Sony readies high-definition camcorder

The electronics giant is betting that consumers are ready to spend a couple grand to up the quality of their home movies.

Sony plans to launch a new camcorder in November that can record and play back high-definition video.

The device, part of the company's Handycam line, records and plays back video with a resolution of 1,440 pixels by 1,080 lines, the highest in any consumer camcorder, the company said.

Dubbed the HDR-FX1, the device uses MPEG2 compression, which is the same type normally used for digital broadcasts and DVDs. It also features a 3.5-inch, wide-screen LCD display. An image in the display can be enlarged up to four times its original size without any loss of resolution, the company said.

The camcorder will sell for about $3,700, Sony said.

Sony also said it will introduce high-definition videotape for the new camera. The 63-minute casettes will begin shipping next month for about $18 each.

"With U.S. sales of high-definition television sets exploding, along with the availability of high-definition programming, the expectation of having personal content in high definition is growing rapidly," Linda Vuolo, director for camcorder products for Sony Electronics, said in a statement. "The introduction of the HDV-FX1 has been timed and targeted to meet this desire."