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Studios Releasing HD VHS Movies

JVC has found some high-end content for its new high-definition D-VHS platform, landing deals with four major movie studios to release films on an optional D-VHS format called D-Theater.

Artisan Entertainment, DreamWorks SKG, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Studios are expected to release D-Theater films this year.

"The solid copyright protection technology built into the D-Theater system makes the format extremely attractive to us as content providers," said Patricia Wyatt, president of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

D-Theater software will be recorded in the HS (high-speed) mode at 28 Mbps, far denser than the 19 Mbps ATSC standard for HDTV broadcasts. D-VHS cassettes can hold 44GB, enough for an entire feature-length HDTV movie.

In JVC's proprietary encryption system, tapes with the original data can only be created on duplication equipment licensed and approved by JVC. D-Theater video software, identified by a logo on the packaging, will be playable only on D-VHS video recorders bearing the same D-Theater logo.

The D-VHS is backward compatible with regular VHS tapes. A D-VHS cassette has the capacity for four hours of HDTV or more than 50 hours of standard definition television.