DVD ETC. MAGAZINE ASKS: DVD versus D-VHS?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Clint Walker, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Clint Walker

    Clint Walker Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] DVD versus D-VHS [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Okay gang, listen up. We're kicking off a new department in the magazine--the Monthly Post. We will throw out a topic and leave it up to you, the astute members of the HTF to share your views. We plan to publish many of your posts to these threads. And we will use you name as it appears (or doesn't) when it goes to print--if you want your name withheld, don't sign the post. We're kicking the first one of with DVD versus D-VHS because we've been criticized for not supporting this "superior" format. Feel free to talk about the future of each format and any issues you feel are important. We are also taking suggestions for future threads. This can be anything that applies to home entertainment or DVD...Thanks for sharing and your continued support of DVD ETC. Magazine! [​IMG]
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not a shameless plug, Clint, but the below-linked monster marathon thread started the debate here at HTF:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=57582
    Of course, the initial post responds to the first of a series of articles to appear in Widescreen Review. However, the 600-post thread contains a broad crossection of commentary on the rather polarizing subject of D-VHS D-Theater.
    (BTW, I am grateful for the appearance of this format.)
    Best of luck on your story.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Jack,

    We will continue the debate here.

    This thread is presented specifically so that
    member responses can be gathered for an upcoming
    issue.
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I'll start by saying that no matter how much of an improvement there might be in picture quality, putting it on a deteriorating medium like tape is a horrible idea, and I will stay with dvd until hd-dvd comes along. The tape might look better the first time you play it, but it won't after repeated viewings.
     
  5. Mark_Mac

    Mark_Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    Clint,

    You should ask this question at the avsforum.com under hdtv recorders. There are more users over at that forum that use DVHS on a daily basis with great success. I personally have 2 panasonic dvhs units that were built in 99. Both units work great and I have a huge library of HD movies and hd events that I have taped off of satelite and ota. I havent tried the JVC dvhs player so I cant say anything about prerecorded d-theater tapes but the tapes I have recorded play great and do have better picture quality then DVD.
    One day we will get hddvd but until I can record HD on a disk then Ill keep my dvhs players. When a recordable disk format comes out Ill buy that then transfer my couple hundred hd programs to the disk format.


    I should also say I really enjoy DVD( I have about 300 now). I also have the panasonic e20 dvd recorder that I use alot, great machine!!!! The e20 took the place of my svhs vcr, basically I like the ability to record.
     
  6. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    I will wait for HD-DVD. Would I like to be able to move to D-VHS? Sure. However it is a medium that will be shortlived when HD-DVD arrives. Even if HD-DVD takes 10 years to come - that's fine.

    I can wait.

    Another plus - by then HDTVs or FP will be available at much cheaper prices and in a wider variety of configurations.

    Bottom line - I can't justify the spending of money on a format that is doomed to a short life cycle.
     
  7. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    I honestly don't think that D-VHS stands a chance in the long run. First, and most importantly, being a tape-based medium, it shoots itself in the foot. America has become used to the non-linearity of CDs and DVDs and will see tape as a step back. It's also much more prone to degredation than a digital medium. Secondly, where is the marketing behind the product. I had to search long and hard just to find a store that sold D-VHS decks so that I could see one in action. I know that some of the larger retail chains have agreed to begin selling them, but I don't think that will help a great deal.

    HD-DVD seems like the way to go.
     
  8. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    What I don't understand is how the idea of tape can be dropped or dismissed so quickly. It's still the most commonly used media (eventhough DVD is catching up) and very flexible. It's the only media that allows you to record current HD programming upto 1080i. D-VHS is giving us the opportunity to watch more and more High Def programs including 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, Widescreen format. Here's the opportunity, why not jump on it. The price is coming down on the D-Theater JVC machines and with a good HD TV and tuner, I can't see anything better that's available.
     
  9. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    I have collected DVD for the past 5 years & Laserdisc 7 years before that. The tape format degrades and gets stuck in the player. No more tape for me.
     
  10. Mark_Mac

    Mark_Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    Remember the topic [​IMG] DVD versus D-VHS [​IMG] not HDDVD....lets talk about whats available.[​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Remember, your DVDs are mastered from tapes!

    People are moving away from tapes, and the $1200 price tag certainly isn't helping. Frankly, I think most people screaming about it are doing so because they DON'T have an HDTV or that they can't justify the $1200 for a deck.

    DVHS was never designed as a medium to REPLACE DVD, or SUBVERT HD-DVD, but as a stopgap measure to satisfy the needs of enthusiasts NOW.
     
  12. Mark Brewer

    Mark Brewer Stunt Coordinator

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    While at a local large electronics store which also sells washers and dryers I was drooling over a HDTV RPTV. After my wife slapped me up side the head and asked me to wipe my chin I proceed over to the DVD and VCR isle. Within the next couple of months we will be purchasing our first HDTV, and the question that keeps coming up is, what sources will I be using? Our current setup, with a 27" JVC direct view, JVC DVD, etc.., will be going up to the Master bedroom. So basically we will be starting from scratch. We will obviously be getting a DVD player with progessive scan and a HDTV tuner. But my kids love recording things and watching them over and over and over. I showed my wife the JVC d-vhs and a DVD recorder. She yawned, which means get what you want as long as I get to watch romantic movies and Trading Spaces.

    D-vhs seems like an obvious choice for three reasons.
    1) The quality of playback for commercial movies
    2)the ease of use of the recording functions, my children know how to use our current VHS and the learning curve would not be an issue.
    3)the ability to watch current VHS tapes

    But then I think about getting a DVD recorder for the new HDTV, and I think of the following issues.

    1) with 4 DVD players already in the house (1 with the HT and 1 in each of the PCs in the house) we have considerable investment in DVD.

    2)A DVD recorder would allow us to watch the recorded program on any of the dvd players in the house.

    Or I could just get both like Mark_Mac has done. The issue is just not playback quality for me but how each of these could be intergratted with what we already have.
    Oh yeah,, I need a new camcorder, they have DVD versions, is there a d-vhs one, or should I get a mini-dv?

    Very confused

    Mark Brewer
    Dayton Oregon
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    You should get Mini-DV
     
  14. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

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    Well, let the games begin.
    As anyone who has read through the many D-Theater/D-VHS threads know or realize that I am a very huge supporter of the format. The picture quality is undisputably amazing no questions there. The audio quality is on par with or beats most DVDs (based on my personal experience, experiences with other forum members and some additional Webzine, magazine reviews).
    Everyone harps about tape this, tape that but fail to realize that all of their beloved optical formats orginate from tape. Studios use tape in just about every aspect of production and even store their HD masters on tape (D1, D5). This includes but is not limited to DVDs, CDs, SACDs, DVD Audio, computer software and even some movies (if projected digitally). People also fail to realize that all broadcast material (except for live events) is also archived and rebroadcast via tape, which people then record to TiVo or VCR both of which are tape based. Tape plays a part of everyone's entertainment lives everyday! The whole tape argument is so weak if you're truly interested in a HD format. IMO.
    I've posted several messages in the thread above quoting researched data on tape longevity (~15 years or more) and also pointed out the fact that for all practical purposes no one would watch a tape enough to cause considerable or noticeable dedradation based on said research.
    HD-DVD is at least 1-2 years out and until then, there is nothing out there on the consumer end that can match the quality video of D-Theater/D-VHS.
    WSR also conducted comparisons with a studio D1 master (the best of the best for tape) and most participants found little or no difference between it and the D-Theater version.
    With the new slew of set top boxes, plug in modules and mods available you can not only enjoy pre-recorded movies but you can record HD as well. It also does the typical VHS, S-VHS and you can record MINI-DV also.
    The list of movies is growing and both hardware and software is becoming widespread with Sears, Best Buy and Circuit City coming onboard to support it.
    I love D-Theater/D-VHS and when an optical HD format comes out I'll embrace that as well. Until then D-Theater is THE BEST you can get in your home theater PERIOD! Anyone who thinks otherwise is sadly misinformed or worse.
    A listing of what's available, announced or planned on D-Theater;
    1. Backdraft - out
    2. Basic Instinct - announced
    3. Beauty Of Japan - out
    4. Bedazzled - planned
    5. Behind Enemy Lines - out
    6. Big Momma's House - out
    7. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid - planned
    8. Cast Away - announced
    9. Courage Under Fire - planned
    10. Die Hard - planned
    11. Digital Video Essentials: 1080i - planned (possibly Q1 03')
    12. Digital Video Essentials: 720p - planned (possibly Q1 03')
    13. Dirty Dancing - announced
    14. Dont' Say A Word - out
    15. End of Days - out
    16. Entrapment - out
    17. Fight Club - out
    18. Galaxy Quest - out
    19. Haunting, The - out
    20. High Crimes - 11/5/02
    21. House of Yes: Live from House of Blues - out
    22. Ice Age - announced
    23. Independence Day - out
    24. Kiss Of The Dragon - 11/5/02
    25. Men Of Honor - out
    26. Motley Crue: Lewd, Crued and Tattooed Live - out
    27. National Lampoon's Van Wilder - announced
    28. Peacemaker - out
    29. Planet Of The Apes - 11/5/02
    30. Resevoir Dogs - announced
    31. Siege, The - planned
    32. Sound Of Music, The - planned
    33. Terminator 2 - out
    34. Terminator, The - planned
    35. Titan A.E. - planned
    36. Total Recall - planned
    37. U-571 - out
    38. X-Men - out
    That list doesn't take into consideration non D-Theater D-VHS tapes provided by HDNet or other sources.
    Troy
    D-Theater/D-VHS advocate...
    It's here, it's now, it's the bomb baby!
     
  15. dave_campbell

    dave_campbell Auditioning

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    This is a topic that is driven by pure emotion, and can never be done with facts. This is just the reason one only sees the junk on TV.

    But, with that being said, I have always had what the best is TODAY. NOT a promise for tomorrow. So, I could care less if its disc or tape. I have a small laser collection since it was the best at the time. I have yet to buy or own a DVD player or DVD's since they werent that much better.

    But, I have bought 5 JVC DVHS decks, 3 US and 2 Japan.
    I have 3 dtc100 with 169time.com mods. This has allowed me to make a pretty large HDTV collection onto DVHS tape.
    By the time HD disc comes out, and the formats are now up to 3 different ones, I could be dead.

    I also have a very large collection of my home video on DV tape.

    Bottom line, is I am enjoying living today with the Best it can be, rather than bitch about what may be in the future.

    Dave
     
  16. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    I'm not wild about the idea of tape now that I've become used to optical discs. However, I'll be dammed if I let that be a reason for not being interested in D-VHS. I'm a hometheater enthusiast, and the quality of the presentation is the most important thing to me (next to the quality of the actual movie, of course). It's more important than the coolness of discs and the lameness of tapes. It's more important that random access and worries about tapes melting after you play the twice.

    The video (and audio) presentation is what counts to me, however it is delivered.

    The reason that I don't have D-VHS yet is because the price needs to come down and the library needs to grow. When The price drops to around $600 and more movies I want are available on the format, I'll certainly buy into it.

    Sean
     
  17. Jerome Saliga

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    I find it interesting that in the same sentence some people profess that they want the best image quality available then adamantly express their disgust for tape and unwillingness to support it. Fair enough I suppose, but these folks are not being honest with themselves. For them, the media format is more important to them than the quality of presentation.

    DVD is a hit or miss proposition at best. I have over 700 DVDs in my modest collection and quality varies widely from disc to disc. I have far too many discs that are loaded with edge enhancement, have excessive filtering, suffer from compression artifacts, noise floor, and any number of other problems that have plagued DVD from the get go. The problem is not no much in the DVD format as it is with the mastering and authoring. I own a lot of DVDs that look terrific on my NEC XG110 CRT projector and 92" DA Lite screen. I also own a great many more that look terrible for many of the reasons previously stated.

    With respect to recording HD with D-VHS I haven't had to deal with the issues that frequently rob DVD of image quality. Movies from HBO and Showtime look better than DVD at the bottom end of the scale (cropped HBO movies) and are simply mesmerising at the top end (nearly all the HD OAR presentations on Showtime and some open matte and OAR films on HBO). Rarely do I see edge enhancement, for example, and when I do it is to a much lesser extent than with the same movie on DVD.

    When you lump D-Theater into the mix the differences become even more glaring. Anyone who has watched U-571, X-Men, or End of Days in D-Theater knows exactly what I am talking about.

    In the recording world not all is a bed of roses, however. Getting good recordings can be a real challenge depending on what equipment you use. And to date there aren't a great many choices in equipment. When I first got started recording HD just three months ago there was more than one occasion where I was about to throw my hands up in frustration and give up. But I stuck with it and now my recordings are turning out very well indeed. I have films like Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, The Sixth Day, Hollow Man, Vertical Limit, The Patriot, and many others movies that I really enjoy in 1080i. To date I have about 60 movies in HD. The best DVDs in my collection cannot compare to any of my HD tapes in terms image quality.

    I am no big fan of tape. But I DO want the best visual presentation possible and am prepared to make compromises to get it. If that means going to tape based media then so be it. If that means settling for cropped films and not having OAR on occasion then so be it. My cropped 1080i version of The Perfect Storm is still much more visually arresting than my DVD.

    Those who want to hold out for HD-DVD are naturally free to do so. But HD in the form of D-VHS is here now and I, for one, don't want to wait however long it may take for the powers that be in the industry to give it to us.

    --Jerome
     
  18. Frank

    Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    I enjoy a good movie just about as much in upscaled 480P (via all digital computer player) as I do in HDTV.
    I never saw U571 at the theater and saw it for the first time via DVD.
    I purchased the HDTV DTheater DVHS version and while the image quality was vastly superior, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did the first time I watched it on DVD.
    High quality DVD transfers like the Dirty Harry series look great to me even on my 12 foot wide screen.
    The main thing I like about HDTV movies is the consistent image quality.
    If all DVDs looked as good as the Dirty Harry set, I might not even bother with DVHS movies.

    Tape wear and lack of random access is not currently a problem with my library of DVHS tapes since I can transfer them to a computer hard drive and play them as easily as a DVD.
    With the new DTheater encrypted DVHS tapes this is not possible and I find that I generally prefer the DVD version in this case.

    Frank
     
  19. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    This is a niche format for the die-hard movie enthusiast who wants the best. A true die-hard movie lover isn't going to let a format stand in the way of viewing the best presentation possible, and right now today that is D-VHS.

    It might be limited on software that you can buy, but those that have a set-up to record OTA and pay channels (HBO, Showtime, HDNet, Discovery) have had access to a nice library of titles. Thus far, that's well over 1,000 titles that could have been recorded by someone interested in building a library. And, to be able to use a $4 S-VHS tape makes it somewhat economical as well.

    No one likes to fast-forward or rewind tape, but if you're set on watching a movie, there is no need to fast-forward or rewind. This isn't limiting in my opinion to detract from the positive aspects of extreme picture quality and sound.

    Lord of the Rings on HD-DVD? Maybe in 5 years, but I'm enjoying it now.
     
  20. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

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    I work part time at a high-end Home Theater store and we have a Panasonic D-VHS deck. I have watched 1080i tapes of things like Springsteen, Football, Chicken Run, Shrek, the D-VHS sampler, etc., all on both our 85" screen and 50 inch Plasma. And yes, it does look great.

    But I cannot get past the problem of deteriorating tape. I would rather wait until HD-DVD comes around to start supporting a new format.

    Ok, so with D-VHS, you might not have washed out colors, loss of resolution, etc. But pixelization, drop-outs, and other digital problems are just as bad.

    The beauty of DVD is that, if well cared for and through general use, it should last "forever" (we don't really know how long yet). You cannot say that for any tape based medium. One use and the picture starts to degrade.

    Count me out on D-VHS.
     

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