HD formats

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HD formats

Following is a summary of high-definition (HD) digital video formats, which provide 720 or 1080 lines of resolution. In the past, high-definition analog TV systems were developed; however, their usage was miniscule compared to the standard-definition (SD) analog NTSC, PAL and SECAM TV formats (see HD analog formats and SD formats).

The digital formats are captured on camcorders and transferred to the computer via memory card, storage drive or uploading via cable or wireless. In the past, tape cassettes were the recording medium. HD content reaches the user via the Internet, broadcast TV, satellite TV, cable TV or Blu-ray disc. In addition to editing the content, there are often one or more format conversions between the video capture and the final viewing format. See DTV and codec examples.

More Attributes in Digital Video
Unlike analog formats, which are tied directly to analog NTSC and PAL TVs, there are many more encoding variables in HD digital formats. Merely stating that a movie is in a particular format, especially if the format is not tied to magnetic tape, does not indicate the resolution or quality of the recording. For details about digital encoding variables, see video format. For standard-definition video formats, see SD formats.


Blu-ray
The standard HD optical disc. See Blu-ray.

AVC-Intra
An HD format that uses the highest-quality modes of the H.264 standard. See AVC-Intra.

AVCHD
An HD format for camcorders based on Blu-ray, H.264 and Dolby Digital standards. See AVCHD.

D-5 HD
The HD version of the D5 videotape format. See D-5.

D-9 HD
The HD version of the D-9 videotape format, which uses VHS cassettes containing enhanced magnetic tape. See D-9.

DNxHD
A high-quality editing format from Avid for post- production workflows. See DNxHD.

DVCPRO HD
The HD version of Panasonic's variant of the DV format. See DVCPRO and DV.

DivX HD
The HD version of DivX. Popular for online downloading due to its high compression. See DivX.

HDCAM
The HD version of Sony's Digital Betacam half-inch tape format. See HDCAM.

HD DVD
HD DVD optical discs competed with Blu-ray until 2008 and lost. See HD DVD and Beta/VHS debacle.

HDV
The HD version of the DV magnetic tape format. See HDV and DV.

ProRes
A high-quality editing format from Apple for post- production workflows. See ProRes.

XDCAM HD
The HD version of Sony's tapeless camcorder format. See XDCAM.

Chinese Formats
There have been several HD formats introduced in the Chinese market that were developed to avoid paying royalties to other countries, including the Forward Versatile Disc (see FVD) and Enhanced Versatile Disc (see EVD).

Russian Formats
D Data Inc., a Russian company with offices in New York, appeared briefly in the 2007 time frame and then disappeared. It touted its High Definition Digital Multi-layer Disc (HD-DMD) format, using multiple layers and the same red laser as a DVD drive.
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