Panasonic, Sony to jointly develop MPEG-4 AVC format

Panasonic and Sony Corporation are jointly working on a new format called “AVCHD” that will be used in digital video camcorders and allow for HD images to be captured on 8cm DVD discs.

The two companies have started preparations for licensing to extensively promote the format throughout the industry.

In Japan, BS digital HD broadcasting and digital terrestrial broadcasting are expanding widely. Coupled with the emerging growth of HD broadcasting across the world, penetration of HD-capable TV sets is gaining unprecedented momentum. This sets the stage for enjoying HD images more
easily at home. Panasonic and Sony will extensively promote this format throughout the industry as the new HD digital video camera recorder format
best suited for the HD era.

The “AVCHD” is an HD digital video camera format for recording 1080i*1 and 720p*2 signals onto 8cm DVD media by using highly efficient codec technologies. The format employs MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video
compression, and Dolby Digital (AC-3) or Linear PCM for audio codec. This
makes it possible to develop HD video camera recorders which achieve compact size as well as high-quality video and audio.

The MPEG-4/H.264 codec is a promising technology which is over two
times more efficient than MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 codec technologies. By adopting this technology, an “AVCHD” video camera recorder can record high quality HD video images onto 8cm DVD media.

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