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Slow but sure demise of VHS


tctruffin
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Nice feature on this trend in yesterday's Arts section of The Washington Post:

"Gone With the Rewind"

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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So, here's the question, if a format dies in the forest, will anyone care?

I doubt it. Most people only hang onto their VCRs because throwing them out would be kind of harsh. I keep mine because my library has tons of tapes that I can watch for free, but I never, ever pay for VHS tapes anymore.

Heck, even today's DVD format is going to be obsolete soon, what with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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So, here's the question, if a format dies in the forest, will anyone care?

I doubt it. Most people only hang onto their VCRs because throwing them out would be kind of harsh. I keep mine because my library has tons of tapes that I can watch for free, but I never, ever pay for VHS tapes anymore.

Heck, even today's DVD format is going to be obsolete soon, what with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.

I don't know that there's going to be much compelling a change to the new format anytime soon. I'd say it's going to take wide-scale adoption of HD televisions for the new DVD formats to become real useful. Sure it would have been cool for each of the Extended Special Editions of LOTR to be able to fit on one disk, but I don't think I'd buy a new player just for that feature.

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

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I have so many movies I have taped through the years. And so far my VCR is holding out. But I did a search on a possible replacement for my VCR in the future, and they all sound like the quality has gone down. At Amazon, for example, they all get complaints.

So what are you folks going to do if your VCR breaks down and you are stuck with 200- 300 tapes?

DVDs are better. Yes. But I rent them from Netflix. I don't own any movies on DVD. I have too much invested in my years of taping movies off of TV...

I can't even find Maxell High Grade tapes at WalMart anymore. cry.gif

Sara

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I wonder if by now HD-TV's out-number conventional TV's. That will probably be the deciding factor in the format war.

Edited by Mister Jeff

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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I have so many movies I have taped through the years. And so far my VCR is holding out. But I did a search on a possible replacement for my VCR in the future, and they all sound like the quality has gone down.  At Amazon, for example, they all get complaints.

So what are you folks going to do if your VCR breaks down and you are stuck with 200- 300 tapes?

DVDs are better. Yes. But I rent them from Netflix. I don't own any movies on DVD. I have too much invested in my years of taping movies off of TV...

I can't even find Maxell High Grade tapes at WalMart anymore. cry.gif

Sara

Get a DVD recorder and start moving those recordings out of the 80's smile.gif

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

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Last night I watched a brand new VHS tape that I ordered from Amazon for $20. Compared to DVD, the quality was crap, of course. But it was in the proper aspect ratio and was nicely sub-titled. Most importantly, I got to see Claire Denis's Nenette and Boni, a really beautiful film, and I wouldn't have been able to see it otherwise.

All of which is to say: I'm not giving up my VCR until the many, many, many great films only available on VHS get DVD releases.

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For the umpteenth time, DVDs will not be obsolete on the new players any more than Video CDs are obsolete on DVD players. Backwards compatibility, my friends, backwards compatibility.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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My own prediction is that the battle between the Blu-Ray format and the HD DVD format will hurt both. Without a clear winner, I have a feeling that companies like mine (Movie Gallery) won't carry either. What about Netflix? Will they buy copies of films on both standards? I kinda doubt it. We could wind up leap-frogging to the next generation of technology.

As far as VHS goes, a lot of people seem to be replacing their VCRs in the living room with DVD players and putting the VCRs in their children's rooms. A large portion of the VHS tapes we rent are children's videos.

There is a sizable number of customers who complain about our selection on VHS (getting smaller by the week), but most of them are older (60+). Those who do complain aren't going to fight any battles over it. My prediction is that VHS will be dead by the middle-end of next year.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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"My prediction is that VHS will be dead by the middle-end of next year."

I just hope they keep making decent VCRs. I have never rented tapes, but I have hundreds of films I've taped off TV through the years - such as many Luis Bunuel films that are not on DVD, - also some Carl Dreyer - Double Indemnity - the Conformist - The Double Life of Veronique - Lots of interviews and many things from IFC (and at one time that were on Bravo before they went downhill.)

I would be up a creek if my VCR broke and I could not replace it. sad.gif

Sara

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Report: Blockbuster Stops Renting VHS Titles

Blockbuster has virtually banished videocassettes from all its outlets, with the exception of some children's and Spanish titles, Home Media Retailing reported on its website Monday. It quoted a Michigan Blockbuster employee as saying, "It's definitely phasing out." However, a company spokesman denied that Blockbuster is dropping its VHS rental business, telling the trade publication that it is continuing to appraise product and format allocations on the basis of customer preference.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The Playstation 3 is going to give Blu-Ray a huge boost, as it uses Blu-Ray technology for its fancy new HD videogames.

Then again, the X-Box 2 is going to use HD-DVD, so it may just balance out...But I think the Playstations are more popular overall.

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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For the umpteenth time, DVDs will not be obsolete on the new players any more than Video CDs are obsolete on DVD players.  Backwards compatibility, my friends, backwards compatibility.

Peter's right. All of the manufacturers and retail chains know that not many people are running out to buy new HD TVs and that people don't want their precious DVD collections to go the way of the 8-track. Sony knew this when they went from the Playstation to the PS2--you can still play your old PS1 games on the PS2. It's the only way people will buy new technology.

My own prediction is that the battle between the Blu-Ray format and the HD DVD format will hurt both. Without a clear winner, I have a feeling that companies like mine (Movie Gallery) won't carry either. What about Netflix? Will they buy copies of films on both standards? I kinda doubt it. We could wind up leap-frogging to the next generation of technology.

Blu-Ray DVDs can hold 50 gigs of info. HD DVDs can only hold 30GB. At the PBS station I work at, I use Blu-Ray technology on a daily basis (not the 50 gig disks, but Sony's 23GB XD cartridges). The DVDs are in oddly-shaped cartridges because they are vulnerable to scratches. A recent innovation by TDK makes previously the scratch-prone Blu-Ray disks look like the emerging winner in this battle because they no longer need cartridges for protection. Dell, Sony and HP are going with Blu-Ray. I expect others to follow suit very soon.

I have a blog? here at A&F that I sometimes post in.

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  • 1 year later...

VHS, 30, dies of loneliness

The home-entertainment format lived a fruitful life

Variety, November 14

- - -

FWIW, we've recently started copying our VHS tapes to DVD. The picture quality may not be perfect, but then, given that we started with VHS tapes, it never was exactly perfect to begin with.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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