Interestingly, Blu-ray recorders such as the Panasonic DMR-E700BD have been available in Japan for some time. But thanks to the multiple layers of copy protection that have been added to the format to mollify Hollywood studios (AACS, ICT, BD+, BD-ROM Mark), those recorders can't play the any of Blu-ray movies that are finally beginning to appear on store shelves. (The Toshiba HD-DVD recorder--and, presumably, eventual Blu-ray recorders--will play store-bought high-def movies in their respective formats.)
The ability to archive your favorite TV shows in high-def is a great idea, but look for the Hollywood community to fight it with all its collective might. Whether it's as onerous as a copy-protection scheme (a broadcast flag that just prevents you from making a backup copy) or as subtle as the increasingly pervasive "pop-up ads" that are springing up on many cable channels (who wants to keep a copy of The Closer when an animated NASCAR ad takes up a quarter of the screen at 10-minute intervals?), TV networks will do everything in their power to make sure that viewers will pay one way or another. TV shows on DVD remain a huge cash cow, and Hollywood is looking to take that "monetization" of their broadcast assets to the next level--be it video on demand, downloadable and streaming online video, HD-DVD, Blu-ray, or any combination thereof. Needless to say, DIY box sets--home-burned and royalty-free--aren't on the agenda.