Hi-Def comes to Consumer Camcorders for the First Time

JVC Releases First Consumer Hi-Def Camcorder

JVC showed their GR-HD1, the first high-definition consumer camcorder at PMA in Las Vegas. The camcorder will utilize a 1/3-inch 1.18M pixel CCD behind a 10x optical zoom lens to record in 4:3 480i (standard DV) as well as 16:9 480/60p (SD) and 16:9 720/30p (HD) using standard MPEG-2 compression.

The unit utilizes a six-frame group of pictures (GOP) MPEG compression that yields the same recording length for both SD and HD. Windows XP users will be able to use the included MPEG Edit Studio Pro LE software to make frame-accurate edits of SD and HD video. This allows exporting of completed projects to D-VHS or burning to DVDs at 16:9 480/30p with the included ImageMixer DVD software.

The unit features up-conversion and down-conversion capabilities, allowing the viewing of HD footage on NTSC displays or NTSC footage on HD displays.

The GR-HD1 will be available in May for $3,500.

Adobe Announces Encore DVD

Adobe Systems joins the DVD burning party with Encore DVD, a DVD burning application for Windows XP. Utilizing the traditional Adobe interface, the program will integrate with Photoshop for menu creation. The program will include stereo Dolby Digital audio encoding and will be able to automatically transcode AVI and MPEG-1 files to DVD-ready MPEG-2.

Encore DVD will be able to output files to DLT and will also support CSS and APS copy protection schemes. One-off burns to both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW format families will be supported as well. Encore DVD is slated to be available in the third quarter, and is expected to retail for $549.

Discreet Cleans Up with cleaner XL

Discreet has introduced cleaner XL, the long-awaited follow-up to Cleaner 5 for Windows. The program features 180 preset settings and high-quality filters to provide control over the encoding process, with settings for both mastering and streaming applications, providing ideal output settings for projects ranging from DVD burning to streaming over cell phones or PDAs.

cleaner XL includes a new interface, allowing users to prepare jobs while other jobs are being processed. Watch Folders and job templates are touted as efficiency boosters. cleaner XL supports 60 different codec formats, including Windows Media 9, QuickTime 6, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and Kinoma. cleaner XL is available for $599, with upgrade pricing available from $179.


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Samsung Doubles Your Pleasure

Samsung’s new SCD-5000 Mini DV camcorder/still camera utilizes a unique two-lens design. The video section features a 10x optical zoom lens with a 680K pixel CCD. The innovative lens apparatus can be rotated 180-degrees to take still shots with a 3x optical zoom lens and the camera’s 4.13 megapixel CCD. The still image section includes an automatic flash and Schneider optics.

The unit also includes a 2-inch LCD and a color viewfinder. The camera’s memory stick can hold both still shots and MPEG-4 video clips. USB and FireWire ports are provided for transferring still images and digital video, respectively. The unit will be out in May for $1,400.

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