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Variety Declares VHS Dead

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the dearly-beloved dept.

339

An anonymous reader writes "Variety has written an obituary for the VHS format only 3 years after it was surpassed in popularity by the DVD." While VHS is hardly the format of choice these days, there are still many, many home movies and other favorite recordings and commercial releases floating around in VHS. How long until VHS players themselves go the way of the 8-track player?

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339 comments

hey, wait a minute! (5, Funny)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878274)

From the /. summary:

How long until VHS players themselves go the way of the 8-track player?

Did I miss the memo? Is there some danger around the 8-track and availability. Please... ... ... click

... ..., someone tell me this isn't so! Have I invested all this money on all these artists and their tapes... ... ...click

for naught? Sigh.

Re:hey, wait a minute! (5, Funny)

kabz (770151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878564)

What is this infernal light I see before me?

Will no-one rid me of this flashing clock?

VHS can never die, at least until... (-1, Redundant)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878616)

VHS won't die until the HTPC appliance fully matures, and a DRM-free medium is adapted en masse, and can record both NTSC and ATSC. DVD recordable is almost there, but is less flexible than an HTPC and won't record high-def, so why bother upgrading? Tivo almost has it, except tivo decides how long you can keep recordings (in some cases at least), NOT you, PLUS it requires a monthly subscription and either a land line or ethernet connection to phone home. Also, Tivo makes it FAR to difficult to record say, Smallville or Desperate Housewives or whatever it is you and your friends all want to watch, then take that recording over to a friend's house or simply lend it out. It's FAR to difficult for the average joe to record a show for you while you're on vacation and then give you the timeshifted content.

I think that VHS will be around until the HTPC is easy to use, DRM-free, HDTV capable, AND the public is made aware of it. Myth is so close, and yet so far, because it is a royal pain in the ass to set up, and the easy-to-configure distribution (Knoppmyth) is fully two generations behind when it comes to chipset and video card support.

Re:hey, wait a minute! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16879234)

My brother recently made an iPod case out of an eight-track tape found at a thrift store.

Re:hey, wait a minute! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16879254)

I'm just glad I'm young enough to not get that joke =)

Consider the source... if you can understand them (1, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878280)

I'll start listening to Variety about contemporary trends as soon as they drop that inane, out-dated hipster lingo that they use instead of the English language.

Re:Consider the source... if you can understand th (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878608)

I'll start listening to Variety about contemporary trends as soon as they drop that inane, out-dated hipster lingo that they use instead of the English language.

While I would normally agree with you, the linked article is surprisingly free of any such lingo and uses relatively normal English. In short, RTFA :)

Re:Consider the source... if you can understand th (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878732)

The section is called "Home Ent," they mention "vidgame" consoles, and there are 2 instances of "biz." I'd call it normal Englzh.

the real question (5, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878282)

How long until VHS players themselves go the way of the 8-track player?

With the cost of storage plummeting and the rise of digital distribution and on-demand services, the real question should be: "How long until physical distribution of media goes the way of the 8-track player?"

Re:the real question (2, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878368)

My former boss has been predicting the death of physical media since the early days of the CD-ROM, when the internet started becoming commonplace. One of these years I'm convinced he's going to be proven right.

Re:the real question (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878524)

Yeah, And I'm still waiting for the promised "paperless [microsoft.com] society [orwelltoday.com]".

Re:the real question (4, Insightful)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878916)

If you need an example of why we're not ready for a paperless society (or even an example of why it may just be completely unworkable altogether), look no further than Diebold.

the real question-DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878438)

"With the cost of storage plummeting and the rise of digital distribution and on-demand services, the real question should be: "How long until physical distribution of media goes the way of the 8-track player?""

Well DRM is the fly in that ointment.

BTW I'm looking for a decent VCR/DVD recorder that'll copy from one to the other in the $100 range as a gift for someone. Know any good ones?

Re:the real question-DRM (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878482)

BTW I'm looking for a decent VCR/DVD recorder that'll copy from one to the other in the $100 range as a gift for someone. Know any good ones?

In other words, a used computer?

Re:the real question-DRM (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878540)

In other words, a used computer?

Your computer has a VCR deck built into it?

I don't think even the Amiga had one of those.

Re:the real question-DRM (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879002)

No doubt the person already has a VCR, if they have videotapes, no? a used computer with even a 3 or 4 year old video card will have capture capability.

The real answer (5, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878718)

It'll happen when broadband becomes as ubiquitous and as reliable as electricity. We have a loooong way to go before that happens.

Re:The real answer (3, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879396)

We ? Not quite. Our Governments have a long way to go before they wake up and lay down the adequate infrastructure to support nationwide broadband. They're still of the attitude that high-speed internet access is a luxury, that it's for geeks and gamers. Will someone smack them in the face and demonstrate that we can do a helluva lot more online, and could do even better if there were enough pipe to push content through. VOIP, IPTV, day-to-day business.. Hell I'd rather pay my bills online than physically walk down to an ATM, with the inevitable scum walking by, checking out how much cash I'm carrying, judging the risk vs benefit of trying to jump me. Or maybe I have a beef with the act of renting videos, only to pop them into a computer for playback, then returning them to the physical store... when it would have been faster and easier to just download it off the net, and that's with my current 5meg line - imagine 100meg like some european countries offer...

People are quick to shoot it down because they think more bandwidth will mean more piracy. I do consider piracy to be a direct competitor to traditional business, simply because the pirated material is usually more convenient and certainly cost-effective, because they take advantage of the latest technology advancements. We've had DivX for what, 6-7 years now ? Why doesn't Blockbuster or Jumbo Video offer video streaming ? Why do I have to spend an hour driving to the store, hunting down a box that's in no particular order and is probably already out, just to see a stupid movie ? Most cable companies now offer "digital cable", including video-on-demand... pay-per-view done better, and they're immensely successful. They'd be even better if they charged reasonable prices instead of the $6.99 average for movies (and godawful prices for porn - have they never heard of the internet?). Still at that price point, the convenience of not having to leave home and not having the risk of all copies being out, there is great value in there!

Now we need more businesses and services could learn to adapt to online-ness and harness it's potential. Some places offer telework over the net, which is fantastic when applicable. Why waste limited real estate just for a chair, desk and phone when we all have that at home ? I'd be happy to give up my physical work place, save the travel and lunch money and use it to rent a bigger residence, or maybe upgrade my office equipment to help me work more comfortably, efficiently. The costs saved to the employer could to to create more jobs, or offer better price competition, more value to the shareholders and the customers. So why the hell are we not doing this already ? Government barriers, financial barriers, tax barriers, and old-mentality brick walls.

Re:the real question (1)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878872)

Well only about 16.7 percent of the world's population has access to the internet. So a while.

Re:the real question (1)

achacha (139424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878910)

DVD is dying, torrents to portable/mass storage and On-Demand are the new direction. I estimate current DVDs will die in 3 years, replaced with HD-DVD or better. Eventually we will be buying hash ids that will be saved on our portable devices to allow us to view on demand anything we want via streaming.

Allready been there. (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878288)

How many people have said this now? Its like OK PEOPLE VHS IS DEAD....6 months later...OK PEOPLE NOW ITS REALLY DEAD.....a year later someone ELSE will come out and say it. Its never oficially dead it just more and more gets less used.

Re:Allready been there. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878742)

Well, what I take as a pretty serious indicator is the fact that the prices of VHS tape drives is rising, due to the economies of scale going away. Surveillance customers who were buying machines for $300/unit in January are paying upwards of $500/unit now.
-jcr

Hey!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878308)

Hey!! I get /. on VHS!! No way this format is dead yet.

remember tapes? (1, Offtopic)

alta (1263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878314)

I used to type the programs out of the little spiral book into my comodore. Then I'd type some command to save, and push record on the tape deck.

Oh yeah,
Load "*",8,1

I never new really what that meant, but i knew the result was I could get a list of all the programs on the disk, and then i could run defender! Or Zork!

Re:remember tapes? (1)

Depili (749436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878362)

Accually, you needed load "$",8 for the listing of programs, load "*",8,1 just loads the first program :)

Re:remember tapes? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878610)

I still have one test fixture at work that runs on a Portable Commodore 64 (an SX-64). I have to type that 'load "*",8,1' command to load the program off disk. It's hard because some of the keys don't respond well and have to be hit hard, then the multiples backspaced away. I'm planning on replacing the commie with a Pic controller on a little circuit board someday soon, but it will be a sad thing, retiring one of the last commies still in commercial use in a test lab.

Re:remember tapes? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878578)

I wrote a 'full screen editor' (well, one full screen) for the TRS-80 Model 1. Mine had only the cassette port, so you could run my program, then type in a full screen of text, with full cursor control to move around on the screen, then there was a key sequence to store your text to cassette. I think it took a little more than a minute to store or retrieve that screen of text.

Fun times with tbug, in the olden days.

Re:remember tapes? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879246)

You insensitive clod! I could never get the tape deck to work with my ZX80 [wikipedia.org] (that's ZED-EX-ATEY) and I had to type in my programs every time I restarted. Can you imagine what it was like to develop machine code having to type in my hex loader afresh every time the thing crashed. But develop code I did. I even got my epic 23 byte program published in a magazine.

More like the cassette than 8-track. (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878324)

Still around, still useful, just not commonplace.

Re:More like the cassette than 8-track. (4, Insightful)

gosand (234100) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878500)

Still around, still useful, just not commonplace.


Hmm, I wonder how commonplace it is. I still use mine. Not so much to watch movies, but I will record things and watch them. I just don't have that big of a desire or need to get a DVR. I had a friend that used his VCR a LOT. He had probably 100 video tapes of things he had taped that he needed to watch. He upgraded to TiVO, and now he has a more compact way of recording things that he never watches. I honestly don't know what people are recording. I watch about 3 shows, and if I miss them, I miss them - whooptie doo. I just can't really justify the cost of a DVR. But then again, I don't understand why people spend $1200+ on a television, or $300 on a video card for their computer.

Re:More like the cassette than 8-track. (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878582)

Taping with the DVD recorder does not feel as "safe" as with VHS.
We have a recorder here and often I wonder if the old model was better designed for the task.
It was rare a tape just broke.
Sure, it would get slowly grainy and you could basically get one final watch out of them.
The DVDs suck because one error can fuck up the entire show.

I hope NTL hurry up and bring out a PVR.

Re:More like the cassette than 8-track. (2, Funny)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878648)

But then again, I don't understand why people spend $1200+ on a television, or $300 on a video card for their computer.

These days, people spend $300 on a video card so that six months later they can replace it and wire the little fan from it onto an old USB cable and make a USB fan to blow cool air at them when they're playing whatever FPS is in vogue.

Re:More like the cassette than 8-track. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878814)

The players still seem pretty commonplace, and the media is still readily available. I just reused my tapes.

I think tonight I am going to just stick a $150 eyeTV hybrid on my satellite box and forget about the VCR, I forgot to change the tape two nights in a row.

Re:More like the cassette than 8-track. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16879170)

I just recently spent $300 on a video card. I don't usually do it, but I had the money and the timing was right. Hopefull it will last a few more generations than my last card did. If it doesn't, then it was a waste.

And DVRs are relatively inexpensive. Your cable or satellite provider will give them to you for free; unfortunately they hit you with a monthly subscription service (mine is $5), so it's not that great a deal. My DVR has an ESATA port, so I could hook up a hard drive to it for lots more room (it only ships with 60GB). I used to be in the same camp as you, but after I got a DVR my mind changed. It's just one of those technologies that you don't realize you need until you have it. It's not the best thing since sliced bread, but it is incredibly convenient.

Re:More like the cassette than 8-track. (1)

Snwbeast (21484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879408)

My girlfriend sold her old VCR in our garage sale a couple months ago. The guy who bought it asked about the original box (which she still had) since he wanted to ship it home to India. He said VHS is still incredibly popular there but you cannot buy players anymore, so he was out hitting garage sales to buy all of them that he could. Just because people don't think they are useful in the US doesn't mean the rest of the world isn't looking for them, even used...

VHS? Dead? (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878352)

Well, as long as I have a huge collection of videos with films and stuff recorded off the TV, and until a usable alternative for recording from the TV that I own and control becomes available, VHS is going to be in my house for quite a bit longer.

I suspect that film studios would like to see the back of VHS and any format that allows easy recording, but it's what people want and why it really accelerated into such a popular format.

Re:VHS? Dead? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878424)

Although I have an extensive library of VHS tapes for which I'll "always" need a VHS player, I stopped using it to record off of TV shortly after I bought a TiVo a few years ago. Feel free to substitute a MythTV system if you wish, but I know that I would already wouldn't miss having a VHS recorder.

Re:VHS? Dead? (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878866)

So you can't own and control a DVD writing DVR? You can't control MythTV or any other open software PVR solutions?

8-Track (2, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878388)

I actually suspect VHS won't go the way of the 8-Track. 8-Track has a small cult following that's endeared to it because of it's impractical quirkiness. No fast forward, no rewind. You wanna hear your favorite song again? Wait for it to work its way around.

VHS, on the other hand, didn't have any cute annoyances. It wasn't a great standard, but it had no major drawbacks. And for that reason, I don't expect it's nostalgia to hang on nearly so long.

Re:8-Track (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878722)

You can jump from track to track on an 8-track, so you're never more than a few songs away from your favorite.

I've actually resisted becoming an 8-track fanatic. I've seen good 8-track recorders come up at auctions and just sat on my bidder's paddle to avoid ending up with them. I suspect there are spare tapes available somewhere. You could record tunes off CDs to 80-track. I recently got a 'bonus track' on a BlackCrowes album I bought at WalMart. The slip of paper in the jewel box said to go to the Walmart site and download it, so I did. It was a WMA file so I had to download and install Windows Media Player 9 on a machine here that still runs Windoze to burn the file to an audio CD. Now that Black Crowes track ("Lovin' Cup") is ready to rip to MP3, and if I had the gear, ready to record to 8-track.

Oh well.

Re:8-Track (2, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878954)

I've actually resisted becoming an 8-track fanatic. I've seen good 8-track recorders come up at auctions and just sat on my bidder's paddle to avoid ending up with them. I suspect there are spare tapes available somewhere. You could record tunes off CDs to 80-track. I recently got a 'bonus track' on a BlackCrowes album I bought at WalMart. The slip of paper in the jewel box said to go to the Walmart site and download it, so I did. It was a WMA file so I had to download and install Windows Media Player 9 on a machine here that still runs Windoze to burn the file to an audio CD. Now that Black Crowes track ("Lovin' Cup") is ready to rip to MP3, and if I had the gear, ready to record to 8-track.

I take it you're a penguinista. Yes, you can listen to .wma files in xmms, just need the xmms-wma plugin for it, readily available for Debian, Fedora, & Ubuntu, some assembly required for Gentoo, of course...

Re:8-Track (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879078)

Good answer !

And one of my decks has a fast-forward :)

And a pause button, rewind would make a god-awful mess tho, hehe.

I am worse than an 8-track buff, I am a QUADraphonic 8-track buff :)
hehe, Quad recorder with a 4-channel dolby box and 2 EQs. I need to make some mix tapes one of these days.

If I could format shift the VHS easily I would but there is nothing to format shift my QUAD tapes to nor would I ;)

I suspect most recent VHS use is for recording (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878394)

I only recently (1 year ago) got a DVD. I got a DVD/VHS deck for occasional TV recording and a small back library. Now DVD recorders are reaching the same el-cheapo rate I paid for my dual deck. I suspect DVRs and DVD recorders are really what is driving out VHS, not pressed DVDs themselves.

Yeah, but.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878396)

VHS tapes are much more durable than DVDs. If you want a clear idea of the difference, try borrowing some high-traffic DVDs from the library and viewing those. VHS tapes are also handy when one needs to "tape" something to watch later.

Re:Yeah, but.... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878448)

Except that the quality of VHS tapes degrades over time, while they are just sitting there.

Most people don't have "high-traffic" needs. Plus, even at its best, VHS quality is hardly palatable anymore.

Re:Yeah, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16879196)

I can assure you that a VHS tape would have around the same life expectancy. Ask someone who worked in a movie rental store back in the VHS days, snapped tapes, vcrs eating whole tapes, degridation, etc were commonplace, moreso than the problems they have with dvds that is for sure.

Re:Yeah, but.... (1)

peterd11 (800684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879362)

I've never though of VHS tapes as being more durable than DVDs. There's always the chance that the VCR can "eat" the tape, and less drastic mishandling can wrinkle the tape, which is very thin. Unlike VHS tapes, DVDs can be copied with no loss at all (possibly requiring a DL DVD), so you could always keep a perfect backup if you're worried about wear. Also, even a scratched DVD can be copied if you're willing to expend some effort to remove the bad scratches.

How long ... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878402)

How long until VHS players themselves go the way of the 8-track player?

I'd say probably around the same time Compact Audio Cassette (CAC) disappears from existence. Speaking of, CAC is 43 years old now...

Variety Confirms It (1, Troll)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878416)

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered VHS community when Variety confirmed that VHS market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all pre-recorded video sales. Coming close on the heels of a recent Variety survey which plainly states that VHS has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. VHS is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by falling dead last in the recent video rental test market.

You don't need to be Jack Valenti to predict VHS's future. The hand writing is on the wall: VHS faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for VHS because VHS is dying. Things are looking very bad for VHS. As many of us are already aware, VHS continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood at the hand of the Boston Strangler.

VHS is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its market share. The sudden and unpleasant departures from the market of long time videotape manufacturers BASF and TDK only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: VHS is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Videotape market leader BASF states that there are 7000 video titles released on VHS. How many users of VHS are there? Let's see. The number of VHS versus Betamax results on Google is roughly in ratio of 198 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/198 = 35 Betamax users.

Crap. That sorta puts my parody of this little troll all to hell, doesn't it. Not that it'll stop you from reading this all the way to the end.

But all major surveys show that VHS has steadily declined in market share. VHS is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If VHS is to survive at all it will be among obscure retro video format dabblers, like those weird motherfuckers who play around with CED (Capacitance Electronicc Disc) instead of something that could at least pretend to be sane, like Laserdisc. VHS continues to decay. Nothing short of a cockeyed miracle could save VHS from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, VHS is dead.

Fact: VHS is dying.

Fact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16879204)

Strangling doesn't cause much blood flow.

VHS won't die until. . . (3, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878422)

VHS won't die until the HTPC appliance fully matures, and a DRM-free medium is adapted en masse, and can record both NTSC and ATSC. DVD recordable is almost there, but is less flexible than an HTPC and won't record high-def, so why bother upgrading? Tivo almost has it, except tivo decides how long you can keep recordings (in some cases at least), NOT you, PLUS it requires a monthly subscription and either a land line or ethernet connection to phone home. Also, Tivo makes it FAR to difficult to record say, Smallville or Desperate Housewives or whatever it is you and your friends all want to watch, then take that recording over to a friend's house or simply lend it out. It's FAR to difficult for the average joe to record a show for you while you're on vacation and then give you the timeshifted content.

I think that VHS will be around until the HTPC is easy to use, DRM-free, HDTV capable, AND the public is made aware of it. Myth is so close, and yet so far, because it is a royal pain in the ass to set up, and the easy-to-configure distribution (Knoppmyth) is fully two generations behind when it comes to chipset and video card support.

Re:VHS won't die until. . . (3, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878658)

VHS won't die until the HTPC appliance fully matures, and a DRM-free medium is adapted en masse, and can record both NTSC and ATSC.

Most purchasers these days don't care about DRM and have no idea what NTSC or ATSC are. Those who do know NTSC don't know what ATSC is.

DVD recordable is almost there, but is less flexible than an HTPC and won't record high-def, so why bother upgrading?

I agree that DVD*R is pretty much DOA, mainly because it was just too complicated for a lot of people though.

Tivo almost has it, except...

tivo decides how long you can keep recordings (in some cases at least), NOT you


Well, it is a FIFO setup, at least for content that you select, although not all DVRs work this way. But that's usually okay, and given the choice many people would prefer dropping the oldest footage they've asked for rather than the newest. In any case, if you try to put 22 hours of content into a 20 hour space, 2 hours of it are going to be lost.

PLUS it requires a monthly subscription and either a land line or ethernet connection to phone home.

Well, that's for namebrand Tivo. Almost all cable companies offer DVRs. Besides, compared to the cost of cable/sattelite, most people don't care about a Tivo subscription fee if they make use of the Tivo-specific features.

Also, Tivo makes it FAR to difficult to record say, Smallville or Desperate Housewives or whatever it is you and your friends all want to watch, then take that recording over to a friend's house or simply lend it out

Yup. Turns out that most of your friends probably have DVRs too. Those who don't, generally don't care. Those who do care will come and visit you to watch it if its that important.

It's FAR to difficult for the average joe to record a show for you while you're on vacation and then give you the timeshifted content.

So what? With many providers, you can just go online and add it yourself. Besides, unlike a traditional VCR you've probably set up a Season Pass to record what you want before you leave the house in the first place.

I think that VHS will be around until the HTPC is easy to use, DRM-free, HDTV capable, AND the public is made aware of it.

DVRs are easy to use, HDTV capable, and the public is aware of them. And almost nobody outside of /. gives a damn about the DRM, like it or not.

Re:VHS won't die until. . . (2, Insightful)

simishag (744368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878934)

VHS is dead because it's actually pretty easy to transfer your Tivo shows off the hard drive. All you need is a VCR, and...

Oh, wait.

8-tracks live! (1)

doom (14564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878446)

Hey, what do you guys have against 8-tracks? My 8-track player is working fine, I'm not going to dump it just for the sake of being trendy.

Some of us still have 8-track minds [8trackheaven.com].

VHS will die when... (3, Insightful)

Vskye (9079) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878454)

You can get movies that are only available on VHS. Or if you have a security system based on VHS recording and you actually get around to switching everything over to DVR. Or if your VHS player dies and you can not find a replacement.

maybe (2, Interesting)

syrinx (106469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878458)

I have a whole drawer full of VHS tapes, but they all came from my wife when we got married. I was perfectly happy without a VCR.

We still have a VCR but it doesn't really work. My plan is to take it apart and build a PVR based on a Mini-ITX motherboard inside it, so it will still act like a VCR, only, you know, without the tapes.

my VCR & Tapes stay for a while (1)

dieth (951868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878498)

My VCR is my tuner, my PC/PS2/Cable is routed through this box. This box stays for a while, are there any "low cost" DVD recorder/tuner devices out there?
Some of these dvdrecorders [about.com] look cool and all but, my VCR cost me $40. It has 1 SVideo input 3 RCA inputs, 2 RF cable inputs, 1 RF cable out, 1 RCA out I have no HiDef equipment sorry :P I also have tons of VHS movies, am I suppose to just throw all of these away and buy DVDs to replace them? Or what the MPAA doesn't want, use my video capture cards & convert them to DVD myself although this is a time versus boredom issue, one day it may happen.

Better than my DVD recorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878508)

The MPEG on my DVD recorder blows big artifact laden chunks when in 3 or 4 hour recording mode. VHS is better for archiving F1 races, etc.. Except for the slow skip-ahead.

It can't ever go the way of 8-track (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878516)

Maybe it is different for Americans, but it really isn't possible (from my point of view) for VHS to go the way of 8-track tapes. To my memory, in my life (and I can remember the '70s) I've seen one 8-track player and zero 8-track tapes. In terms of liveliness, even Beta is a hyperactive ferret on a sugar high* compared to 8-track.

* This metaphor was brought to you by Sluggy Freelance [sluggy.com]. Remember - a metaphor is a simile that's grown up.

This is shocking news (2, Funny)

palindromic (451110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878550)

To have this following so closely on the heels of last weeks "Variety declares that poop comes from butts" ? Variety truly is the son of Man.

Audio (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878566)

DVD will not kill VHS because the analog audio on VHS tapes is far superior to the compressed digital audio on DVD disks.

DVD simply cannot match the quality of audio signal obtained from a tape in good condition played on a quality stereo VCR.

Therefore VHS is not dead, nor will it be until DVD and HD-DVD formats stop compressing audio and using substandard sampling rates and bit depth.

When a standard DVD or HD-DVD release can provide uncompressed (or lossless compressed) 24bit 96KHz audio at a minimum, then perhaps VHS will become obsolete.

Even then, audiophiles will still prefer the quality analog signal from VHS tape. (I have seen people use VHS tape for audio only without video because of the physical layout of data on the tape can provide exceptional signal quality.)

Re:Audio (1)

budcub (92165) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878664)

There are some (not many) DVDs that have PCM digital as one of the soundtrack options, that's two-channel uncompressed. Same as what you'd get on a Compact Disc. Pink Floyd, "The Wall" is one, and a couple of other music DVDs.

Re:Audio (2, Insightful)

WMD_88 (843388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878738)

DVD simply cannot match the quality of audio signal obtained from a tape in good condition played on a quality stereo VCR.

Therein lies the problem: You need good tapes (and tapes will wear out, and with no new ones...), and a good VCR (many suck). On top of that, VHS HiFi stereo really isn't all that great. It's not as bad as VHS linear mono (shudder), but it's not like vinyl or anything. And there's no surround sound support (no, "Dolby 2.0 surround" doesn't count). Dolby 5.1 at 448kbps is not that bad, seriously. I don't know what everyone's problem is. In fact, I can't think of a single VHS tape I own that sounds better than a DVD. And all the tapes have horrible dynamic range, too.
Besides, why would *audio*philes care about a video format?

Re:Audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878986)

Besides, why would *audio*philes care about surround sound?
I'm struggling to afford and set-up my room for plain old stereo!

Actually, VHS HiFi audio is pretty good. Similar to FM radio. Much better than the much-vaunted MP3. Better than most (non-CD) consumer grade DACs.

And I can;t pre-program my NAk to record the Boston Phil Live Concert (or Darkwings) while I'm out/sleeping.

Great source of a slashdot article (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878618)

Why are we paying credence to the likes of Variety on a geek site? And frankly, who cares what they think?

Re:Great source of a slashdot article (1)

JKConsult (598845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879264)

Um, what? Variety is the one of the (I'll hold of on saying "the", even though I believe it to be so) bibles of the movie industry. You know, those people who were the primary drivers of the VHS market. So I think they'd have a little bit to say about the matter.

DivX is dead too? (1)

randomblast (730328) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878644)

VHS is survived by a child, DVD, and by Tivo, VOD and DirecTV. It was preceded in death by Betamax, Divx, mini-discs and laserdiscs.

Seems pretty lively on the P2P networks...

Re:DivX is dead too? (1)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878788)

They were referring to the short lived DivX Disc format, which was like a rental in that you paid a few bucks for the disc, but your player would connect to the internet and only allow you to watch it for a specified period of time.

VHS wont die yet (1)

Susceptor (559115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878676)

it wont die for one simple reason. When i leave my house and I want to record a TV show, I pop in a VHS tape. Why? because like most people out there I dont have a DVR or a DVD recorder capable of recording broadcast TV. So the job falls to my trusty old tape, thats been taped over 500 times but still manages the job magnificently. The day I can buy a DVD disk that I can use and re-use to tape bradcast TV on a $40 DVD player, the VHS will die. But that day has not come yet.

8-track? try cassette tape (1)

floatingtrem (985721) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878706)

while vhs is certainly on the decline, many families still have a huge catalog of vhs tapes, and many movies are still not yet available on dvd. no vhs is not the format of choice, it is still reasonably usable, and it offers great ease (not to mention price) when it comes to recording options (kinda like cassette tapes maybe?) sure, someday they will be pretty much out of use, but even now, i know alot of households that have cassette players in their home stereos, my own included. heck one of my friends still makes mix tapes on a regular basis. not until the dvr is commonplace will i see vhs as completely dead. (how else is ma supposed to tape her soaps?)

u=matic anyone? (1)

Subgenius (95662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878724)

Lets face it, as a commercial medium, sure, VHS is dead. So is Quad, MII, 1" C, and u-matic, but that doesn't mean you can't
find equipment to use the format (well, MII and 2" Quad is kind of hard to find). I don't mind if everyone writes of VHS, just
means more end-of-life tape bargains for me.

Before 1" was dead, a reel of 66minute V1-K tape from Sony was $125. I picked up a sealed CASE of these
for $20+shipping on ebay.

Bring on VHS's death (and the bargains that will follow)

No problem! (4, Funny)

mogrify (828588) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878850)

That's okay, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are dead too [slashdot.org]. Oh, and WoW is lame [slashdot.org].

C'mon, kids!!! What'll die next? The Zune? The PS3? The PS2? The PS1? The PS4? The Dreamcast? CompactFlash? The mouse? Vista? Slackware? XP? Caldera? Slashdot? Digg? MSDN? Web 2.0? Web 1.0? Internet2? Token Ring? IPv6? Episodic gaming? Non-episodic gaming? In-game ads? The PowerPC? Cell? Core duo? Core trio? Earth? Caprica? The Death Star? SCO? Novell? Red Hat? Sony? IE? Firefox? IceWeasel? The Pirate Bay? Mmmm. Okay, I'm bored. Continue below if you wish.

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16879000)

You didn't mention BSD you insensitive clod!

Re:No problem! (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879056)

And to think I have no mod points at the moment to mod you up. That really deserves a +5 funny. Or I might just be easily amused.

VHS to 8 Track - Bad Analogy (2, Insightful)

ThumperByTrade (653117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878856)

Comparing VHS and cassettes is a much better analysis. 8 track was never a popular medium for home recording like cassettes and VHS. Even today, a substantial portion of portable radios still come with cassette players. I say that VCRs will last until all forms of physical media are made extinct by on demand services.

but... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878918)

All my porn is on VHS you insensitive clod....

Just kidding, almost half is on DVD now tho not neccessarily the best half ;)

I'm not dead yet (3, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878926)

How long until VHS players themselves go the way of the 8-track player?

Until I can buy a DVD-RW recorder or a hard drive recorder for my TV that's under $50. Until then, I'll keep using my VCR to record my favorite shows every week.

Re:I'm not dead yet (1)

williepete25 (668669) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879128)

Not to mention monthly fees for TiVo and the like. I've been using the same set of video tapes to record the 2 shows I record every week for the past 3 years. Either television programming needs to get a lot better, or TiVo, DVD-RW, etc. needs to get a lot cheaper. The VHS solution is working just fine for me. willie

The one thing I'll miss about VHS... (3, Insightful)

meme_police (645420) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879104)

...is that I NEVER had a bad rental tape. More than half the DVDs I've rented have had problems of varying impact. If VHS is dying please bring on convenient downloads because I don't think I'll ever rent a DVD again.

Cheap DVD Recorders (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879148)

Well now that you can pick up a DVD Recorder (for your living room, not PC) for about $100, there's no point in investing any more in VHS. I recently got a Panasonic recorder that does +/-, DL and DVD-RAM for $199. With DVD-RAM you can even do Tivo-like things like pause live TV and rewind even while it is still recording. You can also go back and set chapter points at the commercial breaks and then delete the commercial chapters.

Still Easiest Recording Method (1)

commisaro (1007549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879214)

VHS players are still the easiest way to record TV for those who don't own TiVo's (and even in some cases for those who do!) so until digital recording devices become cheaper/more functional (read: less tied up by legislation restricting FFwed) I think VHS will stick around.

Tape Decks & Turntables Are Still Around (1)

bedouin (248624) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879288)

You can still walk into a brick and mortar electronics store and purchase a tape deck or a turntable, because there's just so much media out there for both that were either home made or never reproduced on CD. The same thing is true of VHS video tapes so I suspect decks will linger on for at least another 10 years.

However, in the audio field there's a few perks to analog. You have DJs who want vinyl, collectors who love vinyl as a format, and folks who believe analog tape (usually in the form of reel to reel tape) provides a superior sound. So there's some legitimate reasons to hold onto analog audio, perhaps if for no other reason to take advantage of the analog hole. VHS has no real redeeming qualities. No one is going to argue that VHS has crisper video or 'warmer' video than a digital format: it just sucks. The only use I can see for it is some kind of easy way around upcoming DRM schemes, but even then there's superior ways (recording to digital tape, or some other format for example).

Whatever happened to... (1)

AngelWind (878448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879342)

...Digital VHS, JVC's hail to the savior of VHS with the ability to record (at least for now) OTA HDTV? I've seen the recorders at Best Buy (I'm sure they've all gone away by now) but it just never seem to catch on. Maybe it was too early to introduce them, since it was brought out before the days of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD with their expensive players. As I remember, it cost $500 and the tapes were $20 each, which was a bit ridiculous for a tape player. I wonder if they could re-release it now for cheaper.
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