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After reading the threads on slashdot, I am reminded of the average opinion. I ran a retail store for many years that carried the largest selection of Laserdiscs in the area. When I first saw an LD, I was hooked and got into it as soon as I could.


Many of my LD customers were quality driven, and that's why they wanted widescreen editions of excellent transfers. We rented LD players out, and people would repeatedly complain about the 'black bars' and I would have to go into a dialogue of the explanation of widescreen.


Not many were in doubt that the LD's picture and sound were quite amazing. Oh but of course, "you can't record," they'd say. "Well you have your VHS for recording TV, etc," I'd reply. Laserdisc made many people very happy for a long time.


When DVD was announced, I attended a video convention and saw the first industry presentations. It looked like a low-bitrate VCD or worse. "They can't give us this instead of Laserdisc!" was my first thought. Later, SOny showed what they referred to as HDCD and it resembled what we know as good quality DVD today. It did takr a bit to get the content to the place it is now.


Enter HDTV. Some people have them. Sure your DVDs and LDs look great, but wouldn't it be nice to have some HD content? When I first heard of D_VHS, myu initial thoughts were similar to others in so much as "TAPE?"

Then I learned that D-VHS is capable of 28Mbps and D-Theater titles that are directly comparable to a studio D-5 master under close scrutiny? That's pretty cool. Let us look at D-5 for a moment:


D-5 is highest quality master currently in wide use.

The media costs over $100 and it's $980 to make a dub.

and it's tape.


There is a D-6, but it is not in wide use. FOr us to have HD resolution programs at a quality comparable to D-5 is amazing. That's what we all wanted in the first place.


The perfect irony is that the media to deliver this to us is a tape. A VHS tape even. Records spun around, like CDs and DVDs, then someone realized to fit long periods of program and add the ability to record would require tape. That is still the case.


HD-DVD is somehow inevitable, but the first iteration will most likely be read-only. How will we record our favorite HD show and watch it later?


It this time of high-technology, 3-5 years is a very long time to wait for the 'new' thing. D-VHS is here and now, and therefore is a success.


It was hard to sell VCRs when they came out. It was difficult for me to convince people that Laserdisc was superior with all the perceived 'drawbacks' DVD was a harder sell at first, because all those who didn't care about LD didn't care about DVD either. THey told me that casssettes and audio compact discs sound the same to them anyways.


Those who did adopt early to DVD paid a hefty price for the player. Mine was $1400. The discs weren't very good and the ENTIRE first batch of Warner Brothers discs were recalled and re-pressed.


The same people whop just bout an Apex DVD player at Wal-Mart and NOT the target audience here. Why would they care? I;m just glad that companies recognize that we are out there, and we do want the best possible enjoyment out of the time spent with our home theater equipment.


If it wasn't for people buy and use these things and make it happen, you wouldn't have your DVDs and PVRs. Whether or not D-VHS is a huge seller is not an issue. Its existence will help set the standards for what is to be in HDTV. We can choose to make it popular, and it may very well be extremely popular in its small circles.


They sure made a ton of awesome Laserdiscs (some of which are unavilable on DVD), considering "nobody bought a player"


If the studios can sell a few hundred of each catalog title, they are going to be happy. Cost of manufacture of Laserdisc was $10 per platter. Their HD mastering is already done, just needs a quick compress to Mpeg2. They really have nothing to lose.


And if only a few titles come out, so what? You still have the best VCR I've ever owned, that records 27 hours of better-than-VHS on one tape. Connects to a computer through Firewire.


Existing VHS tape has been "on the way out" for years now. It supposedf to be dead right after DVD. Most people still have tapes, and VCRs have a 90% penetration. It's still the universal format.


As far as wear and tear, tape technology has improved significantly. No one will be playing their D-Theater tapes 100 times a year.


Give me something else that can do all the things the JVC30k can do, whatever format it uses. I hope when HD-DVD comes to exist, it keeps up or exceeds the quality standards set by D-VHS.
 

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I think JVC will define it as a sucess when (if) it gets some market penetration. People will have to decide for themselves whether the tradeoff is worth it (DVD=small, random access, but 480p). I think the references to master tapes is misleading. It doesn't matter what the pros use to record and edit content. What matters is what people are happy using. The transition from VHS to DVD for many people was pleasant for many reasons, and to go from DVD to D-VHS there is really only one advantage. For some of us that will be enough, for others, no.


Of course then it also depends on how many HD systems sell and how much content is released on D-VHS.


JM
 

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I think it's too early to call it a success, but I sure am glad it's available. The JVC demo tape is BEAUTIFUL. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of T2 and U571 (already ordered). I don't expect to build a library of tapes at about $40 a pop, but having a few around to show people the beauty of HD is a great option.
 

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In a year I will comment what level of success I think JVC is having with D-Theater. But I can already say the machine is a complete success for me even if I never puchase a D-THeater tape.


dave
 

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nice thread. I too entered the HT world 10years ago with the laserdiscs. still got 200+ and still watch them, mostly for the sound (!!!!!).


I wish studios would offer the high end HT market a super duper HD LD ( not a dvd !), something around 300grams, 12", 1080p (and enhanced for 2.35:1 too !), PCM discrete (and stereo too, no need to remaster everything ) up to 96khz or DTS 2000kbps or MLP or DSD.

Good for 4hours of 1080p at 50mb/s :D


that way, projection on a 20ft 2.35:1 screen won't be a problem :D ( image quality speaking )


studios won't agree on that...........
 

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I think its the best thing to happen since I started HT back in the mid 80's. Having owned projection since then, and now having a Sony G90 I can say thank you to Jvc for finally getting us a non vaporware prerecorded HD format which is much more than anyone else has managed to do. My drama is I now can not stand the low rez low bit rate Dvds and lust after all HD material. I really hope D-Theater is a big success. With 2.5 million and counting HD owners it has a chance of being a good niche. I doubt we will see Hd-Dvd for a long time if you read between the lines, and even then it maybe a low bit rate horrible looking format.


Lets just hope we do not turn HD-Dvd into a a backwards step that ends up being a joke instead of an advancement. Warner are pushing for this to happen.

In the mean time D-Theater for me is just fine and much better than Dvd could ever be.




DavidW
 
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