The situtation reminds me of around 1959 when the first stereo LPs were just becoming available.
Ampex came out with 7 1/2 ips 7 inch reel to reel tapes of high quality music which was advertised as the high definition stereo audio of the time. I invested in the equipment and purchased several of the the first tapes. It was exciting as it was the first time that I had ever heard high quality stereo in the home. (My record player was mono). Many more tapes were promised, but it never caught on and the LP won.
I second the uneasiness regarding this press release. No dates for second releases and does not sound like we are going to get anywhere near the 100 titles this year that was speculated. I posted on dvhsmovieguide with the exact same question, maybe Gary Reber will have some updated info for us..
Actually this would be a good ? to ask for anybody attending the festival this weekend. Maybe on Monday we can have some more concrete info regarding release plans for the rest of the year.
Well, I made the decision to get into dvhs knowing full well what might happen(ie suffer a quick death). I have my fingers crossed.
Interesting reply...I for one never saw the LP as being competition to 71/2 " tapes. I was also a "Hi-Fi" fanatic back then and had many Reel-to Reels in my collection. At one time I even had a Sony 7 1/2" Tape deck in My car feeding Audiomobile Amps and Altec speakers (Mid 70's)..Those were the days. Little did I know where "Car Stereo" would lead to!
I believe "Dolby B" may have had a larger impact on the death of the reel-to reel as a consumer entity. The Norelco Cassette units were natural for portability and although not by any stretch of the imagination Hi-Fi, was credible enough for most people. Todays popularity of MP3 shows that people are willing to forsake some quality for convienence and the cassettes certainly had that over the Reel-to-Reels...
I didn't ever think the 100 titles was a particularly realistic assesement.
The figure seemed to come from 25 titles from each studio - do Artisan and Dreamworks have 25 titles worth considering for D-VHS release?
DVD struggled to make it to 100 titles in the first 6 months.
However - I do think the current commitment weak. A launch slate of, say, 5 titles each from Fox & Universal with a couple from each of Artisan & Dreamworks combined with the promise of 2-3 titles from the two major studios every 4 to 6 weeks after that would have been more convincing.
As it stands, I don't envy a salesperson selling the format with "Well, four at the moment and maybe another eight at some point in the future" as the reply to "How many tapes are available?".
Fox & Universal need to either support D-VHS properly or not at all - as it stands I'm not at all sure they've done enough to make a lot of potential purchasers take the plunge.
This whole thing is really depressing. Here we have what is unquestionably the best format now and probably for the next 3-5 years AT LEAST (assuming that HD-DVD can even equal D-VHS), and it looks like it's already dying. Most people simply aren't interested in quality.
I think it would be silly for the studios to commit the time and resources to D-Theater when only one vendor supports it and that vendor only has one player that is $2000 list.
Where are they going to make money?
The facts are that there are only two readily available D-VHS VCR's on the market and only one of them supports this "standard". Even if you combine the installed base of both VCR's you are probably talking about 50,000 people MAX.
DTheater will die a quick death unless JVC can get the other 5C members to bring DTheater players and firewire STB's to market. I know for a fact that Mits will never do it.
Does anyone know where Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi, Panasonic, Samsung, etc stand on D-Theater? or on D-VHS in general?
I can see why studios don't want to commit resources but what I can't understand is committing half heatedly.
Fox, Universal, Artisan & Dreamworks have gone to the trouble of demonstrating, producing, distributing and marketing the product (all of which costs) and then produced a selection of titles which looks less than impressive.
There seems to be a lot of skepticism about D-VHS and, although I have a feeling that once a lot of people see it some of the hostility may thaw, the current release schedule is unlikely to dispel it. I think there is a market for it - not huge - but a market nonetheless.
I would like to see D-VHS/D-Theater succeed as the grey import market in players and tapes is the only realistic way of obtaining any HD material here in the UK for many years to come. As well as that, the 28Mbps data rate and expected quality is going to set a target for HD-DVD. If D-VHS reaches an respectable installed market amongst enthusiasts it would be very difficult to introduce a HD-DVD format which didn't at least match it in quality.
A new format needs a spiral to develop. The initial software has to be good enough to get a few people to buy the hardware. This would encourage other manufacturers to make the hardware and prices come down which in turns encourages more software. It needs somebody to kick it off and I'm not sure 12 titles in an unspecified time frame is enough.
You're right people don't care about quality on a major scale. Consider today the noise inherent in FM Stereo. Even Dolby Noise Reduction didn't last long on the few FM stations that bothered to install it.
I'm interested not only in quality but in quantity. With no way to record new HD content (and none coming soon for me - dish not an option), the only thing the 30k serves for me is as a DHVS/DTHEATER player. Until it's clear that lots of titles will be released, I'm forced to sit on the fence.
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