optical media (up to two times) for later viewing. Initially, the Tsutaya TV on acTVila will have around half of its library (412 titles and growing) available for burning, and while details are somewhat fuzzy, we are told that HDTV video can be exported "without down-conversion" to BD-Rs, DVD-Rs and iVDR-S media. Of course, AACS protection will be applied, but this is infinitely more convenient than that whole Qflix disaster. Better still, we're told that future improvements will include down-converting HD content for use on portable devices (think Digital Copy), and it's anticipated that the downloadable films will be available day-and-date with hard copy releases. The rub? Each film will cost around ¥3,675 ($40), so for now, you're still better off heading to the store. Still -- focus on the progress, people, progress.