Just when you didn’t think it could get any more confusing, Panasonic and Sony have today announced specifications for "AVCHD," a brand new high definition (HD) digital video camera recorder format the two companies jointly established.

The AVCHD format allows for recording and playback high-resolution, digital HD images using 8cm DVD media.

The "AVCHD" is an HD digital video camera format for recording 1080i(*1) and 720p(*2) signals onto 8cm DVD media by using highly efficient codec technologies. The format employs MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression, and Dolby Digital (AC-3) or Linear PCM for audio codec. This makes it possible to develop HD video camera recorders which achieve compact size as well as high-quality video and audio.

The MPEG-4/H.264 codec is a promising technology which is over two times more efficient than MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 codec technologies. By adopting this technology, an "AVCHD" video camera recorder can record high quality HD video images onto 8cm DVD media.