IBC2005: Thomson Taps JPEG 2000 for HD Camcorder

Established as an international standard in early 2001, the wavelet-based JPEG2000 image compression technology seems to at least be alive, if not in excellent health, judging from this year's IBC. At one time destined for digital still cameras on the consumer level, JPEG2000 had kept a very low profile lately, and not on purpose.

But now the industry's first professional HD camcorder to use JPEG2000 compression was introduced at the Amsterdam show by Thomson. The Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder uses two identical JPEG2000 chips from ADI called ADV202. According to published reports, the chip both encodes and decodes, as well as integrates other codecs, including DV for SD and MPEG2 for HD and SD.

In contrast to JPEG and MPEG, which are widely used in a number of consumer products, JPEG2000's applications up until now have mostly been in the high-end (thus, costly) categories of imaging products such digital cinematography and satellite photo archives for the U.S. government, among other things. The new Grass Valley HD camcorder has an MSRP of $20,000.