THE DVD COLLECTION
Shokus Video has begun releasing its more popular catalog titles in the DVD format! We are among the first to be producing our product by utilizing the new technology known as DVD-R, which makes it possible for us to transfer, create, and duplicate our titles totally inhouse, thereby eliminating the very high costs of lab replication. This terrific new method keeps our pricing very competitive with DVDs already on the market, but more importantly, it keeps them very much in line with the pricing we currently offer for our titles in VHS. Plus - the quality of the video is absolutely phenomenal! We are in the process of taking all of our original source materials on film and broadcast video tapes out of our vault and remastering them exclusively for these new DVD releases...they've never looked better!
At this point in time, however, not all DVD players will work with DVD-R. All of the DVD drives in computers and many of the set top players currently being manufactured can indeed play the discs and their interactive features perfectly; others can PLAY the discs but cannot take advantage of certain features such as chapter searching and scanning. Some brands cannot play the discs at all. In time, this will change, and we predict that in less than two years, over 98% of players being sold will be able to fully play a DVD-R disc. We are at a point now similar to when CD-R discs were first made available - many early audio CD players could not read a CD-R disc, but today virtually every CD player on the market can.
In the same instance, DVD players will be modified to allow for full playback of DVD-R discs, as more independent companies such as ours use DVD-R as an alternative to expensive lab replication.
1. How can I tell if my current DVD player or unit I am planning on purchasing can play Shokus Video DVDs?
Basically, any DVD set top player manufactured prior to Winter, 1999 will probably NOT be able to read a DVD-R disc and will not work with our product. As for current models, we have prepared a list below that we will continue to expand as we test more players in the coming months, so please bookmark this page and come back often.
2. If the player I own cannot take full advantage of DVD-R, what can I do in order to play Shokus Video DVDs to their fullest capabilities?
The simple and quick answer is to buy another player. In a couple of years, all DVD players will be able to read DVD-R discs, so you might consider waiting. On the other hand, players are EXTREMELY inexpensive now; many current models can play DVD-R discs just fine, and stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart offer units as cheap as $39.99, and they play surprisingly well! Having a second player to take advantage of DVD-R while keeping your current machine is not a bad idea, given the pricing. In fact, a lot of the new, inexpensive models also play MP3 and VCDs, something that the older, higher end models are not capable of handling. Replacing your old top-of-the-line player is not a major expense anymore; high end players with lots of bells and whistles (like Sony, which play DVD-R discs great) can be purchased for under $150. Just make sure the player you want to buy is on the approved list below.
3. As DVD-R is new technology, are Shokus Video discs guaranteed to be 100% compatible with ALL DVD players capable of playing DVD-R?
In most cases it's 99.9%, but a lot has to do with the method in which the laser beam inside the DVD player reads the time code stamping on the DVD-R disc itself. It also has to do with the brand of blank DVD-R disc used to duplicate the programming. Currently we have found that Verbatim discs seem to work best in all of the players we've tested, and that's what we are using for duplication at the moment. Occasionally, however, a "freeze" can occur on one part of a program on a player that will not occur when playing the same disc at the same point on a player made by a different company. We have found "freezing" to be problematic with discs replicated by labs as well. Again, this IS new technology, and until a standardized method of reading DVD-R is adopted and put forth within the player industry, minor flaws can indeed pop up. We have found that if a freeze occurs, pressing the Scan buttons will unfreeze the image and continue playback.
4. Will Shokus Video accept returns on DVDs that don't play on my unit?
Our policy has always been to accept returns on truly DEFECTIVE product. In the case of DVDs, however, we ask that if one of our discs does not play on your unit (and it is on our list of approved machines below), that you attempt to play the disc on another unit of the same or different brand that is also on the approved list. If it still won't play, we will accept it for exchange of another disc of the SAME TITLE only. No refunds, and no exchanges for different titles will be allowed with DVDs. We suggest you purchase ONE disc at first to make sure your player is compatible if your machine is not on the approved list below. If the disc works, please let us know so we can add it to the list.
5. Are all of the titles in the Shokus Video catalog going to be available on DVD?
Eventually, yes, but it will probably take a few years. Right now we are concentrating on two factors - the titles that we have the best original source materials on, and the overall popularity of those titles based on their VHS sales. Our goal is to have about 70% of our current catalog available on DVD by the end of 2004. It is a HUGE process to remaster the titles because they not only have to be re-transferred, but also have to be "authored" with interactive menus, chapter searching, etc., and then compiled via computer onto a master DVD disc for duplication. This is a far cry from simply dubbing a high quality master tape onto a VHS cassette. We can tell you, however, that all of our subsequent new catalog releases will be available in both VHS and DVD from this point forward.
6. Will any of the DVDs have extra features like DVDs of motion pictures do?
Not at the moment. We are limited to a maximum of two hours of high quality video per disc in the DVD-R system. To add extra features would compromise the quality of the image and sound. Vintage television is archaic enough without sacrificing it further. As the technology improves, we may consider special features in the future, but we have also found in our research studies, believe it or not, that most people consider the extra features not a major consideration when purchasing a DVD. Also, to add special features requires more time and effort, and we're trying to get as many of our titles out on DVD as quickly as possible. But the main reason is that we're limited to two hours per disc, and most of our titles run very close to that in length. All of our DVDs will feature interactive menus and many will also have chapter searching available.
7. I live outside of North America. Will Shokus Video DVDs play in my unit?
At the moment, Shokus Video discs are only available in the NTSC (U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Japan) system. However, there
are several brands of set top players on the market that are capable of playing back DVDs from all over the world, just
like multi-standard VCRs, and they are available from various retail outlets on the Internet. To help those customers in foreign countries to be able to play our discs, we are purposely not "region encoding" them, which basically means that if you have a multi-standard DVD player (NTSC/PAL/SECAM), and you live outside of Region 1 (North America), you WILL be able to play Shokus Video discs, provided the manufacturer of the player states that it is capable of playing DVD-R discs.
(as of 1/28/2005)
Please note: This list applies to all units manufactured from Winter, 1999 to the present:
ALL COMPUTER DVD-ROM DRIVES EXCEPT SOME MAC G4 MODELS
CYBERHOME POST-2003 UNITS
GO VIDEO DVD/VCR COMBO UNIT - EARLY 2001 MODEL ONLY!
JVC HOME THEATER SYSTEM (See "Failed" list below)
PHILIPS 727, MOST OTHER MODELS (But see "Failed" list below)
RCA PROGRESSIVE SCAN SYSTEM
TEAC HOME THEATER SYSTEM
These units will PLAY Shokus Video DVDs, but they will NOT be able to use the chapter selection or scan (beyond 2x) functions. They are limited to MENU SELECTION and PLAYBACK only. Again, these units must have been manufactured from Winter, 1999 to the present.
These units will NOT PLAY Shokus Video DVDs, or any DVD-R discs.
MOST DVD PLAYERS MANUFACTURED PRIOR TO WINTER, 1999
CYBERHOME PRE-2003 UNITS
EMERSON PRE-2002 MODELS
GO VIDEO POST-2001 UNITS
JVC A/V COMPULINK SERIES
PANASONIC TV/DVD COMBO UNIT
PHILIPS MODELS 702, 711
RCA TV/DVD COMBO UNIT
IF YOU DON'T SEE YOUR PLAYER ON ANY OF THE LISTS ABOVE, IT MEANS WE HAVE NOT YET TESTED IT.
PLEASE BOOKMARK THIS PAGE AND CHECK BACK PERIODICALLY FOR UPDATES.