JVC Announces Consumer-Grade HD Camera

JVC has introduced what it claims to be the first consumer grade HD camera. The Digital Hi-Def Camcorder, the GR-HD1, lets users shoot, edit (with the MPEG Edit Studio) ATSC-standard HD content, record, save to a D-VHS with D-Theater HM-DH30000 and view the content on most HDTVs.

Available for $3499 starting in May, the GR-HD1 records in both NTSC and ATSC HDTV Standard video on a standard Mini DV cassette. Users can record in 4:3 480i, 16:9 480/60p and 16:9 720/30p. In analog component, it plays back in 480i and 480/60p, 720/60p and 1080i, making it compatible with most display devices. Its digital i.Link outputs 480i and 480/60p, 720/30p to D-VHS or computers via FireWire.

The GR-HD1 can record and play back 1280 x 720/30p viewable digital HD and 525p progressive using Mini DV tape, due to 1/3-inch 1.18 million pixel progressive scan CCD and JVC proprietary signal processing. The camcorder has three ATSC compatible shooting modes: HD Mode (records720/30p digital HD images), SD Mode (records 525p progressive wide) and DV Mode (NTSC 525i DV).

The GR-HD1's upconverter converts 720/30p digital HD images and 525p progressive wide images to the 1080i HD standard for viewing on HD display devices. The downconverter converts images to NTSC 25i broadcast standard video so the images can be seen on any monitor. The MPEG Edit Studio, an MPEG-2 HD editing software package, is provided.