The demise of VHS

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by MK, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    I bought my first VCR about 15 years ago. I celebrated by building a solid library of my favorite films. One of my original tapes was The Wolfman (1941). Lon Chaney jr is the star and Claude Rains is the co-star. I had not watched it in years and since it is from the golden era I decided to revisit it.

    It was unwatchable. The tape had deteriorated so bad my my VCR wouldn't play most of it. It is a shame that a lot of my effort to build a library has gone down the drain.

    I am so glad we have DVD now. I hope it lasts longer.

    :mad:
     
  2. Ken

    Ken A-List Customer

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    Location:
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    This is something that I find interesting...

    My parents bought their first VCR and TV when I was born - 20 years ago. The video was a top loader... so you had to (manually of course - no such things as remotes then) press the button, then wait while the lid slowly lifted up, then put the tape in, then clunk it down. To turn the TV on, you had to go up to it, pull out this little knob and then twist it to control the volume.

    So yes it was all rather primitive, but... my parents are still using the same VCR and TV to this day. Both are still in perfect working order.

    3 or 4 year ago I bought a music system - not very expensive, but still not a cheap make either. Now its broken. Not worth repairing they say. It seem that getting 4 or 5 years out of a bit of equipment now is deemed to be quite good.

    So while technolohy itself is improving, it seems actual workmanship is declining. It looks like instead of having to replace your DVD player in 15 years MK you will probably hav eto replace 3 or 4 times until the next revolutionary medium comes along to replace it.

    Ken
     
  3. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

    Messages:
    681
    Location:
    Danville, CA.
    My first VCR cost me almost $500.00 and had two heads, pretty much zero special features and it had a wired remote. I started taping and buying my favorite movies. I thought it was great. However, 20 something years down the road, there have been remarkable improvements. I was just watching the day the Earth stood still on DVD. The ability to pause it with crystal clearity still amazes me.

    It is great that they are releasing some of the classic movies (although slowly) on DVD. The Thing, The Al Jolson story, etc., etc. I would wonder if all of the movies on VHS will eventually make it to DVD.

    As my DVD collection grows, I wonder what will happen with the technology in another 20 years.
     
  4. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    Agreed on craftmenship. Back in the day, when you bought a TV, it was piece of fine furniture. There does seem to be a prevailing policy that electronics are made with disposal rather than repair in mind.

    I meant to say above is the player is fine. It is the tapes that are toast.
     
  5. Kittlemeier

    Kittlemeier New in Town

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    Location:
    Valdosta, GA
    I think Michaelson calls it "planned obsolescence". K
     
  6. kent

    kent New in Town

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    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah, although with VHS I never had to worry about taking it out of it's case and snapping it in half. I've also had 1 dvd split into 2 thin layers of plastic, but I think a nightstand had something to do with it.
    Too bad they don't give you any sort of discount for already owning the movie on VHS. With a bunch of $10 DVDs it probably wouldn't be much of a discount though.
     
  7. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

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    The trick on keeping old tapes 'alive' is to exercise them at least once a year. That means either playing them, or placing them in a unit and completely fast forwarding, then rewinding them ,as it will repack the tape in it's case and make the tension throughout the reel even again. Remember, videotape is a magnetic medium. If allowed to sit 'static' (no pun intended), the image will slowly begin to transfer throughout the entire reel of tape, causing that 'crappy' looking image you saw. Heat can accelerate this break down as well. If exercised as recommended above, and stored in a cool dry place, your tapes will last twice as long. I have videos that I made over 21+ years ago that are as clean and clear image wise as the day I recorded them by performing this practice. Yes, I'm a professional videographer of over 30 years, and STILL do this at home. ;) Regards. Michaelson
     
  8. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

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    681
    Location:
    Danville, CA.
    Good info. Michaelson! I never knew that.
     
  9. mmarosy

    mmarosy One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Michaelson, you beat me to the punch... though I didn't realize it was every year. Guess what I'll be doing when I get home?;)

    As far as giving you a discount for upgrading from video to DVDs, Disney has started doing this with a $5 rebate in the coupon book that accompanies their DVDs. You send in the proof of purchase from both and the some money back. I know it's not a lot, but it is something. Unfortunately, I've waited until DVDs for most of our Disney collection, so it doesn't apply to me, but my mother should make out like a bandit.

    Mike
     
  10. The_Edge

    The_Edge One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    WOW! I never knew that either. I'll be doing that to all of my Star Wars tapes when I get home tonight! Thanks for the tip, Michaelson!
     
  11. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

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    While I was working for the DOE back in the 80's, I was sent to an 'archeival storage' seminar to learn the ins and outs of storing historical 'data' videos for future use and editing purposes. When you think about it, it makes sense. So, you have all now profited from governmental training! If that doesn't scare you, NOTHING will.:eek: ;) Regards. Michaelson
     
  12. ITG

    ITG Call Me a Cab

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    Ken, was it a SONY system? The guy that built my computer told me that he used to worship Sony equipment until he and his dad's Sony products started breaking every few years. So now he won't go near Sony.
     
  13. Kittlemeier

    Kittlemeier New in Town

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    Location:
    Valdosta, GA
    My first DVD player was a Sony. After rebates it cost me $149.99. It stopped working literally in the thirteenth month of my owning it. They wanted $176.00 to fix it(for a problem they knew about and was very common in that model I found later). They've lost me as a customer for life. K
     
  14. Renderking Fisk

    Renderking Fisk Practically Family

    There's going to come at time when you're going to down-load everything onto your own TiVo which will have about a few hundred Gigabytes of storage. The idea of "Owning" a movie will be an ancient and quaint.

    ?¢‚Ǩ?ìHey, have you down-loaded Jake Lucas?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s SUPER-GRAND-SLAM EDITION of STAR WARS ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú EPISODE XI: Attack of the Returning Binks Clones??¢‚Ǩ?
    :rage:
     
  15. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

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    Doesn't phase me in the least, Render old buddy. I still have a working 1917 Columbia Graphanola, an 8 track quad tape player, and 3 speed record player quad system from the early 70's that I play at least twice or more a week. Having and owning a working VHS machine and movies will probably still be done at my house when parts are long gone, more than likely. Heck, think about it, I drive a 53 year old car to work, and carry 100+ year old watches! Big deal! (grins) Regards. Michaelson
     
  16. mmarosy

    mmarosy One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    Maryland
    While putting my ol' vhs tapes through the FF/REW treatment this weekend, I realized another aspect of taking care of videos that some may not know about.

    Never store your videos flat. Always leave them on an edge. Storing them flat puts weight on the edge of the tape. And while I'll leave it to Michaelson to tell you what the ill affects of this actually are, I know its not a good thing.

    Mike
     
  17. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    It's a little known, but constantly practiced law called 'gravity'. (grins) Storing tapes flat causes the tape to sag toward the bottom of the case. After time, this will cause the mylar to physically bow, and when finally played, can possibly snap in the machine due to those ripples in the tape. You notice this phenoma when you play a tape, then see a 'tear' go floating through the picture on your T.V. everytime the tape reaches that point on the turn of the reel until it gets away from that physical stretch or tear....all caused by storing flat. Regards. Michaelson
     
  18. mmarosy

    mmarosy One of the Regulars

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    Kinda like what's happening to my belly since being back at a desk job!;)

    I knew you'd know the technical reason. I just always knew it was a no-no.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  19. The_Edge

    The_Edge One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    WA USA
    Hold on a second. Define, "storing tapes flat," please. Just for clarification. I'm defining it as laying a tape down horizontally with the cover facing up. However, after reading Michaelson's post about tape sagging it sounds like he is seeing it as standing them on end. I'm sure the answer is clear as day but I just want to be sure. Thanks.
     
  20. mmarosy

    mmarosy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Maryland
    Nope, Kyle, you were right in thinking on it's "back" horozontally with the cover facing up. Tapes should be stored how they're found on store shelves (hopefully), standing up on their open end, or along a spine.

    Mike
     

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