If you’ve been in an electronics store in the last year, you’ve almost certainly seen and admired the large, widescreen high-definition televisions. If you haven’t already bought one, it’s probably on your “If I won the lottery” list. Our most serious hesitations right now is lack of content, but that will gradually change over the next few years. As you know, Videomaker is all about content, and there is something you can do about the lack of HD content today.

HDV is the next great consumer video format. To bring those of your who have not heard about HDV up to speed, camcorder manufacturers Canon, Sharp, Sony and JVC have all signed on to the new high definition video format. The physical videotape is the same as a Mini DV tape, but the image resolution can be much higher.

While HDV video can be played on standard NTSC televisions, its chief purpose is to display a high resolution, 16:9 widescreen high resolution picture on a high-definition CRT, LCD, rear projection, front projection, plasma, DLP or D-ILA television set. Demand for sets like these continue to increase as prices continue to drop.

Video editing software developers Adobe, Canopus, Sony Pictures Digital Networks and Ulead also announced their support of HDV at the same time last year. Since then, Ahead Software (Nero), Apple Computer, Avid, CyberLink, FOCUS Enhancements, Matrox and Pinnacle Systems have announced their support.

Last year, you read about the first HDV camcorder: JVC’s GR-HD1. Then, in early September 2004, Sony introduced its first HDV 1080i camcorder, the HDR-FX1, at our own Videomaker Expo East.

Wedding video producers have a keen interest in HDV because it future-proofs their product, since the video will still look great a decade from now when everyone has an HDTV set. Wedding videos are an excellent application for HDV. It is really thrilling for the friends and family to see the event in HD because, currently, the vast majority of TV shows and movies are not high-def. This makes an HD wedding look extra special by comparison.

As a video producer, seeing your videos on an HDTV set is a good motivation to make the break and purchase an HDV camcorder and an HDTV set. Early adopters are willing to pay more to be the first to try out new technology. As prices for HDTV sets have fallen, however, that early adopter premium is currently not terribly high. I don’t think you can underestimated the impact your video will have on an HDTV. Your friends, family and clients will certainly be impressed, but you yourself will be awestruck by the experience of seeing your video work on a new high-resolution screen.

Matthew York is Videomaker‘s Publisher/Editor.

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