W-VHS is a high definition analog video tape format created by JVC. The format was originally introduced in 1994 for use with Japan's Hi-Vision MUSE broadcasts and is no longer supported; the tapes are no longer manufactured and no players are currently produced for this format.

The recording medium of W-VHS is a ½-inch magnetic metallic tape stored in a cartridge the same size as VHS. The tape can be used to store 1080i or 480i analog signals (but not 480p or 720p).The video signal is recorded using a method called "time compression integration" which "records separated Component, Luminance and Color signals offset by time in alternating parts of the video track". [Quote from JVC sr-w5u pdf brochure.] Because video signals are recorded in component form instead of the Y/C color under method used by S-VHS, standard definition image quality for W-VHS is typically much higher, due to the lack of noise caused by a chroma sub-carrier. Audio is stored in the VHS Hi-Fi or S-VHS Digital Audio formats.

W-VHS VCR's were one of the only devices consumers could use to record a Standard or High Definition video signal via an analog Y/Pb/Pr component interface. Very few devices with this capability exist, possibly due to content copyright restrictions. W-VHS has also been used for medical imaging, professional previewing, and broadcasting.

Currently, it is very difficult to find either W-VHS VCRs or tapes. Since W-VHS tapes are harder to find many people have been using the similar Digital-S (D-9) tape. While D-9 are still not that easy to find, they are more available than W-VHS tapes in certain regions. JVC Professional even recommends the use of them for W-VHS. The running time between W-VHS and Digital-S is not the same. A Digital-S tape with a length of 64 min is approx 105 min when used with W-VHS.


External links

* [http://videoexpert.home.att.net/artic3/262hdvr.htm High Definition Video Format Guide, with an overview of W-VHS]
* [http://www.lionlamb.us/quad/format.html Quadruplex Park vtr formats, with a mention of W-VHS]

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