decks can record the high-definition, huge-volume content of BS broadcasts onto special cassette tapes developed for D-VHS
equipment without losing any quality of image.
A fourth studio, DreamWorks, also provided clips to JVC, according to sources, but was not able to get them authored in D-VHS in time for display at CES.
And while less strident in its views than Warner, Columbia is also skeptical of D-VHS.
The launch of D-VHS could also revive old arguments over copy-protection for digital pre-recorded formats.
The copy-protection standard built into D-VHS, known as High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), is regarded by most experts as more robust than the Content Scrambling System (CSS) used for DVD.
Guy Johnson, Thomson's vice president of video product management, says consumers always want to record and D-VHS will let them record all the new high-tech, digital-quality equipment that is on the way.
And DVD will do the exact same thing, and D-VHS will be yet another reason for consumers to experience high-quality video and audio, which in turn sells more high-end Tvs.
The D-VHS VCR will be compatible with standard VHS cassettes, to take advantage of the widespread availability of VHS software titles while offering owners of digital broadcast system receivers the opportunity to time-shift record digital picture and sound in addition to regular analog broadcasts.
Fox also distributes MGM and Artisan product on video, and sources say those two studios are also mulling the possibility of prerecorded D-VHS movies.
The D-VHS format uses cassettes identical in size, shape and many mechanical features to conventional analog VHS cassettes, and D-VHS machines will play all existing VHS cassettes.
Though D-VHS has been on the drawing boards for years, hardware makers have been reluctant to introduce it for fear of a backlash from studios and other copyright owners, many of whom are reluctant to arm consumers with digital recording capability.
But Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Bill Mechanic has long been a D-VHS enthusiast and was an early skeptic toward DVD.