I hadn't seen this blogged in English...
In May, Sony and Matsushita announced an interim high-definition recordable format for portable consumer camcorders. Called AVCHD the system uses 8cm recordable DVD disks (650nm laser). The compression avoids HDV's long-GOP (with its 0.5 second dropouts) instead preferring the MPEG4 AVC (aka H264) used in BlueRay.
Screen formats 1080/60i /50i and /30p and 720/60p/50p/24p are all supported. 1080 is really 1920x1080 rather than 1440x1080 although that is supported as well. Sampling is 4:2:0. Sound is AC3 (5.1) with bitrates of up to 640kbs or Dolby Diital (1.5Mbs on two channels). The max system bitrate is 18Mbps which gives a min record time of 10 min, although you can downgrade this to get more play time. On the average setting, you get around 20 minutes per disk.
Although the system uses standard DVD recordable disks, they won't playback on standard DVD players unless the firmware is upgraded to support AVCHD (unlikely).
The big question is: Why????
Data from the June 2006 Video Salon magazine in Japan.