JVC Introduces New D-VHS D-Theater HM-DH40000 Digital HD VCR On the heels of the introduction of the GR-HD1 (see Widescreen Review Issue 71, April, 2003), the first consumer high-definition (720p) camcorder, JVC Company of America has announced the May 2003 introduction of another D-VHS D-Theater Digital HD VCR, the model HM-DH40000. The HM-DH40000 (MSRP $999.95) and GR-HD1 (MSRP $3,499.95) are designed to complement any HD display device capable of displaying native 720p and 1080i images. The new digital VCR features two four-pin, DTCP-compatible IEEE 1394 (FireWire®/ iLink®) input/output interfaces (one is a DV iLink input/output interface). These will facilitate recording in the HS mode up to 28.2 megabits per second (Mbps) of 720p and 1080i high-definition programming from HD cable set-top boxes, terrestrial ATSC set-box boxes, DTV displays with integrated DTV tuners, HD over-the-air set-top boxes, and HD satellite receivers that utilize the IEEE 1394 interface, maintaining all of their original quality. And from analog VCR sources digital recordings can be made in the STD, LS3, and LS5 modes via the built-in MPEG-2 TS (transport stream) encoder/decoder. The codec function enables D-VHS digital recording from NTSC analog sources as well as DV-MPEG-2 conversion recording from a connected MiniDV video camera. The best news to report is that JVC has added full data rate DTS® Digital Surround™ and DTS-ES® to the feature list for the new HM-DH40000 D-VHS D-Theater HD VCR. This is an expectation that was widely hoped for throughout the home theatre enthusiast community. It is with great pleasure for me to report the implementation of DTS in this new D-VHS VCR. Now enthusiasts can look forward to at least three of the studios, who at the initial press unveiling in January 2002 of the HM-DH30000U stated that they would support DTS 96 kHz/24-bit soundtracks on their D-Theater titles as soon as JVC could facilitate the capability. JVC has come through as they promised by completing work on their DTS encoder. Given the fact that every home theatre processor/controller and every DVD player incorporates DTS Digital Surround capability, serious enthusiasts who appreciate the audio improvement that DTS delivers should be thrilled with the confirmation. As with the previous HM-DH30000 a 5.1-channel Dolby® Digital/two-channel linear PCM optical audio output is provided as well. I have been mildly pleading with JVC to implement DTS since the initial announcement of the HM-DH30000U back in January 2002. And I have served as best as I could as a match-maker with the executives of DTS and JVC. Finally, the expectation has been realized and I am personally thrilled! I think I'll have a beer and smoke a cigar!