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This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

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If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for's some.


VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

« VCD vs UHD and what's the big deal with UHD anyway | Main | Here's another tip about wires »

Retro-tech. That time when HD came on VHS

Perhaps it's a good thing that D-Theater never made it to the UK, the spelling of the name would have been an insurmountable issue. 

This might be the first retro-tech product I've featured in a video where I can remember seeing one in action back when it was new. Whenever a TV manufacturer wanted to show off their new HDTVs at an AV show, they needed HD Video to show on them. Before Blu-ray or HD-DVD came to market if you peered around the back of a TV at a show in the UK you could usually either spot a PC or occasionally an imported D-Theater machine providing the HD signal.

Getting a working D-Theater machine delivered to the UK has taken a lot more time (and money) than I anticipated when I set out to make this video last year. I'm really glad, and quite relieved, that I can finally present it to you here today. 


Useful Links

Captured D-VHS Demo Tape showing New York in 1993:
D-Theater tapes can be found on eBay:
A full list of D-Theater titles is on
DVHS on Wikipedia:
JVC's D-Theater machines:


The supplimentary video showing NYC in 1993 in HD has really blown-up on the internet in the last couple of days.. and it keeps getting re-posted. A shame that I couldn't monitise it, but after all it is not my video and the soundtrack is copyright. The real star is the unknown cameraman who captured such great shots with the early HD video equipment back in 1993.

For those wondering what HD video camera tech existed in 1993 -  there are a few options, but it's likely that this footage was shot with a HDVS camera- perhaps a Sony SONY HDC-500 attached to a HDV-10 portable recorder which recorded on UniHi 3/4" tape. 



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Reader Comments (11)

Thanks for the review - I have only seen D-VHS once at a trade show.
Very interesting. But thinking of the noise of VHS tapes rewinding/searching makes my skin crawl..... :)

April 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatte

Another excellent video, Matt. I had no idea that this format even existed and I was so surprised. I think no one in my country had something like this...
High quality and VHS are two words that seem no relationship together, but this video demonstrates that you can learn something new every single day... :)

April 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHugo

Actually HD started _way_ earlier even for consumers. Essentially when the Olympic games in Barcelona were shown in HD, you could already buy HD-capable consumer TV sets supporting HD-Mac... and that was in the early 1990s. There was quite some hype about HD back then, at least in Germany.

There also was an analogue VHS version which could do HDTV and that was W-VHS. It recorded video onto 3 parallel slant tracks. It could either record 2 NTSC video signal, or one HD signal in some japaneese format. It was apparently in limited use in professional circles. I've seen a Demo of it in 2000 on a very large projection. It certainly looked much better than SD, however you could see the jitter noise and overshoots of a typical consumer video tape.

BTW those tapes are not really a practicable way to archive video at home. Since the dawn of digital television, some people did the obvious thing and combined computers with digital television receivers. The result were cards which essentially contained a full DVB-S receiver, including MPEG2 decoder, on a PCI card. You would plug it into your PC, have some software called "VDR" and the shows you record would end up as files on your harddisk. You can then simply work with those just like you'd do with any file on your computer. Unfortunately my earliest recordings have died with a disk crash (that was before I was using RAIDs), but I still have recordings from the early 2000s on upwards) The cards with the built-in MPEG decoders are unfortunately dying out, but you can do the same with just about the same quality with modern graphics cards.
A nice side effect of this is of course that you can also get the live streams. This makes it really easy to watch television where ever you have enough bandwidth.

April 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Berger

Loved that little jab at SONY.

Though technically they weren't wrong, they didn't outright lie, it's just that it wasn't relevant. SONY's high arithmetic and memory throughput competed against SEGA's streamlined high-utilisation design with vaguely visually similar results, the numbers simply didn't end up mattering much at all.

April 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSiana

Was odd looking thru the NY video and seeing no one using a cell phone texting or calling, thems was da days Mat :@)

April 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Great as always Matt, was just going to echo Paul's comment, not one mobile stuck to an ear and no one looking down to read their texts etc.

April 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

Hi Matt, a good review as always.
I had left the trade when this product came out ~ even if it was only in America. We generally got to hear about this sort of stuff in the UK and, London being hot for this sort of stuff you would always get someone asking if you could import and convert a machine to work in the UK. That is convert NTST to Pal B as we had not gone digital in TV standards by this time. One thing I did discover when I brought a SVHS recorder and was horrified at the cost of tapes. I did make a physical comparison of the cases of VHS and SVHS tapes and found one had a small hole in the case to activate a pin inside the ~SVHS machine so it could play both types of tapes ~ or should I say recognise the tapes.
But drilling a hole in a standard tape did allow me to record on it in SVHS mode and saved me a few pounds.
I don't know the long term effect on the tape of course because I didn't use the format for long as I brought a multi region DVD recorder from John Lewis a few years latter. Thanks for the informative reviews, as I said I missed this one, but probably because I was not longer in the Hi Fi and Video trade at time.

April 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Travis

What's even cooler (in my opinion) is that Sony had a precursor to the HDC-500, and this was the 300 model.
This was in fact a 3-saticon tube based HDVS camera, and did not have digital CCDs.

You can see footage from it on the Bob Dylan 30th aniversary concert celebration, look for it in the shots which have smears from bright lights across the screen.
I think they may have only used a couple and the rest were CCD.

It's also in the Invisible touch tour footage, but only in SD.

March 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I used one of these D-VHS machines back in the late 1990's when i worked for a company that made professional digital projectors. I am a test engineer and part of my job was to test all the inputs of these projectors with various video sources. One of which was D-Theater! We were projecting onto pretty big screens and standing pretty close to the image. D-Theater held up very well, giving Sony's professional HD Betacam a run for it's money!

March 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Sekinger

Hi Matt, I found your video on D-VHS fascinating! The one thing I am very interested in though, and I cannot find a single bit of info on is: what modulation scheme was used by D-VHS? I have been thinking of doing some experimentation with a custom QAM256 or high signal and feed that to a vcr and see if it will record it and if so, how much data I can store on a VHS tape, just for the fun of it. Seeing as D-VHS could store 25GB on a tape that is quite a high number to beat!

If you (or anyone for that matter) has any info on this I would greatly appreciate it!

February 1, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterprelude

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