Blu-ray Camcorders to Be Sold Next Year

Rhett Pardon
TOKYO — Sony Corp., Matshushita and other companies are planning to market Blu-ray DVD camcorders when player equipment is rolled out next year.

While no other details were made public Friday, the announcement is significant for content producers who are choosing the next-generation format for DVDs.

The companies — all members of the Blu-ray Disc Association — are trying to win over future high-definition-format customers, and the battle for positioning is fierce.

NEC Corp. and Toshiba Corp. are promoting another type of next-generation optical disc format they jointly developed, called HD DVDs.

The Blu-ray format is 8 centimeters, or 3.2 inches, and uses a blue laser in its drive. The regular size of normal DVDs, which uses a red laser, is 12 centimeters.

Sony and Matsushita, which owns the Panasonic brand, have already commercialized the Blu-ray technology and sell recorders in Japan. The machines offer limited Blu-ray disc format support and won't play prerecorded discs.

Sony and Hitachi Ltd. are already marketing digital camcorders that use the current generation of DVDs as a recording medium. There are other digital video cameras on the market using mini-digital videocassette tapes.