The Benefits of HDTV & HDV
High-Definition TV, or HDTV, is a new television broadcast standard that is very different from formats like NTSC, PAL and SECAM. HDTV can give viewers with HD-ready TV up to 1080 effective lines on the screen, while NTSC only has 480 lines while PAL and SECAM have 576 lines each.
This means that if you were to view a HD-recorded program on a HD-ready TV, the image will be twice as sharp and twice as beautiful. Besides that, most TV standards use the 4:3 aspect ratio while HDTV programs are normally in the widescreen 16:9 format. This also means that you will see more of a given space (e.g. a football field or a cityscape), should a program come recorded in high-definition 16:9 format.
Four Japanese companies - Canon, Sharp, Sony and JVC - announced the HDV format on September 2003 with support from 28 partners in the form of HDV plug-ins from software vendors like Canopus, ULEAD, Apple, Adobe and more. The aim of the HDV format is to develop a home camcorder that can record high quality HD movies while still being able to record standard video to existing DV tapes. The HDV format is currently available in two systems - HDV720 progressive (720p) and HDV1080 interlaced (1080i).
The difference between progressive and interlaced is that an interlaced video image has two alternating fields which are "interlaced over each other" (each alternate frame flickers at 30 frames a second) while progressive is a constant video image (the full video image flickers at 60 frames a second). This means that a 720p image (1280 pixels/line) has 921,600 pixels in a single video frame while a 1080i image (1920 pixels/line) will have 2,073,600 pixels in a frame.
While 1080i usually comes with 1920 pixels per horizontal line, Sonys HDR-FX1 employs a resolution of 1440 pixels in a horizontal line using pixel shifting. Together with its HD Codec engine, it is able to give high quality image reproduction at fast speeds and low power consumption (for MPEG-2 compression/decompression on the go).
The Sony HDR-FX1 HD Video Camcorder.
For now, you can view your recorded HDV-format videos using an i.LINK connection from the HDR-FX1 to your DVD or Blu-ray recorder or view them direct on your digital TV at 1080i using a dedicated component cable connection. One day, there'll be TVs that support a direct digital video stream using an i.LINK connection. You can then connect your HDR-FX1 direct to your TV using just an i.LINK connection for a totally pure HD 1080i-resolution viewing experience.