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X2, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Bound for DTS-Encoded D-VHS

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment plans to up the D-VHS ante by debuting five new titles this holiday season on JVC's D-VHS format, featuring JVC's D-Theater encryption and introducing for the first time optional DTS digital surround sound at the full bit rate of 1509 kbps. The titles include: X2 (Nov. 25), LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (Dec. 16), MOULIN ROUGE (Nov. 25), SPEED (Dec. 16) and TRUE LIES (Dec. 16). All titles will retail for $34.98.

That brings the Fox D-VHS lineup to 22, with an additional 40 titles available through Artisan, DreamWorks and Universal. Intended as a way of bridging the pre-recorded HD content gap before the arrival of HD-DVD in the next three or four years, D-VHS players have now reached 30,000 units in two years.

"D-Theater made D-VHS possible because of the high standard of content protection," said Danny Kaye, Fox's svp of business development, at a Nov. 13 demonstration hosted at JVC D-ILA Theater Zone in West Hollywood, California. Kaye also mentioned that the superior quality of D-VHS (at 1080i resolution but with considerably less compression, surpassing HD broadcast standards) along with the higher volume of HD TV sales in recent months have increased the demand for the format. "Other formats will require the same standard of content protection," Kaye added.

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.