New HD format for current DV tape cassettes in the works

Sony and three other Japanese electronics companies are collaborating to develop a way to record and play high-definition digital video on common DV cassette tapes. The fast track project, tentatively called the HDV format, is slated for completion by September.

In addition to Sony, the companies include Canon, Sharp, and Victor Co. of Japan (JVC). Products in the new format can use the same mechanical parts as the old format because they employ identical DV and Mini-DV cassettes.

The JY-HD10U HD camcorder records the two progressive formats in 16:9 aspect ratio with MPEG-2 compression. It also records the interlaced SD format in 4:3 aspect ratio with DV compression.

“We are extremely pleased that JVC, Sony, Canon and Sharp have joined in this HD format initiative,” said Robert Mueller, Executive Vice President of JVC Professional Products Company. “Moreover, HDV format standardization will serve to encourage third-party companies to develop editing, peripheral and other supporting products, giving professional videographers an array of options to enhance the HD creative process.”

The JY-HD10U is part of a complete "High Definition for the Masses" approach being proposed by JVC to accelerate the adoption of HDTV by the production community in the U.S. The JY-HD10U records full bandwidth HD signals (720p) using MPEG-2 compression on a DV cassette.

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