A Head Start on the Future of High-Def

NY Times by David Pogue pogueHIGH-TECH projects often take longer to complete than anticipated; just ask Microsoft’s Windows team. But it seems as if we’ve been hearing about high-definition video since the Eisenhower administration. The Federal Communications Commission’s mandatory cutoff of old-fashioned analog TV broadcasts, now scheduled for 2009, has been delayed, what, 500 times? Part of the holdup is the extent and expense of the switch to the new, better-looking format. To achieve HDTV nirvana, you have to replace every element of your video setup: the TV set, cable box, DVD player, DVD movie collection — and even your camcorder. Next month, Canon will release the world’s smallest and least expensive high-definition tape camcorder, a one-handable beauty called the HV10. Its list price is $1,300. As any gadget freak can tell you, however, that’s an inflated, fanciful figure provided for — well, for no good reason. The online price, once the camcorder is on store shelves, will be lower. As Canon rolls out its HV10, Sony’s HC3 seems to be squarely in its cross hairs. Both camcorders produce video in the 1080i format, which you can edit in Apple’s iMovie or many Windows programs (Premiere, Vegas, PowerDirector and so on). Both have built-in, automatic lens caps but lack headphone and microphone jacks. read more...

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