Maybe D-VHS is a *GOOD* thing!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Ruiz, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

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    Hello Everyone,

    I was wondering about D-VHS, and I was thinking about when DVD first came out. When DVD first came out, VHS suddenly got cheaper, and cheaper, because nobody wanted them anymore, so maybe now with D-VHS DVDs will come down in price to about $5-$15 bucks each???

    BTW, Has D-VHS been officialy released yet? Can a person go to the store TODAY, and buy the movies, or is that still years away?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Yes, you can buy a few titles right this very minute.

    However, DVD prices were already--and still are--falling, regardless of the advent of the D-VHS D-Theater platform. Warner chairman Leiberfarb is pushing to bring the basic price of DVDs way down. Interesting that many high-quality DVD titles are cheaper than garden-variety CDs, eh?
     
  3. KevA

    KevA Stunt Coordinator

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    Another interesting thing is that every time a 2-disc DVD of a "new" release comes out it's usually the same price as a 1-disc DVD release. This no doubt indicates that DVD prices (at least for single discs) are inflated.

    (As a test, you can see at amazon.com that virtually the same price exists presently for Unbreakable (2 disc) and Training Day (1 disc): 19.49 and 19.95 U.S. respectively.)

    kfa
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    DVHS will be like LD, though much moreso. It is intended as a placeholder only for people with lots of cash. Most stores won't even carry it I'll reckon.
     
  5. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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    I'm sure by now DVD's cost less to produce then VHS. They may still have expenses from the more recently purchased equipment and mastering, but the disk cost has to be vary small. I believe the only reason CD's and DVD cost more then tapes is because they can get more for them, not because they cost more to make. They sell the other formats because they add to their bottom line and many will be replaced with the new format later anyway.
     
  6. Tulli

    Tulli Stunt Coordinator

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    And what about durability? D-VHS is "tape", isn't it?

    DVD is surely a more durable media.
     
  7. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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    Remember the first D-VHS recorders JVC sold that recorded the digital MP2 bitstreem from Dish Network’s satellite system. They didn't sell very many, and as soon as something else came along they disappeared (PVR). I passed on one a few weeks ago for $75. I think the new one for HDTV will sell a little better, but only until another alternative shows up. I think it will be very short lived, and purchased only by a few. I don't think it will ever come close to the success of LD or even beta. It’s not a solution people want, just the first one available.
     
  8. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    For those not hung up on the "disk" being superior to the "tape" - I'm not, and have lots of VHS tapes and they last just fine for home use movie watching - what if (By the way, D-VHS tapes don't "wear out" and show video noise like analog tapes do after many/many playings do - because their information is digital.):

    1) D-VHS players were to sink to around $200-$300 (Remember that D-VHS players also play any existing VHS and Super-VHS analog tapes you have.)??

    AND

    2) D-VHS movies were to wind up being for sale "everywhere" including drug stores and supermarkets selling for $7-$15, like analog VHS and DVD's are now??

    Then, why in the world wouldn't everyone want to jump in and get an, or demand a low-priced, HDTV so their movie watching could be in fabulous 1080i resolution?

    There's no reason D-VHS couldn't be very popular, except one - the American general public's "good enough" attitude about their products that keeps us buying the junk and fad stuff instead of well thought out and implemented quality products - like they for the most part demand and get in Japan and Europe.

    DVD is only "good enough". D-VHS gets you way beyond good enough and very, very near to theater quality in your home right now without putting up with only "good enough" until HD-DVD gets out, gets reliable, and gets cheap enough for us all.
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Good post, Phil. Interesting cultural observations there.

    There's also the issue of loyalty and partisanship. We're hobbyists. And DVD came along at just the right time, and we all fell in love with it. Then we started believing in it. With that in mind, D-Theater seemed to be a threat when, in truth, it is a dramatic leap closer to the goal of reproducing the cinema experience in the home.

    There's no way that D-Theater poses a threat to DVD's success. The threat to DVD's success would come from a shoddy, less-than-ideal, faux high-def scheme being applied to the optical-disc concept (i.e., red laser/MPEG-4). If that were to occur, then DVD's greatest enemy will have been the DVD Forum itself.
     
  10. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Jack,

    You expressed my feelings exactly regarding the "phoney (my wording)" red laser/MPEG-4 "HDTV" approach certain interests are trying to fool the American HT fan with.

    I'm not up on the standards and industry buzz regarding the various MPEG schemes, but isn't MPEG-4 a standard developed specifically for ultra-high compression (translate - lossy(er) than MPEG-2!) so that mobile appliances like cell phones can show video data on their small screens via wireless connection to the Internet? I understand that video-capable cell phones are big in Japan/Asia and therefore MPEG-4 is required to get around the low-bandwidth wireless pipe to still fool users with good enough video.

    Here's a thought for you: I've read of some new disc recording technology that can record video data using current laser/disc-laying methodologies to achieve way higher storage than blue-laser HD-DVD......wish I could think of the term?! Well, how about NO COMPRESSION formatting of HDTV content using this type storage technology!!! The ultimate - freedom from MPEG and all it's compression artifacts baloney. If I'm not mistaken, there is no compression taking place with VHS, Super-VHS, and LD? (However, maybe the studio master was compressed.) Maybe that's why died-in-the-wool LD fans with good players swear that a well transferred LD movie can look BETTER than DVD - horizontal resolution difference not withstanding.
     
  11. Ian Montgomerie

    Ian Montgomerie Stunt Coordinator

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    "MPEG-4" is a large and nebulous technique of compression techniques, any number of which could be applied to a given product or a given data stream. The primary intent is to pack data more efficiently than MPEG-2, to allow higher compression ratios with minimal degradation of image quality.

    I'll tell you right now, "D-VHS" has absolutely zero chance of competing with DVD in the long term. There are a lot of reasons for this.

    1. Optical media such as DVD are far cheaper to manufacture than tapes. Content producers love cheap media because it keeps their bottom line low.

    2. A DVD player can also play CDs (and in some cases SACDs) using the same drive. Optical disc technology, including future standards such as MPEG-4 DVDs or blue laser DVDs or whatever, allows a single drive to be backward-compatible with DVD and CD. This is very important because it allows you to sell the consumer a cheap device which will play all these major media.

    3. DVDs are a random-access media. Tapes, digital or otherwise, are not. The convenience of starting content on any part of the DVD (like special features!), of skipping to any part of the DVD, of never having to rewind, is a big part of DVD's sell.

    4. DVD style optical media are considerably smaller than tapes. This is a small, but nontrivial, part of their appeal.

    5. If you put HDTV content on a DVD using MPEG-4, it WILL look better than SD content played off a DVD, although it won't look quite as good as an original HDTV signal. So this makes an excellent "stopgap" product to support HDTV. The reason is that existing DVD hardware and software could simply be expanded to support higher resolutions and different codecs. Manufacturers are already working on MPEG-4 support to be able to play low-bitrate media over networks and so on. This makes an MPEG-4, "HD DVD" that uses the old DVD media, something that can be relatively cheaply added as a feature to DVD player lineups. And to DVD-recorder lineups to allow people to record from HDTV.

    6. D-VHS is here now, which is actually a strike against it in the HDTV-recordable market. Being here now means your standard is limited to current technology, even though HDTV is still a niche market. It will be several years yet before HDTV is common enough for there to be large mass-market demand for "HD DVD" products. The DVD Forum has plenty of time to settle on more advanced technologies.
     
  12. Ian Montgomerie

    Ian Montgomerie Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh and another point - as far as being able to record your own HDTV goes, it is likely that the dominant technology will end up being hard-disc based PVR, not any kind of tape or optical media recorder. The explosion of Tivo shows that when it comes to recording TV shows, the average consumer has a lot more desire for a device that is ultra-convenient and can hold a week or two worth of shows, than they do for a device which can create lots high-quality archive recordings for themselves or to trade to their friends. Blue-laser DVDs would take years to show up even if a standard was set now. 100 gigabyte hard drives are available today. The moment somebody develops a good, cheap HDTV digital encoder (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, whatever), somebody else can hook it up to a hard drive.
     

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