On the standards front: Studios announce plans to release D-VHS videotapes

Posted: 10.07.02

The Studios have come out in favor of D-VHS for secure recording. So far, Artisan Entertainment, Dreamworks SKG, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Studios announced that they will use JDV’s D-Theater version of D-VHS. The advantages of D-VHS are many. D-VHS tapes have a 44-Gbyte capacity, allowing them to hold up to four hours worth of high-definition content and more than 50 hours of standard-definition television. Better yet, from the studios’ point of view, D-VHS incorporates HDCP (High Definition Copy Protection) to prevent tapes from being copied again. The studios have warmed up considerably to HDCP, believing it to be safer from hacks than CSS. In addition, the huge size of the uncompressed content means that transmitting data over the Internet today is profoundly impractical—another means of copy protection.

D-VHS machines can play older VHS tapes. Currently, the prices for D-VHS tapes are a tad high at $10, and the latest quoted price for machines is $1,999. The studios say pre-recorded tapes could run $30 to $40