JVC Announces Hand-Held HDTV Recorder/Player

Reprinted from a JVC press release:

Underscoring its position as a leader in high definition video technologies, JVC today introduced the world’s first portable high definition player/recorder, the CU-VH1. An ideal complement to JVC’s HD camcorders, the new CU-VH1 HDV-format player/recorder brings unprecedented flexibility to HD video production with multi-format playback and a range of recording options.

Suitable for use in the field, in the studio or at home, the JVC CU-VH1 features a 3.5-inch LCD monitor, an iLink interface for non-linear editing and dubbing, component outputs for multi-format playback, and an SD card slot for capturing stills from tape and transferring them to PC through a USB connection. It records and plays back Mini DV cassettes, and for high definition recording and playback adheres to the HDV format, a standard agreed upon by major consumer electronics manufacturers.

“JVC was the first to bring HD video creation to consumers with our introduction of the GR-HD1 camcorder,” said Dave Owen, General Manager, Consumer Video Division, JVC Company of America. “With the introduction of the CU-VH1 we’re reinforcing our commitment to HD enthusiasts by providing them with even more playback, editing and dubbing options.”

For playback, the new CU-VH1 is extremely versatile. It will play back signals recorded in 720/30p (MPEG-2), 480/60p (MPEG-2) and 480/60i (DV). This includes any footage shot with either of JVC’s two HD camcorders the GR-HD1 and JY-HD10. It includes up- and down-conversion so that HD recordings can be viewed on virtually any television or monitor. It frame doubles 30 frames-per-second 720/30p HD recordings for viewing on progressive 720/60p analog HD monitors, or converts 480/60p or 720/30p signals to 1080/60i HD. The player/recorder can also down-convert to 480/60p or 480/60i for playback on progressive or NTSC monitors. 16:9 HD, SD or DV footage can be played in 16:9 or 4:3 letterbox modes.

Footage can also be viewed on the CU-VH1’s built-in 3.5-inch, 240,000-pixel high resolution LCD monitor. There’s a brightness control, and the monitor folds flat into the top of the unit when not in use.

The CU-VH1’s recording capabilities include digital-to-digital recording to and from video equipment and a PC, and recording to and from analog devices. An iLink interface allows digital-to-digital dubbing between the CU-VH1 and HD cameras and decks (D-VHS). Both the iLink interface and a USB connection allow HD and SD MPEG-2 material to be transferred between the CU-VH1 and a PC for playback or non-linear MPEG-2 editing. DV recordings and digital stills can also be transferred through iLink. With the USB connection it’s also possible to drag-and-drop digital stills or other content on the memory card to a PC.

Built-in digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion allows easy dubbing between digital and analog sources. S-Video, composite and audio connectors function as both inputs and outputs, allowing HD/SD or DV sources to be dubbed from the CU-VH1 to an NTSC deck or analog material dubbed from an NTSC source onto Mini DV in the CU-VH1. Component video outputs allow dubbing from the CU-VH1 to a professional deck.

The CU-VH1 can also capture progressive HD, SD and DV 1280 x 720 JPEG stills and save them to an SD card. Stored images can be viewed individually or automatically as a slide show. In addition, a Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) request allows the user to easily select images and how many of each for automatic printing.

To easily access specific scenes, thumbnail images of what is shot on tape can be automatically stored on a memory card while shooting or manually during playback. In addition, tape time code or day and date subcode can be displayed on screen.

To ensure that the CU-VH1 is suitable for portable use, component BNC outputs (with supplied RCA adapters), S-Video, composite and audio inputs/outputs and iLink IEEE 1394 and USB inputs/outputs are protected by guard bars and a rugged cover. The SD memory card/MultiMediaCard slot, microphone jack and headphone jack are similarly protected.

The CU-VH1 uses the same batteries as the JVC GR-HD1 and JY-HD10 high definition camcorders, and the included AC power supply charges these batteries. The included battery (BN-V416U) on a full charge lasts up to 1.5 hours. An available optional battery (BN-V428U) provides power for up to two hours, 50 minutes.

The JVC CU-VH1 measures 8-5/16 (W) x 2-1/6 (H) x 6-1/8 (D) inches. It weighs 2.5 lbs., or 2.6 lbs. with the battery pack, Mini DV cassette and memory card.

It is available this month at a nationally advertised value of $1,999.00.

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