The first pre-recorded high-definition movies officially hit retail shelves of The Good Guys stores in the D-VHS cassette format last week, with four select titles from DreamWorks SKG, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios and Artisan Entertainment.
All titles were produced on D-VHS tape using JVC's D-Theater copy protection system for high-definition packaged media.
Through a special arrangement, titles officially launched at The Good Guys stores, but were also available online, along with the JVC D-Theater VCR, at DVHSMovie.com. Select titles will also be available at BestBuy.com and Buy.com. Plans are to expand distribution to other interested video and consumer electronics retailers in coming weeks.
JVC, which also developed the D-VHS format, is assisting its electronics dealers in hooking up with video software distributors to carry the titles to support their D-VHS hardware sales.
As previously reported, the first titles that went on sale June 10 included DreamWorks' The Peacemaker, Fox's X-Men, Universal's U-571 and Artisan's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The D-VHS titles carry suggested retails ranging from $35.00-$45.00.
Additional releases planned for later in the year include DreamWorks'The Haunting and Galaxy Quest, Fox's Independence Day and Fight Club, Universal's Backdraft and End Of Days and Artisan's Terminator and Dirty Dancing.
A series of national advertising and promotional efforts are supporting the new format. Ads appear in such consumer magazines as Maxim, Gear, Sound & Vision and Widescreen Review , among others.
Additionally, The Good Guys chain will offer a free copy of Terminator 2 on D-VHS with the purchase of a JVC D-VHS D-Theater VCR through the end of June.
Because the cassettes use the D-Theater encryption system, they will only be playable on D-Theater enabled D-VHS VCRs. Currently, only JVC produces a compatible deck.