High Definition Has Arrived


A while back, Sony, Sharp, Canon and JVC announced
the creation of a new high definition video standard
for video cameras – HDV. HDV utilizes MPEG-2 image
compression with a definition of 1080 lines and a
16:9 aspect ratio.

Shortly after that, Sony opened the door to high
definition by creating the first HDV camcorder, the
HDR-FX1. This release was on par with the launch
of the first DV camcorder in 1995, which at the
time was a giant step forward for image quality,
marking the break from traditional analog.

At the time, consumers were moving from the Hi8
format to DV, which featured much better image
quality, along with the ability to transfer to a
computer without any degradation of signal. With
HDV, the resolution of camcorders can be doubled,
from 576 lines to 1080. The compression method is
no longer DV, but MPEG 2 instead.

HDV exists in two formats – 1080i (interlaced) and
720p (progressive). With interlaced, the video
camera records 1080 lines in interlaced images,
which is half images of 540 lines each that are
displayed 60 times per second.

With 720 progressive, the video camera records
720 lines in progressive images, which are full
images that are displayed 30 times per second.
Sony chose to use 1080i on the HDR-FX1, where JVC
chose to use 720p for the GR-HD1, which is sold
only in NTSC format in the USA and Japan.

The progressive mode format requires a television
set that supports it, while interlaced mode is
the natural scan mode that televisions use. The
question today is which of the two formats
deliver the best image quality.

With several high definition video cameras on the
market today, the question of image quality all
depends on the camera and features, along with
your television or method of play back. All high
definition video cameras are amazing in quality
and playback, which is why they have become so
popular is such a small amount of time.

With Sony, JVC, and Canon continuing to develop
HDV, you know the technology will continue to get
better and better. When high definition first
hit the market, it was an instant success. With
the integration of HDV, camcorders allow you to
do what you never could before.

If you like to record precious memories, a high
definition video camera is just what you need. They
are very handy to have around, and there are
several out there these days for you to choose
from – all you need to do is pick the best one
for you.

(word count 426)

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