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JVC Introduces Portable HDTV Recorder In U.S.

JVC has introduced what it claims is the world’s first portable high definition player/recorder.

Model CU-VH1, which ships this month at a $1,999 nationally advertised price, is based on the HDV digital recording format that uses standard miniDV cassettes. It will also record and playback a variety of other formats including standard definition mini DV video and JPEG image files stored on SD/MMC memory cards.

It is positioned, in part, as a post-production complement to JVC’s GR-HD1 and JY-HD10 HDTV camcorders that also are based on the HDV format. The player/recorder provides flexible field, home or studio video production capability.

However, the unit will not record signals from DTV set-top tuners, and there are no plans to support the player with pre-recorded media, the company said.

The CU-VH1 features a flip-up 3.5-inch LCD monitor, an iLink digital interface for non-linear editing and dubbing, HD component video outputs for multi-format playback, and an SD card slot for capturing stills from tape and transferring them to PC through a USB connection.

In addition to recording and playing back high-definition video using HDV format cassettes, the CU-VH1 will record on and play standard Mini DV cassettes. Major manufacturers have agreed upon the HDV format standard for future applications.

The CU-VH1 will play back signals recorded in 720p/30fps (MPEG-2), 480p/ 60fps (MPEG-2) and 480i/60fps (DV).

It includes up- and down-conversion so HD recordings can be viewed on most televisions and monitors. It frame doubles 30fps 720p HD recordings for viewing on progressive 720p/60fps analog HD monitors, or converts 480p/60fps or 720p/30fps signals to 1080i/60fps HD.

The player/recorder can also down-convert to 480p/60fps or 480i/60fps for playback on progressive or NTSC monitors.

Widescreen 16:9 HD, SD or DV footage can be played in 16:9 or 4:3 letterbox modes.

Footage can also be viewed on the CU-VH1’s built-in 3.5-inch, 240,000-pixel high-resolution LCD monitor.

The CU-VH1’s recording capabilities include digital-to-digital recording to and from video equipment and a PC, and recording to and from analog devices.

An iLink interface allows digital-to-digital dubbing between the CU-VH1 and HD cameras and decks (D-VHS). Both the iLink interface and a USB connection allow HD and SD MPEG-2 material to be transferred between the CU-VH1 and a PC for playback or non-linear MPEG-2 editing. DV recordings and digital stills can also be transferred through iLink.

The unit has built-in digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion. S-Video, composite and audio connectors function as both inputs and outputs, allowing HD/SD or DV sources to be dubbed from the CU-VH1 to an NTSC deck or analog material dubbed from an NTSC source onto Mini DV in the CU-VH1. Component video outputs allow dubbing from the CU-VH1 to a professional deck.

The CU-VH1 can also capture progressive HD, SD and DV 1,280 by 720 JPEG stills and save them to an SD card.