DV consumer format to go high-definition

Four Japanese electronics giants say they will publish detailed specifications for a new consumer high-definition digital video format before the end of this month.

The companies—Canon, Sharp, Sony, and JVC—have collaborated on a new HD format that will be called HDV. Based on the popular DV and MiniDV formats used in many of today’s consumer camcorders and digital video equipment, HDV will share the same cassette form factor, tape speed and track pitch. It can be adapted to mechanical components commonly used in existing DV and MiniDV products.

Video for the new format is recorded in MPEG-2 and the system supports both 720 horizontal line progressive scan, with 1,280 vertical pixels, or 1,080-horizontal line interlaced scan video, with 1,440 vertical pixels, both at 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Video data rates after compression are around 19M bps (bits per second) for 720p video and 25M bps for 1080i video, the companies said.

The group, after publishing initial specifications this summer, said it has already received a number of expressions of support for the standard from companies including Adobe Systems, Canopus, KDDI R&D Laboratories, Sony Pictures Digital Networks and Ulead Systems.

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