Panasonic, Sony to develop new consumer HD format

Panasonic and Sony have announced specifications for AVCHD, a new consumer high-definition digital video camera recorder format.

AVCHD is an HD digital video camera format for recording 1080i and 720p signals onto 8cm DVD media. The format employs the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression, and Dolby Digital (AC-3) or Linear PCM for the audio codec.

In a related announcement, Panasonic has begun developing technology to record digital HD images in the AVCHD format onto SD memory cards. The cards, which use solid-state flash memory, could be used for video storage in the company's future AVCHD camcorders.

Panasonic is also constructing a new environment for editing and playing back the AVCHD images. The company said the development of new device technology for the home video market is prompting a major switch in recording media to discs and SD memory cards, which are easier to use and more convenient than tape media.

Panasonic is already using SD memory cards in its P2 professional-use HD video cameras.

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