Canon, Sharp, Sony and JVC announced today that they’ve agreed on a high definition consumer digital video camera format. Likely to be called ‘HDV’, this will provide for recording 720p or 1080i on standard DV format cassettes. Both 50 and 60 hertz varieties will be supported, so these ought to be compatible with HD TV systems around the world. The video will be encoded using MPEG2 (ie. similar to DVD, but at bit rates of 19 and 25Mbps respectively) and the audio will be two channel Dolby Digital at 384kb/s.
This last is interesting. The normal bit rate for two channel DD is 192kb/s. So why the high rate? Perhaps to allocate space to support DD5.1 (which is normally on DVD at 384 or 448kb/s) in the future.