Before I get started I want it to be very clear that this thread is not for people who dont have an HDTV, or who hate any non disc format to show up and start complaining about how much stuff costs. As a long time member of this forum I must say I have seen many great years here, but this last year I have noticed that many newer members just love to complain about how much their new dvd hobby costs. I'm not trying to offend anyone or alienate members, but hometheater is not ment to be a cheap hobby. If you look at what the costs are you can see this hobby will drain your wallet. The more you participate in it, the greater tastes you acquire and soon you will want better equipment, special editions, and superbit redues. New laserdiscs had cost 40-65$ and We (meaning laserdisc enthusiasts) salivated over every new release, we preordered, and we bought protective vinyl jackets. Our dvd hobby costs today is peanuts. Try collecting star trek, babylon5, xfiles, or anime series at 39$ a pop four 2-3 episodes. Anyway I would like this specific thread to be free of any comments along the lines of HDTVs are too expensive, DHVS is too expensive, ect. Many members have flooded threads with this exact opinion, so I feel it is quite well known that you feel this way, and isnt really productive to keep saying it off topic. "hows does xmen look?" "I dont care its too expensive and its tape, I hate tape, I hate HDTV, and I hate my father! sob sob" Also if you havent viewed it with your own eyes...you know what I'm saying. HDTV is not more expensive than any other new tv. Its practically standard on the rear projection sets. Would you come to a Home owners Forum thread about new garage door openers and say: "oh houses with garages are too expensive, most people cant afford a house, I live in an apartment, I dont have a garage door, I wouldnt buy a garage door opener. I think garage door openers are lame." Bottom line, dont complain just because you dont have an HDTV, if you dont have one, your negative comments really have no merit. And I am sincerely not trying to be a snob about it, you dont have to be rich to appreciate hometheater or dvds, or to post here, but you should pay some attention to what you are saying and when and where it might be appropriate. I recommend all HDTV owners to go to your local GoodGuys and check out the JVC D-VHS with your own eyes. I went this weekend to see for myself and it really does make a difference compared to just reading about it on the forum. My impressions... I watched the demo tape with xmen, u571, terminator 2, peacekeeper, dirty dancing and others i cant recall now. Then I watched the T2 movie. I was happy to see that the monitor was the same as mine, 65" WS Mitsubishi. Video- if you've seen 1080i you'll recognize the clear edges with no jaggies, and color depth. the best way to see this is the logo before the tapes begin, there is the cleanest looking text image i've seen, then the 20th century fox logo, that looks so 3D. but as I watched I started to notice the regular grain in the background of the film. Its there probably as it was shot, they dont go clean up the grain, so its not worthy of complaint, I was merely shocked to see it. I watched my dvd of xmen and T2 before I went to have some memory point of referrence. Side by side you'll know the difference, just looking at the DVHS you will be able to recognize it. What I can say is that progressive scanned (upscaled?) 480p dvd images on my set look so good that I think the step up to 1080i isnt that significant. What? How can this be. My tv is correctly IFS calibrated. I have one of the cleanest and correctly displayed monitors I have seen compared to other enthusiasts (not shops). 480P Dvd looks great. DVHS looks better of course, but how much better. I'd say its comparable from stepping up from 480i on 3:4 tv to animorphic 16:9 480p. Its a big little improvement. I thought the movies looked the best I've seen them, but I was much more impressed by the looping video of the snake and wildlife HDTV demo they have been playing for years, that video shows much more of HDTV's life like resolution. DHVS movies just look like really clear clean edged movies, its not quite life like, because its a movie not a nature program. However I then went and saw two movies at the theater and can say that DVHS looks better than film. (dont flame me for that one until you see it yourself) So what else? Tapes wear, I saw it first hand. Both tapes, though Im sure they have been played a few more times than anyone would normally, had bad wear, one had frequent pixellation messing the image near the beginning of the tape. T2 just froze a pixellated image at the begining, I had to stop, fastforward about 5 mins to get it to play, but it was only stuck on the previews. It wouldnt scan forward it with the picture displayed. Dvds have direct control? This JVC DVHS puppy has sweet direct control, for tape that is. The fastforward is extrememly fast and is digital so it counts the numbers and time down fast too. You can fastforward exactly 50 minutes in to the program in a few seconds. It has a nice whurring sound that doesnt sound as mechanically challenged as vhs, and it also slows down at start and end of fast forwarding, even if you push stop, it gently stops instead of shuddering to a halt. This should help with tape wear. The sound was great, no problems noted. because it is digital, the picture doesnt always pop up on screen until it gets going, but neither does DVD if you think about it. So is it worth it? Sure, If the titles come out, and you have an HDTV it is very nice, if you have HDTV reception to record, its a no brainer. My tv cost 6K, my dvd players 1k each, my amp 2k, speakers 2k, xbox 1/3k, hdtv receiver 1k, so 1100$ for hdvt tape deck is appropriate in relative terms. For all that it can do its not a rip off, sure we'd like it to be a penny, but you pay for what you get, if its a great machine with high quality parts and craftmanship why would you complain. I paid 1k for my sony VHS 10 years ago, add inflation, and it would be 1500 for a high quality VHS. The DVHS at least is VHS with enhancment, SVHS, and can do hidef video and 5.1 sound recording. Backward technology it is not. Backward would be the 12" LD platter which was proposed when dvd was created, that and it would'nt record anything either. So back to what I didnt like. I went in prepared to be blown away with images my eyes have never seen, after all that snake and swan demo was so amazing, so xmen and t2 must pop out of the screen like captain EO right? Well I admit, I was slightly disappointed that the movie just looked like a movie, though very clear, I didnt find that it enhanced the viewing pleasure. (as in actually watching the movie) Sound buffs may appreciate the lower bit rate encoding. The tapes look like regular VHS in dinky VHS clamshells. I wasnt impressed by its physical appearance, it doesnt leap out and say Digital Medium, it says VHS cases already exhist and therefore are cheaper. So I came home and weighed the pros and cons, I can drop 1500$ on it and get a few tapes to watch, or I can spend that money picking up those box sets of xfiles, startrek and tv shows that are truly our DVD enthusiast blessing. What I might do is blow 60$ on the two tapes (xmen and t2) and bring the player home for a week, then return it to the store if I can let it go. That way I can really sit down and see if I like it, A/B compare it, kick it, lick it, and fondle all the controls. If I return it then Im only out 60$ until I sell or trade the tapes. So run out and see it for yourself, and then post your opinions about how it actually looks and sounds, whurrs and freezes, just dont post how you would never add a Turbocharger to that sports car you dont own.