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"D-VHS": Will it replace DVD?

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the is-it-all-that-and-a-bucket-of-cheesewhiz? dept.

Technology 348

1+1trouble writes "Wired News has an interesting article about D-VHS: 'JVC introduced the new D-VHS tape at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) along with a high definition television (HDTV) set that protects high definition content from being copied. Video on D-VHS tapes is uncompressed, so it's enormous. A 75GB hard disk would only hold around 30 minutes of the video, according to company officials, making the trading of HD content over the Internet impossible...D-VHS can record and play back up to four hours of video in high definition mode -- up to 1,080 lines per screen width, or more than double the resolution of DVD...' The proposition comes in sync with the current haggle over copy-protection schemes. But, considering it's hefty price tag and DVD's head-start, it might just be relegated to the throngs of the laserdisc."

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Replace DVDs? Probably not (1)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#521034)

because DVDs scan like CDs and let you jump to any point of the movie in an instant. D-VHS would be good for recording TV shows and alike, but not produced DVDs you can buy in a store.

Trading of content impossible? I doubt it. (1)

Bojay Iverson (261262) | more than 13 years ago | (#521037)

A 75GB hard disk would only hold around 30 minutes of the video, according to company officials, making the trading of HD content over the Internet impossible...
Well, until someone rips the content with an efficient codec and ups it as SuperVCD or similar. Nice try, 10 years too late.

Oh yay! (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#521041)

...I'm going to replace my DVDs with something that I have to rewind...!?

No thanks!


To say it is not compressed... (1)

|nion| (151467) | more than 13 years ago | (#521044)

Doesn't mean it can't be compressed. I hardly think size will deter HD-VHS pirates.

what about... (1)

doctor_nick (232325) | more than 13 years ago | (#521046)

from the sounds of it, the new vhs is still a magnetic media, subject to degredation over time.

Impossible....BAH!!! (3)

DoomHaven (70347) | more than 13 years ago | (#521048)

> A 75GB hard disk would only hold around 30
> minutes of the video, according to company
> officials, making the trading of HD content
> over the Internet impossible...

So all one yahoo has to do is to kludge together a compressor from D-VHS to MPEG/AVI/MOV/ASX and we are right back to were we started.

Admittedly, the hardware requirements would be impressive to pull it off, but one decidated person is needed to pull it off. As well, by the time this kind of stuff becomes standard, I will own a 2GHz computer with 200 GB of storage anyways.

Nothing is impossible.

Uncompressed for internet protection? (4)

DaveHowe (51510) | more than 13 years ago | (#521050)

I would imagine the biggest opponent to this would be the manufacturers themselves. Users have rapidly gotten used to getting double the standard length on a tape; compression would give them that same effect, otherwise the sales force are going to have to go to the market and say "hey, look at our wonderful VCR; ok, it can only put 4hrs on a 4hr tape when you are used to 8hrs, and it isn't as tolerant of noise as the old one was, but look - it is compatable with the HDTV service you haven't got yet!"

Then when you actually *get* a sale, you have to point out that, in order to play the new HDTV tapes, you not only need a new HDTV set, but one that supports the encryption used on the tape as for copy protection reasons it will only be decoded in authorized sets - no software or PC decoders involved.

I am sure the rush to such a device will be overwhelming....

Because it is uncompressed... (1)

pergamon (4359) | more than 13 years ago | (#521131)

From the article:
"One of the reasons Hollywood studios support this is because the video is uncompressed," McCarron said. "By compressing it, it's easier to transmit over the Internet because it's smaller. Because of its size when uncompressed, it's harder to trade or copy."

So they believe that because the format does not utilize compression, it cannot be compressed for transmission using some 3rd party compression?

Re:what about... (1)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#521135)

CD formats also degrade over time, just not as much.

Do people want higher resolution TV? (3)

redelm (54142) | more than 13 years ago | (#521138)

Success of this scheme will depend on whether the mass of consumers is wants and is willing to pay for higher resolution TV. Evidence so far is no. HDTV is not selling well.

NTSC/PAL may well suck, but its enough to get the story across and that's what most people care for. The impact of special-effects and sweeping vistas is mostly related to image viewer angle, not image resolution. Big screen TVs (which are popular) take care of this.

On the question of tape versus disk, the big advantage of disk is random access. It's of little value in video entertainment which is mostly watched serially with very few jumps.

Re:what about... (1)

piingouin (263399) | more than 13 years ago | (#521142)

well dv tapes are magnetic but hold digital data, making it very stong to degradation over time.

Shiny (3)

telstar (236404) | more than 13 years ago | (#521146)

People like shiny things. That's why DVDs and CDs took off, while MDs have struggled and tapes (both VHS and audio) have all but disappeared for mainstream consumer use. Unless your media is shiny, don't expect it to succeed.

Backup medium (1)

drazi (69565) | more than 13 years ago | (#521149)

If these tapes are cheap and can be used for data, they might just find a market.

I can't see them taking off for video, though. Analogue VHS is good enough for temporary recordings and recordable DVD isn't looking to be too far away from being affordable.

Doesn't matter (much)... (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#521151)

That doesn't matter too much...

It's still digital. A 'weak' 0 is still a 0, and a 'weak' 1 is still a 1. But a blanked out area will probably cause pops-n-gaps... and let's not even talk about how screwed up it'll get if the tape gets eaten by the read heads.

VHS is obsolete. They need to get over it.


Re:Replace DVDs? Probably not (4)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 13 years ago | (#521157)

because DVDs scan like CDs and let you jump to any point of the movie in an instant. D-VHS would be good for recording TV shows and alike, but not produced DVDs you can buy in a store.

Yup. Because of the simplicity of mass-producing a disc media versus a tape-in-cassette media, it's unlikely that the big duplicators and movie houses are going to embrace this.

And Blockbuster probably likes the fact that they never need to worry about rewinding DVDs.

For home recording, I see this as possible; but mass acceptance of HDTV is as far off as mass acceptance of DVD recorders.

I expect that we'll see this format eventually fail. It probably just JVC hoping to continue VHS so that they continue to get the royalties on it.

one word - BetaMax (1)

beest (200570) | more than 13 years ago | (#521160)

ok, maybe that's 2 words

Hello - encryption, not huge files (3)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 13 years ago | (#521162)

You use encryption to prevent copying, not enormous files! Put some good RSA encryption on a DVD and it would be much harder to crack.

Interesting stuff... (2)

CoBoLwArRiOr (301814) | more than 13 years ago | (#521173)

...but I personally feel that the disc format is a force to be reckoned with. D-VHS might hold a lot more in terms of video, but for ease of use I think the DVD would still win. Going back to tape you'd deal with rewinding and fast-forwarding to find your favorite scenes, and I didn't see anything mentioned about special features on those tapes. I for one like the extras on DVDs, and I don't think people are going to give that up.

The COBOL Warrior

Impossible? Wait 6 months (5)

Phaid (938) | more than 13 years ago | (#521177)

A 75GB hard disk would only hold around 30 minutes of the video, according to company officials, making the trading of HD content over the Internet impossible..

Wow, these guys are pretty pessimistic on the evolution of technology... 300GB hard disks are a couple of years away at best, and their "impossible to crack" encryption scheme is a cozy but totally unsupported assertion. There's no reason to think this scheme won't eventually be cracked, at which point it won't be all that hard to DivX the content of a tape into a smaller, easily-transmitted .AVI file.

Beyond that, this is a stupid step backwards, and one that clearly puts the interests of consumers dead last. DVD, with all its warts, allows you to play videos on laptops, PCs, and small, easily-portable players; tapes are much more vulnerable to damage and the players are much bulkier and break down more often.

Nice try, but this isn't going to fly in the consumer arena.

How big is big? (1)

khendron (225184) | more than 13 years ago | (#521180)

The "it won't be copied, it's too big" argument seems kinda flakey to me, for the following obvious reasons:
  1. What's big today will not seem all that big 10, or even 5, years from now. This argument seems self-dating.
  2. Anything uncompressed can be stored compressed. How small will the files get once they are compressed?
I am sure more reasons will occur to me the more I think about it.

These device also have built in copy protection, JVC claims, but if the built in copy protection is so great why present these additional flakey arguments.

Major problem (1)

rmull (26174) | more than 13 years ago | (#521185)

The critical disadvantage of all tape media is that they aren't random access. Now, that may not be incredibly important when watching a movie, but it's certainly nice to have.

Also, observe DVD's acceptance in both the pc and the home video markets - that's hard to do with a sequential access medium.

How about hacking this thing as a tape backup... (2)

Ronin X (121414) | more than 13 years ago | (#521187)

75GB HD holds 30 minutes... D-VHS holds 4 hours... so this is a 600GB Tape capable of writing end-to-end in 4 hours? I'd be willing to pay consumer video device prices to back up my home 'enterprise' ;)

Rewind (1)

Quinn (4474) | more than 13 years ago | (#521189)

No way am I going back to big, bulky, ugly serially-accessed videotapes. DVD is "load and play." Interactive menus, features, it's a multimedia production, not just a damn movie. Resolution isn't as important as content to me. DVD is here to stay. This thing will go NOWHERE in the consumer market.


It likely doesn't have a chance (2)

Ergo2000 (203269) | more than 13 years ago | (#521192)

D-VHS seems to be really a new, improved version of S-VHS (apart from the obvious technological differences - I'm talking purely in regards to its placement in the consumer marketplace) and we all saw where that went : Nowhere. Despite having a much greater resolution and quality of signal no one was willing to pony up the extra for the player and the media which was far more expensive.

Mass consumers only ever buy anything because it has convenience features. While lip service is paid to quality, the reality is that quality means very little to the majority of people. If people were willing to stick with the inconveniences of VHS they would LITERALLY stick with VHS : DVHS offers nothing that the average consumer wants apart from recording, and even then some of the settop boxes are far more convenient and are filling that marketplace. DVD on the other hand offers lots of extras, a cute menuing system, and most importantly instant access.

Expect to start hearing a lot more whispering about DVD-2 as it is definitely in the planning stages right now. DVD-2 will primarily represent a very large increase in capacity, hence resolution. Of course they would never market it as just that as it'd never sell, but instead DVD-2 players with DVD-1 capabilities will just flood the market to the point where the new content is viable.

Copy protection. I won't buy it, period. (2)

TomatoMan (93630) | more than 13 years ago | (#521195)

A new Macrovision copy protection system prevents the duplication of tapes by copying from one digital deck to another. The content is encrypted with a High Definition Copy Protection (HDCP) system JVC developed that is similar in function to the Content Scrambling System (CSS) on a DVD.

The HDCP system can't be broken, however, because only high definition sets will have the HDCP decoder, according to Dan McCarron, national product specialist in JVC's color TV division.

So: it will only play on systems with the special decoder, which will be prewired to limit the ability to copy. Say goodbye to deck-to-deck editing like I did on VHS compliation tapes back in the day.

No thanks. I'm not buying crippleware, hardware or software, no matter how cool it seems otherwise.


Re:Oh yay! (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 13 years ago | (#521198)

So buy a tape rewinder.

If it doesn't have compression artifacts I'd be happy.

DVDs really aren't capable of HD resolutions without serious artifacting problems, so you need something to fill the gap. Right now DVD recorders cost at least twice as much as D-VHS recorders and don't do HD.

The argument at the moment is moot as few can recieve or playback full HD resolutions.

Backup (1)

morie (227571) | more than 13 years ago | (#521207)

  • D-VHS holds 4 hrs of digital video
  • 30 min == 75 GB
Does this mean we have a 300GB backup system?

Re:Impossible....BAH!!! (1)

Cspine (263118) | more than 13 years ago | (#521211)

I agree... it's short-sighted. Not to mention naive. It wouldn't take more than a small lan (like at my house) could easily have several hundred gigabytes of data.

Not to mention, why the heck would I want to rewind miles of tape?

There's something fishy about this if they seriously think it's gonna survive the first couple months because tape is about 10 years out of date.

Re:Backup (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 13 years ago | (#521213)

ooooo, yeah......300GB on one tape.....yummy....I want one.......One tape for the whole network....drool......drool.....drool...

No copy protection (2)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 13 years ago | (#521214)

Just because 75 gigs will only hold 30 minutes doesn't mean it won't be distributed. Besides, that's probably the uncompressed figure. What size would it be when you run it through an mpeg4 encoder? The Mandrake distro is a gig for everything, and people download that.

Truth is, it'll be a couple years at least before this technology gets into the hands of the average consumer, and movies start getting distributed in that format. Besides, it can always be scaled down to 1/4 its resolution, or lower.

Re:Backup (1)

morie (227571) | more than 13 years ago | (#521218)

No, it's 600 GB. I know, sorry for my math...

Re:Backup (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 13 years ago | (#521219)

Backing up DVDs ?
300 / 7 = 42 ...
yum, yum...

Correct link to Consumer Electronics show (1)

Traksius Egas (12395) | more than 13 years ago | (#521222)

This is the correct link to the CES: []

A major obstacle to take-up of this (1)

phaze3000 (204500) | more than 13 years ago | (#521224)

Is that (from my reading of the article at least, I may be wrong) they require HDTVs. HDTV isn't out in Europe, and isn't likely to be any time soon (we'll just stick to our lovely 100hz PAL Widescreen Anamorphic Digital TVs thanks :)).

Despite what many in North America may believe, the US doesn't rule the world.


fail fail fail, monopoly alert? (1)

drnomad (99183) | more than 13 years ago | (#521226)

The HDCP system can't be broken, however, because only high definition sets will have the HDCP decoder

Does this mean only JVC sells this stuff? As ever, the industry needs standards, for competition.One of the 'official' reasons for Java to have 'failed' is that Sun wanted a industry standard propriaty language. Fail Fail Fail! Did not work sorry. Won't work for any recordable media either.

Suppose only JVC sells this stuff: no competition and probably too expensive
Suppose others sell this stuff: Take over the technique, and service it into new products, like a PC HDTV video player (and recordables ofcourse). Lets buy two of these machines and start copying. I know stories of drugsdealers who switched to selling illegal CD-ROMS when internet wasn't much popular yet, this will happen for this new video technology if more conveniant ways for piracy is not found or possible. The internet will then only be used as a broker - you search, we supply.


Re:Impossible....BAH!!! (1)

Jestr26 (158948) | more than 13 years ago | (#521227)

Yeah. WAV and cda files are big as well compared with their much nicer mp3 equivilent.

the content will still be converted to divx (1)

acz (120227) | more than 13 years ago | (#521231)

>75GB hard disk would only hold around 30 minutes >of the video, according to company >officials, making the trading of HD content over >the Internet impossible... Nothing will prevent to capture, compress and convert to divx. If they want to stop the trading of movies on internet, they better cut down the price of dvd... I can't believe that in some countries they sell DVD for 2 or 3 times the price of VHS... Also the quality of some DVD is really low, crappy aspect ratio, e.g Starship troopers in on two side, you have to swap the side in the middle of the movie like with those old laserdisc toasters and vcd.

Re:Impossible....BAH!!! (1)

mazur (99215) | more than 13 years ago | (#521233)

As well, by the time this kind of stuff becomes standard, I will own a 2GHz computer with 200 GB of storage anyways.

And the internet will by that time have gigabit or terabit links, so "impossible" is definitely limited in time.

It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

Re:Replace DVDs? Probably not (1)

Bob Abooey (224634) | more than 13 years ago | (#521235)

I think I disagree here. I have been a leading tier-one freelance head technical lead for many cutting edge technologies so I have some insight here. For instance, I helped to develop the CueCat, the Sony Betamax, the Yugo, MS Bob and numerous other blue ribbon products. My gut feeling here is that due to the inherant nature of the sound quality of a tri-polyglophin (this is the resident building block which makes up a D-VHS) is an order of magnitude better that that of DVD's. In fact I've seen test which show that even if you subject it to a a degredation of y = f(x)*z^2 you will not hear any appreciable sound loss until you x and z begin to converge along a parabolic apex. You really have to hear it to belive it.

Bah, stop looking at home use!!! (2)

quamper (229753) | more than 13 years ago | (#521239)

Why does everyone only look at the home-use for such a product? These babies could be the answer TV stations and Video Producers have been looking for. Look at current DV and MiniDV, sure you get great quality but storage is a problem. So Sony came out with their camera that has a harddrive in it. Still this is all very inefficient.

Pop a 300 gig video tape in a camera and my GOD!

The only thing that scares me though, is this being adopted by the pr0n industry. Isn't there enough of that crap out there already? Do we really need amateurs being able to shoot 300 gigs worth of pr0n?

D-VHS blank media is going to sell for $10-15 a tape. I know I'd buy a camera that would use this!

Re:Backup (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 13 years ago | (#521243)

mmmm....600GB....more drool.....

Why HDVD will win... (2)

ostiguy (63618) | more than 13 years ago | (#521244)

1. Its naturally read only, so Hollywood would push it with a vengeance.

2. After DVD, consumers won't want a linear recording format. For example, the T2 dvd with three branches of the film, original, director;s, and with deleted scenes. These features have proven to carry a price premium, at little cost for creation for studios.

3. Backwards compatibility. Whatever HDVD discs will look like in 2004ish, a HDVD player will play CDs, DVDs, and Audio DVDs.


Too Late (1)

derrickh (157646) | more than 13 years ago | (#521246)

This could have killed DVD if it had came out when DVD was just starting to get a foothold. But now it's too late. People with DVD players are used to scene selection, menus, commentaries, and extras. DVHS would see like a step back to most.

And what about tape degradation? One of the reasons I hate VHS is that after a year or so, movies are noticibly lower in quality. A couple of years after that, they're unwatchable. Wouldn't DVHS have the same problem? Except instead of blurry pictures, I'd see little colored blocks popping on the screen

Mad Scientists with too much time on thier hands

These people are joking, right? (2)

xtal (49134) | more than 13 years ago | (#521249)

Time to sell some stock.

This company wasted untold amounts of money developing a product that:

  • Has no random access (tape)
  • Is physically bigger (tape)
  • Can be eaten by your machine ($$)
  • Can't be played on your notebook
  • Can't be played on your computer, either
  • Makes interactive movies difficult or impossible
  • Is designed to make copying (backups?) difficult or impossible(ha)
  • Costs between 5 and 8 times what a DVD player does
  • Has next to no support from video rental outlets

I can't believe this crap! Does the MPAA off whores to go with kickbacks, or something? Oh well. No need to worry, if there's one thing even my MOM hates, it's VHS tapes and having to pick them out of a VCR when they (inevitably) fail. This format is DOA, but if I was a shareholder, I'd be pissed.

Customers won't buy it if they can't afford it (3)

mblase (200735) | more than 13 years ago | (#521251)

This paragraph from the article says it all:
The JVC D-VHS deck, which should be available around May, will sell for approximately $2,000, while blank media will cost between $10 and $15.
For $2000, no one's going to buy these tapes, regardless of how backwards-compatible they are. DVD players are well-established and can be bought for as little as $100 at the low-end. VCR's are available for even less. Recorded movies in those formats are available for about $20 VHS, $25 DVD. Why in the world would anyone take a chance on digital tapes, except in the professional markets?

The clincher for movies is always going to be what I call the Blockbuster [] factor. If your local video store thinks you'll have the machine, they'll carry the movies. If you think your local video store will carry the movies, you'll buy the player. But for $2000, nobody's going to start carrying movie titles when VHS and DVD are already practially guaranteed.

Digital VHS may stand a chance in the professional markets. It won't sell anywhere else, period.

Re:Backup (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 13 years ago | (#521252)

mmmhhh 600 Gig...
then 82 DVDs...
more drool...

Re:Because it is uncompressed... (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#521257)

And the mere 5.4GB on a DVD is trivial to trade. I'm always downloading DVDs over my cable modem.

options? (1)

bludstone (103539) | more than 13 years ago | (#521259)

Do these offer options similar to dvds? like multiple language/dub tracks? sure doesnt look like it. Whats the friggin point of these anyway? VHS is too integrated and it took ages for DVD to take off.. the only place this could possibly succeed is in the broadcast market (Where many still use betamax) even then, copyprotecting seems a bit pointless.

And why cant i just do d-vhs out to video-card in? eh? oh wait. you have to buy a specially liscened player. People already dont want to spend the extra cash on HDTV, they wont spend the extra money on something that doesnt work with their current system.

Pah. (1)

MarchingAnts (301730) | more than 13 years ago | (#521262)

While everyone's busy snapping up the latest DVDs and DVHS's and PDQ's and do-re-mi's, I'll just continue using my trusty, reliable VCR and scoop up all the discounted video tapes! Becuase while I like shiny new technology, I like cheap things MORE. And besides, 97% of the households in the US have a VCR. I'd say there's a good 10 years or so of life left in plain-ol' videtapes.

Re:Oh yay! (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#521264)

So buy a tape rewinder.

What about fast fowarding to a specific part of a movie?

Nevermind the fact that DVDs take up less space on the shelf, but they almost always have more "Neat Stuff" included ("Follow the white rabbit!"), and they don't get eaten, never wear out (unless you scratch them... ugh).

I've all but thrown out anything related to a cassette of any kind in this house.

So what? I can't record? Big deal. I couldn't record on CD for the longest time either, but that didn't stop me from buying all of my new music on CD. In fact, I haven't bought a music tape in what's now getting close to 15 years.

Just because they made VHS digital doesn't mean I'm willing to dive right back into all of it's flaws.


Re:Replace DVDs? Probably not (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 13 years ago | (#521266)

Besides random access benefits, VHS tapes are physically HUGE compared to a CD.

Stupid (1)

Pru (201238) | more than 13 years ago | (#521269)

"A 75GB hard disk would only hold around 30 minutes of the video, according to company officials, making the trading of HD content over the Internet impossible..."

Right right.... obvisly they dont understand or are lying.

Re:Shiny (1)

Nilatir (179045) | more than 13 years ago | (#521271)

Hey, MDs are shiny and they come in pretty colors too!

Re:Disc-Tape- ? (1)

G-Fresh (303007) | more than 13 years ago | (#521274)

Tape, why not wax cylinder for video storage device, or flip books, those were awesome.

That's totally dumb... (1)

BlueBlade (123303) | more than 13 years ago | (#521276)

Hold on for a minute now. They say that, since the video is uncompressed, it will not be possible to copy it and trade it over the internet? Do these people have any clue of what they are talking about?

I don't know about you, but I've never seen a whole DVD mpeg-2 movie copied, or traded over the net. An mpeg-2 DVD movie is over 4 Gb! Even with high bandwidth and disk space, it's easy to understand that you won't copy too many movies if you have to take so much bandwidth/space. The thing is that people don't care what the inital format of the movie is. They'll take the movie, make it into a bandwidth/space-friendly format, such as mpeg-4 (DivX) and THEN they'll store and trade it.

This 200 Gb movie will be just around 1 Gb once it's compressed into mpeg-4, just like any other movie out there. Saying that this will prevent copying or trading just shows that they have no idea of what the actual problem is.

Compression May Not Be Possible (2)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 13 years ago | (#521277)

Since the content on the tape is encrypted, it may not be possible to compress it effectively. Encrypted data is very resistant to compression because the purpose of encryption is to obscure patterns in the plaintext data. That's why security guides say to compress your data before encrypting.

VHS vs Beta all over again (1)

zoomba (227393) | more than 13 years ago | (#521279)

Remember the battle between VHS and Beta? I myself have only a vague recollection of that, but hearing about this drudges up memories. The industry has already moved to make DVD the next standard... quality may not be as high but it has several things going for it:

1)Cost, DVDs are WAY cheaper to both buy and produce
2)They're already out there... every new computer has a dvd player, video game consoles are coming out with DVD capability...
3)Longevity (sp?), a DVD will last just about forever if you take proper care of it, no worries of it being ruined by your player, or it being destroied when your son or daughter decides to put peanut butter in the dvd player (though the player itself will most likely not fare too well)
4)Size... DVDs are small and can be caried anywhere easily, those D-VHS tapes are larger than standard VHS tapes, and we know how portable those things are to begin with.

Too little too late JVC... if you had this just a few years earlier, MAYBE it woulda taken off. The only way these things will stay around is if JVC finds a way to force companies to use that technology over DVD somehow.


Re:Do people want higher resolution TV? (4)

slim (1652) | more than 13 years ago | (#521282)

On the question of tape versus disk, the big advantage of disk is random access. It's of little value in video entertainment which is mostly watched serially with very few jumps.

For me, random access is a major part of what makes DVD a nice format. "Instant" chapter selection is a real boon, especially on material which is naturally episodic, such as a season's worth of a TV series. So-far-underused DVD features such as branching are also dependant on random access.

Random access is what gives TiVo so many selling points over any tape-based technology, and some of those features will carry forward to DVD-R video.

HDTV is appealing, and for once Europe is behind on this (Digital TV is now commonplace in Europe, but it is all broadcast in PAL resolution -- broadcasters want to pay for as little bandwidth as possible and some of the small-time channels have quite visible MPEG artefacts as a result). What would be required for consumer uptake would be a smooth upgrade path -- say a "HDTV-ready" reciever which outputs both a high-resolution picture and a downsampled NTSC/PAL signal.

Piracy (1)

austinij (139193) | more than 13 years ago | (#521284)

First off, how many time have we heard that something is 'pirate-proof', just to have one of us smart types reverse engineer it several months later? I have a hard time beleiveing anything is pirate-proof.

second of all, I sure don't want to be rewinding tapes all the time.

i'm going out to buy another DVD!

Re:what about... (1)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 13 years ago | (#521286)

CD formats degrade several orders of magnitude slower than tapes. And, they don't degrade as you play them.

Re:Trading of content impossible? I doubt it. (1)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#521287)

This is dumb anyway. A DVD is supposed to be damn near perfect quality anyway, right? I mean if you look really, *really* carefully, you can seem some blockiness in diffrent shades of black Neo's coat when the screen is almost totally black.

For my Anime DVD's there is *no* noise whatsoever. DVD is an incomparable video format in terms of quality. Even if they did start releasing super-bulky video data like this, why not just rip to DVD-R ????

MPAA & Blockbust will push this to kill DVD (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 13 years ago | (#521290)

Why? Simple. Content Control & renting control. DVD does not adhere to the 'sell through' pricing such as VHS currently does. Meaning when a movie is released to Video, it usually comes out first at a price of $120 or so per video. This allows Blockbuster to purchase them, and then rent the heck out of them. Then, three or four months later the video is released at 'sell through' prices around $20. DVD however is better quality, better content, and out at $25 MSRP day and date with the rental video. Blockbuster locks at this as a threat to their business model and do whatever they can to come up with another model to Stop this. MPAA loves this, because for now, the amount of data on the tape is too big to reasonably pirate over the 'net.

When will they learn? (1)

LSD-OBS (183415) | more than 13 years ago | (#521292)

"The HDCP system can't be broken". Who knows, with a handful of xor logic gates and some transistors, a 16 year old european kid may just succeed :)

And no, D-VHS will not replace DVD - not at over $12000 just to watch the bloody thing. And now that everyone's used to being able to view interactively on one's PC, who wants to go back to TV?!

I would reckon that as soon as someone figures out how to grab the video content, we'll be back to trading mpeg4's over the internet again. Goodbye "non-piracy" theory. Information will always win in the end.

Re:Backup (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 13 years ago | (#521293)

uh, didn't see that typo...
600 / 7 = 85.714285714285714285714285714286
(according to bill's calc

Re:No copy protection (1)

cruelworld (21187) | more than 13 years ago | (#521295)

Uncompressed HDTV is 1.5Gb/s.

Compressed HDTV(+5.1 audio) is 19.394Mb/s.

Now I've been out and about in the DVD/DivX world (1)

meatspray (59961) | more than 13 years ago | (#521296)

and darned if i've seen anyone trading 4-7Gigs worth of VOB's to watch one stinking movie, even on broadband no one wants to wait that long. Given, the quality of the VOB(MPEG-2) outputfar surpasses the compressed AVI(MPEG-4) but it's just not worth it.
If you can see it and you can hear it, with the right equipment you can rerecord it and get a good quality movie.

Good enough (2)

finkployd (12902) | more than 13 years ago | (#521298)

Expect for the real quality zealots, most people (including me) will not replace TV with HDTV or VHS with DVD or D-VHS (unless we are forced). Why? Because the current quality is good enough. My TV is good enough. I can't justify spending a ton of money to gain a slight improvment in picture quality, at a loss of a ton of freedom. Right now, I can record and playback anything off my TV and VCR, I can rent/buy any movie I want, and I see no reason to give that up.

Make all the new devices you want, but if all the R&D is going into new features for the MPAA and company, with no real benefit to me, the consumer, I'm not interested.


Re:Hello - encryption, not huge files (2)

demon (1039) | more than 13 years ago | (#521299)

Sure, but the decryption process probably wouldn't be fast enough to stream video in realtime, and there's also the fact that encryption technology is still pretty heavily controlled in most parts of the world.

Re:Copy protection. I won't buy it, period. (2)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#521302)

Those copy protection schemes are optional.

You needed special hardware to by-pass Macrovision for copy VHS to VHS. You still need that hardware copying DVDs to VHS. But only those that have Macrovision added.

Pushing the American consumer (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#521303)

I really think that technology in the home media market is moving much too fast and going too far beyond what the average joe wants. There are both biological and technological limits that are there. In the former, humans can only see so much resolution without fuzziness with good eyesight, so going beyond what the current TVs (not necessarily HDTV) can offer is only going to benefit a small fraction of society. From the technological standpoint, as we keep adding more and more features to these devices, people are going to start using less and less of them, because all they want to do is watch Wheel of Fortune and Friends.

I think what we have right now, DVD with digital TV signals from cable sources and 5.1 sound, is about the most complex that we can go in the A/V technology without disinteresting any more consumers. HDTV is a good example of how most consumers are happy with what they have now and don't want to go any further. What the hardward and media content producers should start looking at is paralleling the technology, adding more things like TiVO-like systems, interactivity, or the ability to watch any program at any time. A good portion of consumers have the ability to do this, so why not start exploring how to improve the content distsribution, as opposed to making the consumer buy toys that could easily be antiquated in a few years.

Re:the content will still be converted to divx (1)

demon (1039) | more than 13 years ago | (#521305)

Umm. Starship Troopers has to be flipped partway through the movie? That's news to me (I have the Region 1 DVD) - one side contains the movie (anamorphic widescreen), the other side has special features. (Same with Spaceballs.)

Maybe MGM/UA is doing weird things in other regions?

Yeah they will. (5)

Spittoon (64395) | more than 13 years ago | (#521306)

They're called "early adopters" and they're the sort of people who already have an HDTV set, and are frothing at the mouth to be able to record "Everybody Loves Raymond" in super high fidelity.

Most of the posts (up to this one) seem to have neglected the fact that these tapes will allow you to record HDTV in actual High Definition. That's kind of the point. And $2000 is really kind of cheap for the first release of a new technology. Remember how expensive calculators used to be? Apple computers?

If you set aside the whole "copy protection" and "transmission over the Internet" issues, this is actually kind of cool. Sure it would be better to have a DVD-RW that could record HDTV, but that's not possible right now-- even with compression.

I regret that the folks who announced this technology felt that they had to address those issues. And even though they brought it up first, I'm pretty disappointed that when something like this emerges, it's immediately criticized from the perspective of "they're trying to keep us from copying stuff willy nilly", rather than as a new technology that will allow us to do something we couldn't before: preserve HDTV broadcasts at home in High Definition.

Re:Copy protection. I won't buy it, period. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#521307)

No thanks. I'm not buying crippleware, hardware or software, no matter how cool it seems otherwise

Others will! It will be just like DVD's. VHS is being replaced with DVD's. Try to find a movie not CSS encoded and region free. I heard analog TV is scheduled to go off the airwaves in the USA in 2006. Digital TV will all be encryption protected by law. Your choice is to do wihout or join in. Good luck. I have the same problem. I can't rent Laser Disks at my local video store anymore. They were not copy protected. They were too expensive to buy. I bought the player when they promised laser disks woud be cheaper than videotape because they could be cheaply stamped in mass. Tape became cheaper and laser disks became more expensive sold as premium content. Studios simply refused to provide in that format because they were afraid the media would last too long. Therefore laser disks had very limited selection and very high prices due to inflated royalties. (unless you bought the famous titles like "how to watch NFL football and how to play golf") It never became a mass market item.

What about (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#521308)

Using it as a tape backup system for a PC? At 15-20 per tape with 75 GB it's certainly competitive with the other systems out there. Of course, you would only need it if you back up 75GB.

Re:the content will still be converted to divx (1)

Ian Pointer (11337) | more than 13 years ago | (#521309)

The Starships Troopers Region 2 disc was a "flipper". And had no extras. I'm so glad I've got a hacked player 8-).

Wouldn't fit on an average hard disk... (1)

delmoi (26744) | more than 13 years ago | (#521310)

This year. Actualy, you can get an 80gig HD for around $250 nowadays. And I don't see why you couldn't just compress it...

Re:The era of Physical Media is over (1)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 13 years ago | (#521311)

Can your Tivo come to your son's preschool graduation, and easily capture video from a camera? Are you willing to mail your TIVO to a friend when he wants to see a show you recorded? TIVO's are great, but they don't cover all of the needs tapes can, just as tapes don't cover all of the needs TIVO's can.

Re:Impossible? Wait 6 months (1)

Plutor (2994) | more than 13 years ago | (#521312)

he doesnt use the word 'virtually'. he says it is 'impossible'.

Re:These people are joking, right? (2)

tommyk (31639) | more than 13 years ago | (#521313)

I would imagine, long term, the real benefit that outweighs all of the above: Cheaper to manufacture. It's only 10K now for the device. The tapes would not require a major retool from existing facilities.

They are betting they can undercut the competition, same way VHS did for Laserdisc. Why buy an expensive, Read-only solution?

Plus, I imagine some of these limitations could be overcome with a "buffering" appliance, somewhat TIVo-ish... you could put plenty of HD ( which is cheap ) or RAM in there to hold the things and give something of the illusion of Random Access. Not that they would bother.

I'm guessing if this goes forward, it will be price. Not everyone wants something twice as good if it costs twice as much.

Re:Do people want higher resolution TV? (3)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#521314)

"NTSC/PAL may well suck, but its enough to get the story across and that's what most people care for. The impact of special-effects and sweeping vistas is mostly related to image viewer angle, not image resolution. Big screen TVs (which are popular) take care of this. "

Which is what is really pissing me off with the N. American market. It's impossible to get a wide-screen TV that isn't an HDTV. I don't give a shit about HDTV, I just want a widescreen at a reasonable price like everywhere else in the world. I was in England 3 years ago and it seemed that half the TVs on sale then were widescreen. Now they're not much more expensive than normal 4:3 ratio screens. And, normal television broadcasts have many shows in digital widescreen. I don't want HDTV, I do want a 16:9 screen.

Re:Customers won't buy it if they can't afford it (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 13 years ago | (#521315)

Keep in mind people said the same thing about DVDs when they first came out. The first decks cost $2000 and media was $30 and it *gasp* wasn't recordable. Now the media is $10 - $15 at the big e-tailers and decks start at $99. You still can't record on it (yet) but over 4 million DVD players have been sold. However I think the main reason this won't succeed as well as DVD is the Extras and quick access you get with DVD. I've not had to rewind a VHS tape in over 4 years now.

Re:Bah, stop looking at home use!!! (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 13 years ago | (#521316)

The only thing that scares me though, is this being adopted by the pr0n industry. Isn't there enough of that crap out there already? Do we really need amateurs being able to shoot 300 gigs worth of pr0n?

Wow! Then we'd REALLY need that broadband connection!

I won't rest easy until I can view a streaming 300G amateur pr0n video on my cellphone at HDTV resolution. This is my new goal in life.


Re:How about hacking this thing as a tape backup.. (1)

wangi (16741) | more than 13 years ago | (#521317)

Well that's been done before - I certainly remember such contraptions for the Amiga... This URL discusses a Mac setup:

Re:It likely doesn't have a chance (2)

dboyles (65512) | more than 13 years ago | (#521318)

This comment is much more "insightful" than many that I've seen already moderated as such. Ergo2000 is absolutely right about customers wanting convenience. CDs overtook cassettes due in part to better sound quality, but mostly because there was no more fastforwarding or rewinding. Even today most consumers don't have stereo systems that can reveal the differences between a (well cared-for) cassette and a CD. Aside from that, CDs are easier to store, hold up better, etc.

If it's better quality that everybody wanted, we'd probably all be buying turntables. I don't know any serious music enthusiast who would say that a CD sounds better than a record (although I'm sure there are some who enjoy the digital sound, for one reason or another).

Re:What about (2)

sxpert (139117) | more than 13 years ago | (#521319)

according to [] , DLT7000 costs
  • $5899.00 for the drive
  • tapes are about $150 (70 Gig)
Now, D-VHS would be
  • $2000 for the drive
  • $15 to $20 for the tape
I see an interesting market for D-VHS there... Network backup system

This looks viable (1)

SupahVee (146778) | more than 13 years ago | (#521320)

I'll have to admit, as much as the MPAA blows goats, they do have a right to their content, their execution of controllling it leaves a lot to be desired, but thats another story..:-)

But this could even things out a bit, what if DVD was the unrestricted, free media that it should be, and the 20 year old VHS format was replaced with something strictly for home entertainment systems? I think that would be the ideal solution, THEY get their proprietary format for high end home entertainment, we get the free unrestriced, high quality DVD's for our PC's.

I say they accept the D-VHS satandard and open DVD wide for all of the world to use.

It's still a tape... (1)

Ric0chet (110522) | more than 13 years ago | (#521321) it has all the drawbacks of tape. You have to rewind it, you can't instantly skip to a specific chapter, etc.

DVD is here to stay. At least until recordable DVDs get cheaper...

This has Beta written all over it... (1)

Mumble01 (5809) | more than 13 years ago | (#521322)

"D-VHS": Will it replace DVD?

I'd bet money that it won't even come close. CD/DVD media has one big advantage which VHS will never have... it isn't tape.

DVD players are becoming popular not only because of the better resolution when compared to VHS but because discs typically last much longer (and at a higher quality) than videotapes. Permanent collections of favorite movies are now more attractive than they were before, especially with all the extras a typical DVD offers. I don't see the general public ever wanting to take a step back.

Practical Apps (2)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#521323)

This sounds like something that would have more use in the professional/educational instutions then it would in my living room.

One thing that confuses me is that all this work is being pushed towards digitizing the home theater and yet the movie studios cling to old film mediums. Someone should tell JVC and their ilk to develop the technology so that digital film isn't just a Speilberg/Lucas specialty.
Record the movies in full digital 75gb/minute then worry how to translate that to the home you f-ing moronic hollywood f's! F!
"Me Ted"

future (1)

SantaDaddy (250328) | more than 13 years ago | (#521324)

bah, people will just xfer stuff between oc-3's and the pull it off from their shell overnight. *duh* .. and anyways if we ever hear anymore updates on the holographic drives, according to those guys storage won't be a problem. but then again - 640k ought to be enough for anybody. ;)

uh huh, right (1)

kligh (178809) | more than 13 years ago | (#521325)

In reading the article ... I came across the following quote:

The HDCP system can't be broken, however, because only high definition sets will have the HDCP decoder, according to Dan McCarron, national product specialist in JVC's color TV division.

I'm not a genius. I know I couldn't have written DeCSS. But isn't saying "Such and such can't be broken" pretty dumb? Didn't only DVD players and authorized DVD software have the correct keys in the beginning, too?

I just think it's a little optimistic to say "Ooh, lookie at us, you can't break our encryption. Ever."

Yeah SUREEE.. I got a bridge I can sell you too! (2)

Splat (9175) | more than 13 years ago | (#521330)

"Video on D-VHS tapes is uncompressed, so it's enormous. A 75GB hard disk would only hold around 30 minutes of the video, according to company officials, making the trading of HD content over the Internet impossible..."

HA HA HA. Excuse me while I pick myself off the floor from laughing.

What kind of illogical argument is that? "Well since it's really big, they won't be able to copy it!". Excuse me, but such thinking is incredibly shortsighted.

DVD's were thought to be probably "impossible" to copy. But what happened? We have people who used hacked MPEG-4 CODEC DivX who distribute movies on 2 CD-ROMs. Nothing is impossible. You are merely taunting the pirates by proclaiming since it's so big they won't be able to pirate it.

I repeat - what an awful, awful, argument. The size has nothing to do with its ability to be pirated. Just as people watched crappy VCD's of Star Wars Episode 1 Bootlegs (come on Slashdot people, ADMIT IT) there will be people who will compress this new format down into a reasonable size while sacrificing quality.

Please no! (1)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#521331)

Tapes are excellent devices for backup, relatively cheap per gigabyte of storage. As long as you don't treat them like a primary device they're very reliable. Every tape storage format I've used: audio, video and digital storage has suffered from reliability and data integrity problems when used as a primary device (playing Led Zepplin twice a day, watching Debby Does Dalls ad infinitum or mounting a DAT on the desktop and using it as a cheap but slow drive)

DVD's are great, with adequate care they can last a very long time. The same goes with CD's. If you invest in the clear protective overlays for the top surface as many rental places do then they can last an extremely long time.

The other problem I don't see how this device could be affordable. The media may be inexpensive but the bandwidth required to handle 2.5 gigabytes/sec will be expensive. 2000 bucks for the recorder, 10000! bucks for the TV.

Claiming that large uncompressed data will prevent piracy is rather inane as well. If there's that much data the picture quality will be incredible making it that much easier to rip a copy (albeit degraded) that is acceptable and is tradeable via broadband.

Re:Interesting stuff... (2)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#521332)

"I for one like the extras on DVDs, and I don't think people are going to give that up."

You don't think that is a marketting gimmick to encourage people to migrate from VHS to DVD? I wonder if they'll put so much effor into DVDs in a few years when the pre-recorded VHS market has died.

D-VHS beat DVD ... not (5)

gabuzo (34544) | more than 13 years ago | (#521333)

Well I doubt D-VHS will replace DVD soon. First of all the DVD has just become a standard accepted by the consumers so I doubt that the motion picture industry will run the risk of introducing a new standard so soon. On the consumer side, D-VHS has some advantages but I don't think that'll be enough for the consumer.

  • it's reccordable but DVD RW is coming so it won't be an advantage over DVD when it'll be ready for primetime
  • D-VHS can reccord up to 1080 lines but I don't think that even in the USA there is enough HDTV sources worth reccording.
  • D-VHS is VHS compatible; that's right, exactly the same way the now defunct DCC was with the audio tapes.

On the other side there are a lots of drawbacks that prevent this system to get a wide acceptance from the public:

  • this is basically a magnetic tape so the usual problems are back: demagnetization, no direct access (and with the D-VHS bit rate there will be a lot of tape to wind to get to the end or a film), etc.
  • at the moment this is still a JVC only system may be less standardized that the multiple DVD-RW.
  • I'll work only with specific TVsets so buying a D-VHS means either not using it at it's full capability or changing your TV/RPTV/Projector/Whatsoever.

To add a something on the motion picture industry support to HD I doubt it'll come before years. The next challenge for theaters will be to switch from analog classical film to digital projection. The only two systems demonstrated so far had resolutions of 1920x1080 and 1280x1024. Yes, that's right, that's HDTV resolution or a little bit less. So I don't think that the studios will like to give the customers the same quality they use for theaters.

And the last thing: how many customers are interested in picture quality? If many people really cared about picture quality I think that analog HDTV could have been a success in Europe or Japan and I also think that the motion picture industry wouldn't have dropped the 65mm cinematography and the 70mm prints.

Re:Backup (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 13 years ago | (#521334)

I would imagine that the bit error rate on an entertainment system like this would be too high to be used for data storage. DAT audio tape systems were poor backup systems for this reason.

The era of Physical Media is over (2)

samael (12612) | more than 13 years ago | (#521335)

Why would I want tapes?

I've got my tivo to record on, video on demand is just arriving. 3 years from now the idea of having tapes to pass about the place will seem quaint.

nope (2)

jilles (20976) | more than 13 years ago | (#521336)

- players are expensive (2000$)
- dvd r and dvd rw will become available shortly and will be compatible with existing dvd
- in the long term, tapes have a higher production cost than dvd-r and dvd-rw
- we already have tivo like devices, what the hell do we need a digital vcr for?

Re:Because it is uncompressed... (1)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 13 years ago | (#521339)

So we can use gzip or bzip2 and get hefty compression. Sure it isn't as hefty as MPEG, but it is lossless, and can still be decoded in real time. Hell, players could even be linked to zlib or bzlib!

Re:Hello - encryption, not huge files (2)

DeadEye (6229) | more than 13 years ago | (#521341)

And then what... have a key for each movie I own? No thanks, I have enough trouble remembering PINs, passwords, and phone numbers. Or have one "movie decrypting key"? Also no good as someone would surely find a way to uncover it and distribute it. Unless there is some keyless RSA out there... (I am an encryption newbie, after all). On top of that, encryption doesn't prevent copying! It only prevents someone from utilizing the encrypted data without the key.
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