Looks at Full HD 1080, Death of MiniDV?

Adam Nielson has taken over blogging duties at, and starts today with two interesting posts. In the first, it appears that Sony’s “Full HD 1080” logo that appears on many of the company’s TVs is, as I suspected, marketing fluff. Although one would think that “Full 1080” might refer to 1080p (progressive, full-frame playback, versus interlaced 1080i), the label gets applied to the HDR-SR1 camcorder, which is a 1080i HDV device. Sure looks good when you’re agog in front of a wall of flat-panel televisions with your credit card in hand, though, doesn’t it?

The next post talks about “the death of MiniDV,” something that’s been bandied about on the Net more and more. Although HDV is sure to keep MiniDV tapes in use, the consumer range of the market is seeing much more adoption of DVD camcorders and hard-drive based camcorders (despite their problems on the Mac; see the comments here).

Prosumers know the format is sticking around, but it’s on the low end where MiniDV is seeing the biggest pressure. By all rights, the format should have enjoyed a happy retirement as a low end consumer product. Instead, DVD based camcorders are taking MiniDV’s throne by force. While professionals shudder at the thought of using anything you can’t edit easily, the fact that everyone and their dog owns a DVD player gives the format some traction. With MinDV, people have to hook their camcorder up to their TV, or capture the footage and burn it to a disc. Shooting directly to DVD cuts out the middle man, which is very popular with the home movie crowd. By the same token, AVCHD is fast gaining popularity, and with cheaper camcorders hitting the market, MiniDV faces even greater pressure.

Practically speaking, I’m hoping that the next version of iMovie gains the capability to edit footage from DVD and hard disk camcorders (which record to MPEG-2 format, making editing difficult without an intermediary step), as well as AVCHD formatted footage.

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