HDV - High Definition Video Camera

The HDV - High Definition Video format was initially developed by JVC who in turn were joined by Sony, Sharp and Canon. The four companies announced the creation of a new high definition video standard for video cameras in 2003. HDV utilizes MPEG-2 image compression with a definition of 1080 lines and a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The first HDV camcorder to come onto the market was the JVC GR-HD1 and this was soon followed by Sony with the launch of their HDR-FX1 in September 2004. This release was on par with the launch of the first DV camcorder in 1995, which at the time was a giant step forward for image quality, marking the break from traditional analog camcorders

At that time, consumers were moving from the Hi8 format to DV, which featured much better image quality, along with the ability to transfer to a computer without any degradation of signal. With HDV, the resolution of camcorders can be doubled, from 576 lines to 1080. The compression method is no longer DV, but MPEG 2 instead.

HDV exists in two formats - 1080i (interlaced) and 720p (progressive). With interlaced, the video camera records 1080 lines in interlaced images, which is half images of 540 lines each that are displayed 60 times per second.

With 720 progressive, the video camera records 720 lines in progressive images, which are full images that are displayed 30 times per second. Sony chose to use 1080i on the HDR-FX1, whilst JVC chose to use 720p for the GR-HD1, which is only available in NTSC format for the USA and Japanese markets

The progressive mode format requires a television set that supports it, while interlaced mode is the natural scan mode that televisions use. The question today is which of the two formats deliver the best image quality.

With several high definition video cameras on the market today, the question of image quality all depends on the camera and features, along with your television or method of play back. All high definition video cameras are amazing in quality and playback, which is why they have become so popular is such a short space of time.

With Sony, JVC, and Canon continuing to develop HDV, the technology will continue to improve as time goes on. When high definition first hit the market, it was an instant success. With the integration of HDV, camcorders allow you to do what you never could before.

If you like to record precious memories, a high definition video camera is just what you need. They are very handy to have around, and there are several models on the market to choose from - all you need to do is pick the best one for you.