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Hitachi's Blu-ray camcorder launching in Europe

High-end camcorder boost for Blu-ray standard

Hitachi will launch its Blu-ray Disc-based digital video camcorder in Europe in October, the company announced at the IFA international consumer electronics show in Berlin.

The camera, available in Japan since Thursday, is also slated to reach store shelves in North America next month.

Consumers can choose between two models: the BD70E, which uses a built-in 8cm Blu-ray Disc burner to record video directly to discs; and the BD7HE, a hybrid model, which includes both the disc burner and a 30GB hard disk drive.

The BD70E will cost around €1,300 (£880) and the hybrid version €1,500 (£1,015).

All components in the cameras, including, lens, CMOS, drive and disc output are full 1920 x 1080 high-definition. "We guarantee end-to-end full HD," Roland Fritsch, European product manager at the Hitachi Digital Media Group.

While the 7.5GB Blu-ray Disc offers about one hour of recording, the hard disk drive provides four hours.

Fritsch expects storage capacity of both to be increased. "We won't see dual-layer recording on Blu-ray Disc camcorders this year, but there will be developments in this area," he said.

The new camcorder could help meet demands by manufacturers of Blu-ray Disc players for more content, according to Fritsch. "Everyone says we need more Blu-ray Disc content and keep talking about Hollywood," he said. "Yes, we need Hollywood titles, but now, with our new camcorders, everyone can create Blu-ray Disc content."

IFA runs until Wednesday.

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