Making the World Safe for Digital Video

Last week, Victor Company of Japan announced that it has developed a new copyright-protection system for prerecorded D-VHS content, as well as for in-home analog and digital recording. JVC says that the copyright-protection feature will be included within the D-VHS standard and adds that "this new standard makes it possible to develop and produce prerecorded HD (High Definition) video content as well as add momentum to the development of D-VHS hardware products."

JVC's Hiroki Shimizu observes that "The system will provide consumers with a true digital viewing experience and offer content providers superior digital asset protection. We also hope that this development will give a much-needed boost to the HDTV industry by providing long-awaited high-definition content to the consumer."

According to JVC, the protection technology offers compatibility with all types of TV broadcast systems used worldwide, accommodates both digital and analog systems, and offers compatibility with conventional prerecorded analog VHS content. D-VHS digital recorders for home use will soon be available from JVC. In addition to developing D-VHS recorders that are compliant with this new technology, JVC says it will be working with the hardware industry to promote the adoption of the new system into more consumer and professional D-VHS units.

In terms of content, JVC reports that Fox endorses the copy-protection system for its own HD material, and JVC is approaching the other content companies for their endorsement as well. Fox's Bill Mechanic adds that "this promises to be the system for the content of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, allowing the 90 million VHS households in the US alone to continue to use their existing VHS libraries. Further, by offering content providers like Fox and the other studios virtually perfect copy protection, it should encourage more availability of HD content for home recording."

JVC says the system will include Intel's recently announced HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) digital connection for both standard and high-definition digital video. The company adds that the protection system will also include several IEEE1394-compatible technologies, including Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) and a JVC proprietary Related Device Authentication (RDA) system.