D-VHS and IEEE 1394

The EETimes recently reported that JVC and Sony are cooperating to develop IEEE 1394 interface technologies for digital video recorders using Sony's i.Link and JVC's D-VHS format. The idea is to entice consumers to use D-VHS recorders in entertainment systems connected with 1394 cables.

Several new digital video-storage technologies have appeared in past months. TiVo and Replay lead the pack in hard-disk-based video systems(see previous report), and DVD-R and DVD-RAM are being developed by several manufacturers of DVD players. But D-VHS video tape is the only consumer format announced so far that can record both standard and high-definition signals for later playback.

Hiroki Shimizu of JVC says that "Sony's participation will make it more certain that D-VHS will be the world de facto standard. People said that tape has no future, but in terms of cost, tape media have an incomparable advantage. D-VHS will vitalize the huge asset of VHS that has already accumulated." Both companies are also working on hard-disk-based video-recording systems.

Sony's Katsumi Ihara states that "through the joint R&D, the two companies will combine D-VHS and i.Link interface technology to provide a means of digital recording for digital broadcasts in the world. Furthermore, we want to propose new usage of D-VHS on a digital network." One of these new applications would be to take a signal from a digital set-top box and send it through a 1394 link to a D-VHS machine. JVC says that if all goes well, Japanese consumers should see D-VHS recorders this summer, with other markets following as soon as copyright issues are resolved.