[Theora] microdrive-based camcorders

John Kintree jkintree at swbell.net
Sat Sep 18 23:46:06 PDT 2004

Here are a few sentences from a Sept. 17, 2004 article in th EETimes.
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Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC) will use Microdrive CompactFlash-sized 
cards with a 1-inch hard-disk drive in its digital video cameras. The camera 
will be capable of recording one hour of DVD-quality video. 

Two models, the GZ-MC100 and GZ-MC200 in JVC's Everio family, will be 
introduced worldwide in October. Both are equipped with a 10x optical zoom 
and a 2.12 megapixel CCD image sensor and a 4-Gbyte Microdrive card. 

JVC helped develop MPEG2 compression technology. Making use of its internal 
technology, the company developed a new MPEG-2 codec chip using a 130-nm 
process. The 15-mm chip is the smallest codec chip, said Namiki, capable of 
compressing video at 8.5 Mbps in ultrafine mode. A 4-Gbyte Microdrive can 
record about 60 minutes in this mode. For normal and economy modes, variable 
rate coding is used to provide 2 hours of video in normal mode and five hours 
in economy mode using the 4-Gbyte drive. 

The codec is the same MPEG-2 device used for DVD to maintain high 
compatibility with DVD recorders. "We, of course, have investigated the 
possibility of new codecs such as MEPG-4 and H.264. But it was difficult to 
achieve picture quality equal to that of DVD with currently available codec 
engines," said Namiki. 
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I'll be interested in seeing these products after they ship next month.  I'd 
also be interested in seeing something like them that could directly encode 
the video into ogg theora format instead of MPEG2.  How much smaller would 
files in currently available ogg theora format be for picture quality equal 
to that of the JVC MPEG2 encoder?

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