JVC GR-HD1 – World’s First Consumer High Definition Camcorder

JVC GR-HD1 – World’s First Consumer High Definition Camcorder


JVC Company of America intdroduced its Digital Hi-Def Camcorder, GR-HD1, as the world’s first consumer high-definition camcorder.

With this introduction, JVC is now the only manufacturer to supply the U.S. market with a way to shoot and edit real ATSC standard HD content (Digital Hi-Def Camcorder GR-HD1 and MPEG Edit Studio® Pro LE), record and save that HD content (D-VHS with D-Theater™ HM-DH30000), and view the content on a variety of HD digital televisions, including CRT, rear projection, front projection and plasma models. “For the consumer who demands HD quality in their home entertainment, JVC is the only complete solution,” said Jerry Barbera, Vice President Consumer Video Division, JVC Company of America.

“Finally, professional and amateur videographers have a high-definition camcorder choice,” said Rob Payesko, Merchandising Manager Consumer Video Division. “Previously, only broadcasters had that option. Now, because of our advances in progressive scan technology we are able to deliver a consumer HD solution. A first look at this product and our complete HD solution will be at the PMA Show in Las Vegas, booth L92, March 2-5. There we will have several working samples and some compelling demonstrations.”

The Digital Hi-Def Camcorder GR-HD1 records in both NTSC and U.S. ATSC HDTV Standard video on a standard Mini DV cassette. Recording can be done in 4:3 480i (DV compression) as well as 16:9 480/60p and 16:9 720/30p (MPEG-2 compression). In analog component it plays back in 480i (NTSC) and 480/60p, 720/60p, 1080i (ATSC), making it compatible with virtually all display devices. Its digital i.LINK outputs IEEE 1394-compliant 480i (NTSC) and 480/60p, 720/30p (ATSC) to D-VHS or computers via an i.LINK connection.

The Digital Hi-Def Camcorder GR-HD1 is the world’s first consumer camcorder able to record and play back 1280×720/30p digital high definition and 480p progressive wide images using Mini DV tape. Important factors in making this possible are a newly developed 1/3-inch 1.18 million pixel progressive scan CCD and JVC proprietary signal processing. To maximize its application potential in the field, and assure seamless transfer to a variety of post-production environments, the GR-HD1 is equipped with three ATSC compatible shooting modes: “HD Mode” that records 720/30p digital high-definition images, “SD Mode” for 525p progressive wide images, and “DV Mode” which records at conventional NTSC 480i DV standard. This ability to record in real broadcast data rate 19Mbps ATSC HD on widely available and relatively low cost Mini DV cassettes is sure to be an invaluable asset to individuals and organizations that use the GR-HD1. High efficiency 6 frame group of pictures (GOP) Hi-Def MPEG compression allows the same recording time for HD on Mini DV cassettes as for standard SD DV compression. The GR-HD1’s up-converter converts 720/30p digital HD images and 480p progressive wide images to the 1080i high-definition standard for viewing on the latest HD display devices. The down-converter converts images to conventional NTSC 480i broadcast standard video, enabling images to be enjoyed on virtually any TV.

The GR-HD1 features a newly designed high definition 10X optical zoom lens with low distortion and high color purity edge to edge and across the entire zoom range, with light gathering ability that varies between just f1.8 and f1.9. Its built-in optical image stabilizer provides ample zooming capability coupled with the non-degrading image stabilization of an optical system. It also incorporates a newly developed single 1/3-inch 1.18 million pixel (1.14 million effective pixels) progressive scan CCD with patented progressive color filtering, as well as JVC’s original signal processing circuitry and driving system. All together, this constitutes a system finely tuned to gathering high-resolution, high quality images.

The camera’s grip section rotates by up to 90 degrees, with smooth, uninterrupted motion from high- to low-angle to allow stable shooting at all times. All the while the operator’s hand remains on the grip, with fingertip control of zoom and auto/manual focus rings, auto/manual white balance, auto/manual exposure and shutter speed features. Included among the GR-HD1’s provided accessories is the MPEG Edit Studio® Pro LE MPEG-2 HD editing software package for digital hi-def images. This consumer MPEG2-TS software provides frame accurate editing capabilities using short 6 frame GOP HD MPEG compression. The software also allows HD content to be saved on D-VHS, or burned down to 16:9 480/30p progressive DVDs with ImageMixer DVD software for viewing and sharing digital movies on any DVD player for a genuine theater-like experience. (Refer to Appendix for further information.) With the advent of digital broadcasting, the consumer electronics industry is evolving at a rapid pace. With those changes also come real digital improvements for both viewing and recording. Now, with JVC’s Digital Hi-Def Camcorder GR-HD1, people can own and shoot with a thoroughly up-to-date digital camcorder, record and edit hi-def images on their own PC that will stand the test of time, and view and share their personal digital movies on HD D-VHS or DVDs via a wide variety of display devices. All this innovation is made possible using standard Mini DV cassettes because of JVC breakthroughs in high tech CCD, optics, HD MPEG compression and unique HD editing software Availability: May MSRP: $3499.95