AVCHD is a file-based format for the digital recording and playback of high-definition video. Developed jointly by Sony and Panasonic, the format was introduced in 2006 primarily for use in high definition consumer camcorders, favorable comparisons of AVCHD against HDV and XDCAM EX solidified perception of AVCHD as a format acceptable for professional use. Both Panasonic and Sony released the first consumer AVCHD camcorders in spring of 2007, Panasonic released the first AVCHD camcorder aimed at the professional market in 2008, though it was nothing more than the FLASH card consumer model rebadged with a different model number. In 2011 the AVCHD specification was amended to include 1080-line 50-frame/s and 60-frame/s modes, the new video modes require double the data rate of previous modes. AVCHD and its logo are trademarks of Sony and Panasonic, for video compression, AVCHD uses the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard, supporting a variety of standard, high definition, and stereoscopic video resolutions. For audio compression, it supports both Dolby AC-3 and uncompressed linear PCM audio, stereo and multichannel surround are both supported. Aside from recorded audio and video, AVCHD includes many features to improve media presentation, menu navigation, simple slide shows. The menu navigation system is similar to DVD-video, allowing access to individual videos from a common intro screen, slide shows are prepared from a sequence of AVC still frames, and can be accompanied by a background audio track. Subtitles are used in some camcorders to timestamp the recordings, audio, video, subtitle, and ancillary streams are multiplexed into an MPEG transport stream and stored on media as binary files. Usually, memory cards and HDDs use the FAT file system, at the file system level, the structure of AVCHD is derived from the Blu-ray Disc specification, but is not identical to it. In particular, it uses legacy 8.3 file naming convention, another difference is location of the BDMV directory, which contains media files. On a DVD-based camcorder the BDMV directory is placed at the root level, on the HDD-based Canon HG10 camcorder the BDMV directory is located in the AVCHD directory, which is placed at the root level. Solid-state Panasonic and Canon camcorders nest the AVCHD directory inside the PRIVATE directory, following a standard agreed upon by many still camera manufacturers, solid-state camcorders have a root-level DCIM directory for still images. AVCHD recordings can be transferred to a computer by connecting the camcorder via the USB connection, removable media like SDHC and Memory Stick cards or DVDs can be read on a computer directly. Copying files from an AVCHD camcorder or from removable media can be performed faster than from a tape-based camcorder, just as editing DVCPRO HD and HDV video once demanded an expensive high-end computer, AVCHD editing software requires powerful machines. Compared to HDV, AVCHD requires 2-4x the processing power for realtime playback, placing a burden on the computers CPU. Improvements in multi-core computing and graphics processor acceleration bring AVCHD playback to mainstream desktops and laptops, AVCHD supports a variety of video resolutions and scanning methods, which was further extended with the 2011 amendment of the specification. The licensing body of the specification defines a variety of labels for products compliant with specific features, most AVCHD camcorders support only a handful of the video and audio formats allowed in the AVCHD standard
An example of interlace combing
Native Progressive logo (Canon)
Conventional 12 cm disc (left) compared to 8 cm disc (right)
Canon HF100 camcorder with a partially inserted Secure Digital card.