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If you're like me, you've probably ignored all the hype about HDTV. Quite frankly, I don't blame you. It requires quite an investment (about $2,000 to $6,000) to enjoy it. You have to get an expensive HDTV receiver, and then you have to rely on HDTV programming over the air. Not that I'm decrying the quality of over-the-air broadcast television, but it has NOT been on my list of favorite after-dinner activities for many years now. So, when I heard that HDTV broadcasts had in fact already begun in Los Angeles, I said "ho-hum."
The VHS format has been with us for many years now. Long ago, it supplanted the Betamax format as the home consumer-videotaping format of choice. Most VCR systems are priced well below $100 these days, and high-quality, name-brand VHS blank tapes are a bargain at around a dollar.
But, there is a catch. The analog tape recording process that VHS is based on is limited in resolution and quality. The best VHS recording delivers about 250 lines of resolution, and the best S-VHS recorded tapes produce about 400 lines of resolution. The quality is also limited because the color and brightness signal in the VHS and S-VHS recording process depends on analog technology to be recorded on tape. This analog recording process introduces playback degradation, such as lower signal-to-noise (wherein the playback picture seems to have a lot of colored confetti, or "snow"). And, the resolution or detail in playback is also not as sharp or crisp, as you would hope.
Enter D-VHS. It's the latest digital recording and playback format for high-definition content, touted by some as the "ultimate in home entertainment and television viewing."
The D-VHS recording process resolves these inherent analog recording problems by recording in a higher resolution and purely digital way on D-VHS tape. MPEG-2 video compression is applied to select video signals entering the VCR and recorded in real time on the tape. This MPEG-2 recording process is similar to that used in DVDs and digital satellite transmissions. The …