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(Japanese Site)

  • JVC Plans to Market D-VHS Players in U.S., Japan
  • July 10, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC) said that the D-VHS standard specifications for making digital recordings on D-VHS tape have been decided upon, which means it can begin sales of the players soon.
    JVC plans to launch sales of D-VHS decks as early as the end of this year in the United States, and in the summer of 1999 in Japan. The company will sell a standard type deck for around 60,000 yen (US$43 0), while a higher-grade model featuring better image quality will be available for less than 100,000 yen (US$710).

    Both Communications Satellite and Broadcasting Satellite digital broadcasts can be recorded on the special D-VHS tape. D-VHS tape also is compatible with the conventional VHS recording standard.

    The new standards are intended to be used in the next-generation home servers for tape media, according to Hiroki Shimizu, a senior managing director at JVC. Fourteen other major manufacturers of household electric appliances have already signaled that they will adopt the new standards. They include Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., Sony Corp., Philips Electronics NV, Sharp Corp., Toshiba Corp., Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. and several Korean makers.

    The new standards relate to recording modes. In addition to those for recording in standard mode (STD mode), which had been set previously, the new standard specifications are for recording in high image quality mode (HS mode) and in extended recording time mode (LS mode).

    In HS mode the input data rate is 28.2Mbps, which allows for three and a half hours of High-Definition TV (HDTV) program recordings to be made on a single tape. As for conventional TV programs, up to six separate channels can be recorded at the same time. It is then possible to play back the recording and use the remote controller to switch instantly between the different recorded programs.

    In the LS mode selections can be made among four more data rates, which range from 2Mbps to 7Mbps. If the 2Mbps option is selected, a full 49 hours of recordings can be made on a tape.

    The D-VHS standard employs a bit-stream recording method, in which digital broadcasts are recorded straight on the tape, with signals used for compressing and scrambling data intact.

    For this reason, in order to be able to watch recorded BS and CS broadcasts, it is necessary to purchase a special Integrated Receiver/Decoder (IRD), also known as a digital broadcast transceiver. But even taking this extra cost into account, it is still a less expensive means of making digital recordings, compared with alternative methods, such as buying a DV deck. For connections with the IRD or other peripheral devices, an IEEE 1394 standard interface is needed.

    A single D-VHS tape can hold a total of 44GB of data, which means that its capacity for storing recorded data is greater than that of comparable disk media, such as DVD-RAM.

    In the future, when home servers are in use, disk media like DVD will be employed for recording data, such as news, that is being updated frequently. Meanwhile, D-VHS will be used for recordings that necessitate storing large volumes of video data, such as movies, according to JVC's Shimizu.

    (Nikkei Multimedia)

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    Updated: Thu Jul 9 20:05:22 1998