Hey guys!!! Read this!!!
Got this from:http://www.videobusiness.com/news/012902_dvhs_studios.asp
but decided to copy/paste the whole thing so that you can read it once.
_________________________Four studios throw weight behind D-VHS
By Paul Sweeting
JAN. 29 | Fox, Universal, DreamWorks and Artisan will announce on Wednesday the release of the first high-definition movies for the home video market, but it won't be on DVD.
Using an advanced video technology similar to HDTV, the studios are turning back to a format that appeared to be losing favor with consumers: the videocassette.
The four companies will begin bowing an ongoing slate of high-definition movies on VHS in June based on the new Digital-VHS format developed by hardware maker JVC that can also record HDTV signals from TV broadcasts.
Among the first films to get the new treatment will be Independence Day, Die Hard and X-Men from Fox; U-571 from Universal; and the two Terminator movies from Artisan. DreamWorks has not identified its first titles to be released.
Broadcasters have been dragging their feet on HDTV. This move for some of the vertically integrated film studios that have ties to broadcast concerns is aimed at giving a boost to that fledgling market.
At the very least, each believes that the new D-VHS addresses a niche market that it feels will grow in the coming years. It also offers consumers a new machine that also will play their existing library of videocassettes.
"The first titles will be ones that really benefit from high definition," Fox Consumer Products president Patricia Wyatt said. "People who have HDTV sets and home theater systems have invested a lot of money, and I think the new format provides some great content for them to really show off their high-end systems."
The move is already sparking controversy from executives at other studios who worry that the introduction of a new digital home video format just as DVDs are exploding in popularity will produce confusion and hesitation among consumers. That could cause a slowdown in sales of the fastest-selling consumer electronics product ever.
D-VHS offers more than twice the picture resolution of DVD. But disc proponents dismiss any perceived advantages to D-VHS as being short-term and not significant enough to overcome the inherent disadvantages of tape-based formats.
"D-VHS suffers from all the limitations inherited from a tape-based format, such as random access, additional languages, enhanced content, all the things that have made DVD such a popular format for consumers," said Marsha King, executive VP of new business development and business affairs at Warner Home Video.
Recording TV programs will be no easier than with any other VCR, WHV president Warren Lieberfarb said. "[Digital video recorders] such as TiVo have already leap-frogged tape-based time-shifting, so D-VHS is already obsolete even before it arrives."
Warner does not plan to release movies in D-VHS. Neither does Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.
"As far as we're concerned, D-VHS is not a commercial product," CTHE president Ben Feingold said. "The enormous success of DVD leads us to believe, both intuitively and practically, that there's a strong preference for a disc-based product."
But D-VHS supporters see no conflict between the formats.
"This is really incremental technology, addressing a relatively small niche," Artisan Home Entertainment president Steve Beeks said. "I don't really think it will have any impact on the DVD market."
Others stress that even D-VHS supporters have no interest in undermining the DVD business.
"We love DVD," Wyatt said. "It's the golden goose. This [D-VHS] is directly targeted at the HD household. Those people are the most avid consumers of entertainment, and they'll continue buying DVDs as well as D-VHS."
Although both D-VHS and DVDs store movies digitally, D-VHS can pack far more data onto a standard-size tape than can fit on DVDs. DVDs are capable of better picture quality than standard VHS, but they can't store high-definition images.
High-definition DVD is being worked on, but the technology is five to seven years off, according to studio executives who have been briefed on it. That leaves the field open for D-VHS as the only format capable of recording and playing back high-definition content.
D-VHS actually records at a higher bit-rate than the U.S. HDTV standard, producing even higher quality images than HDTV broadcasts.
"You have consumers today who would love to have a high-definition alternative, and we have nothing to offer them," Universal Studios Home Video president Craig Kornblau said. "High-definition DVD isn't going to be here for several years, but with D-VHS, we can offer those consumers a high-definition alternative."
Still others in Hollywood remain ambivalent toward the new format.
"We have no immediate plans to release any titles in this format," Buena Vista Home Entertainment president Robert Chapek said.
Paramount Home Entertainment executives could not be reached for comment.
The new format is the brainchild of JVC, which developed the original analog VHS format that's now being overtaken by DVD.
The new format uses the same size cassettes and many of the same mechanical features as the original, and the new players are compatible with older VHS cassettes.
The machines have been available in limited numbers from JVC and Mitsubishi for two years, primarily as a home recording format for HDTV broadcast and satellite signals.
Although JVC has been talking to Hollywood about movies to support the format since its introduction, the studios were reluctant to release anything in high-definition until adequate copy-protection encryption could be developed, particularly in the wake of widespread hacking of DVDs.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, JVC bowed its new D-Theater copy-protection system, which it claims is superior to the Content Scrambling System used on DVDs.
"We would only put out HD product if we were absolutely guaranteed that it would be fully copy-protected," Kornblau said. "Frankly, that's why it's taken so long. We had to get comfortable with the copy protection."
How much product the studios will ultimately release remains uncertain.
Wyatt said Fox is open to the idea of issuing new releases in D-VHS simultaneously with DVD and standard VHS but isn't ready to commit to that strategy.
Said DreamWorks head of worldwide video Kelly Avery: "We'll have to see how the market takes off before we decide on a strategy for new releases. For now, we're looking for titles that really play into this format."
Only D-VHS players equipped with the new D-Theater circuitry will be able to play movies in high-definition. Earlier machines, without the system, will play older VHS cassettes but can't decode the encrypted high-definition cassettes.
The market for high-definition movies is likely to be tiny at first. The number of households with HDTV sets in the U.S. stands at about 2 million and is projected to reach 4 million by 2003.
JVC is hoping to sell 100,000 D-VHS players within the first year, according to consumer video division VP Jerry Barbera.
JVC has only one machine on the market, priced at $1,995, but plans to bow at least one more this year.
Barbera said JVC expects that, with the introduction of high-definition movies, other hardware makers will also begin to push the format.
Just my two cents worth...
For know, I think our investments will be safe as very few companies plan to make the move (for now). But it becomes a wait and see situation for all of us right now. So don't think of tossing away those DVDs yet!!!