CEATEC - JVC shows prototype 4X high-def camera

JVC showed at Ceatec a prototype video camera capable of 3,840 x 2,048 pixel resolution.

As high-definition TV continues its seemingly unstoppable march around the world, engineers at Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC) are busy working on cameras for a next generation system.

At the Ceatec show, which opened in Japan on Tuesday, the company is showing off a prototype TV camera capable of capturing a 3,840 pixel by 2,048 pixel image at 30 frames per second. That's four times the number of pixels in high-definition TV pictures and sixteen times the number of pixels on a standard-definition video signal.

The camera is still under development and the version on show at Ceatec is an improvement on previous models the company has shown. It weighs 10 kilograms, a third that of the previous prototype but still about double what an average TV camcorder weighs.

JVC said it is aiming at the TV market but the same cameras could also be used in the movie industry.

The movie industry is already starting to use such high-resolution systems and Sony Corp. has a cinema projector capable of reproducing video shot at this resolution. The movie industry is fast moving behind the higher-resolution format because it needs to remain competitive as an increasing number of consumers get the ability to watch HD movies at home.

TV stations have also started to think beyond today's high-definition systems. One of the most far ahead is Japan's public broadcaster, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK). However the company, the first in the world to start HDTV broadcasting, is already thinking beyond the system shown by JVC, and has developed a system with 4 times its resolution, or 16 times that of today's HDTV.

Like the JVC camera, the NHK broadcasting system is still under development and no production date has been set.

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Martyn Williams

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