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Beast
06-15-2002, 03:57 PM
Looks like VHS is going the way of the dodo. With the cheap prices for DVD players and for DVD movies, VHS sales have been soft as of late, and many places have been incorperating more DVD's. Blockbuster video has also talked about reducing the size that VHS takes up in their store, moving twords carrying more DVD. Here is the article, from VideoBusiness.com. Long live DVD!! :)

Circuit City is dumping VHS
By Daniel Frankel

JUNE 14 | Circuit City Stores has begun to "phase out" VHS product in its 622 stores around the country, becoming the first national mass merchant to go public with a specific intent to discontinue the aging format.

A Circuit City spokesman said there's no timetable for when all the chain's stores will carry only DVD, but calls to several Los Angeles-area Circuit City stores revealed the chain is winding down significantly on VHS product. One store employee said his location stopped selling VHS titles six months ago; another Southern California location got word from above this week to pull all remaining VHS product from their shelves and double the amount of DVD inventory they offer.

"Consumers want DVD, and we want to meet that demand," said a Circuit City spokesman. "Since shelf space is limited, it's coming at the expense of VHS."

Two years ago, Circuit City stopped selling home appliances, opening an average of 3,000 square feet of merchandising room in its stores for such items as entertainment software.

Although the company doesn't break out its sales of DVD, Circuit City officials said the entertainment software category--which includes music, movies and videogames--accounted for 11% of the chain's first-quarter revenue of $3.05 billion. Total revenue was up 14% in the first quarter compared to the 2001 period.

Citing figures that suggest that only 35% of consumers own DVD players, as opposed to the 90% penetration of VHS players, Charles Van Horn, president of the International Recording Media Association, suggested Circuit City is "giving up too early" on the aging VHS format. "It's leaving some profits on the table by turning over to DVD too quickly," he said.

However, with Circuit City offering hit DVD titles as a way to augment sales of DVD players, Van Horn also acknowledged, "How much profit margin can be left in selling VCRs?"

A spokesman for Circuit City said that VHS will continue to be offered at CircuitCity.com through the company's fulfillment deal with Alliance Entertainment Corp.

A spokeswoman for Best Buy wouldn't comment on the decision by her company's biggest competitor to discontinue VHS sales. However, she did say that Best Buy has "no immediate plans to not sell VHS titles."

Effective with this issue, Circuit City has stopped supplying its VHS rankings for VB's Top VHS Sellers chart.

Additional reporting by Cheryl Biggs

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

QLD
06-15-2002, 04:18 PM
I am not surprised.

The interesting thing and problem I have is the rental market. WHile I almost NEVER rent movies anymore, (a lot of that having to do with working in video stores fo years), DVD rentals is kind of a problem. Having worked at Blockbuster and various stores before, I see the condition people bring these DVD's back in. After 2 or 3 rentals, it is rendered useless. Same thing with CD format games. And if you wonder why your rental stores selection is off, that is most likely why, that and shoplifters.

For the rental industry to survive, and they will find a way, trust me, something has to be done about that. Either burn temporary copies onto CD's, or something. With the cost of DVD's being less than VHS, they can afford to buy more copies, but everytime I see a used DVD at blockbuster or anywhere, it looks like it was used for street hockey.

I love DVD's and take care of them, but many people, especially kids, don't. So, until they find a way to take care of that, and get more DVD players into homes, I think VHS will be around a while longer.

Oh, and Jar Jar, I LOVE the quote by Ebert. When I worked at the video stores, I would get people bringing Letterbox movies back all the time, saying that it wasn't showing the entire picture. You should try explaining letterbox to those morons.

THE Slayer
06-15-2002, 04:19 PM
Blockbuster is doin the same thing,, well kinda. I went in one today and there were like 4 rows of vhs and the entire rest of the store was dvd and video games. I'm not complaining since I rarely rent a vhs anymore, just an observation.

DeadEye
06-15-2002, 04:21 PM
I don't think VHS has any advantage over DVD, so there's really nothing wrong with this IMHO.

QLD
06-15-2002, 04:23 PM
The only advantage VHS has over DVD is the ability to record television. However, if you have a Tivo like I do, it is really worthless. Unless you just HAVE to put something on a tape.

DeadEye
06-15-2002, 04:25 PM
...And you don't.

Beast
06-15-2002, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Quite-Long Dong
Oh, and Jar Jar, I LOVE the quote by Ebert. When I worked at the video stores, I would get people bringing Letterbox movies back all the time, saying that it wasn't showing the entire picture. You should try explaining letterbox to those morons.
I appreciate your views, but I think that DVD's and CD's are a much sturdier format than VHS. If people would care more for the rentals, and the Video Store workers would clean the discs when they come back in, there wouldn't be problems with them. A simple wipe with a clean cotten T-shirt on a dirty DVD will work wonders, trust me....I have rented alot in the past. As for VHS, everytime you play it the heads remove some of the oxide on the tapes, causing them to deteriate. Not to mention the people that return tapes with jam or crud on them. :(

As for the quote, and the real reason I am responding to your post. Trust me, I have tried to explain letterboxing and widescreen to people. It's not fun and really can cause your blood pressure to shoot thru the roof. I am a member of alot of DVD websites, and I know the frustration the DVD community has with people like these. I love the one example that was posted, how to teach people about widescreen. It involves a Dollar Bill, since it's widescreen shaped. You rip the sides off of it so that it's square. I'll see if I can drag that up, and post it here. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

QLD
06-15-2002, 04:35 PM
That's funny. I tried so many analogies, it was painful. But they just refuse to see it that way. I rememebr the problem became a big deal around the time Pulp Fiction was released, because most stores only had the Letterbox version. That and there was always a problem with Last of the Mohicans. People would buy it, and the only version available was the Letterbox version.

Sometimes people would come up and ask the difference between Pan and Scan and Letterbox. I would say, with Pan and Scan, you don't see the entire movie, and with Letterbox, you see the entire movie. They would say, Ok, get the letterbox, and indubitably come back mad. :D

DVD's may be more sturdy, but these people are used to having cassettes they can throw around. So they do the same with DVD, and since it isn't their DVD, they don't care. And no amount of wiping is going to take off a scratch. Same with video games. People would come to EB to trade in their games, and they would be scratched to hell and back. You would think there was no way they could work. Or they would try to bring something back defective, and it would be scratched up, in a days time!

The only TRUTH commercials we need now, are ones geared towards teaching idiots to handle CD's and DVD's with care. It isn't hard.

Don't even get me started on people who don't return instructions with video games. :D

Beast
06-15-2002, 04:41 PM
Found it on Hometheaterforum. Note, I had to edit it for some language that doesn't belong here. Since this is a family forum. :)

I ran into a fella in Best Buy a couple months ago who was complaining to an employee in the DVD section about WS movies and how they're inferior to 4:3 and pan&scan because you're losing the top & bottom of the picture. She (the employee) was trying to explain the benefits of WS, especially 16X9, but he wouldn't have any of it. The guy asked me which I preferred so I defended the employee's statements and went further to help explain more of the finer points of 16X9. But to no avail. This continued for about 15 minutes or so.

I finally got tired of listening to him bellyache about it so I asked him if he had a dollar bill, and if so, may I see it. After a few seconds of mental calculations (and a raised eyebrow from the employee), he opened his wallet and handed me a dollar bill.

I held it up so he could see the whole dollar and said "Widescreen". Then I carefully folded it into thirds and ripped off the two outside sections. (At this point, there was a sharp intake of breath from J6P and a slight giggle of delight from the employee.) I handed it back to him and said, "4:3". Then I handed him the two pieces I tore off and said, "Move them around for pan & scan".

The employee dropped the DVDs she was holding because she was laughing so hard at that totally clueless fellow just looking at me with his mouth hanging wide open. I don't know if he ever got the point of the lesson, but it cost him a dollar nonetheless. :D

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

QLD
06-15-2002, 04:45 PM
That is classic Jar Jar. I wish I had thought of that at the time. I drew diagrams and everything. They are so brainwashed, it is really sad.

Beast
06-15-2002, 04:48 PM
You should show people that don't understand widescreen, the following Flash Animation tutorial, it explains Pan and Scan and Widescreen using one of our favorites movies, ANH. :) Also, check out the Widescreen Advocate. Here are the links. :)

Widescreen Tutorial (http://www.ryanwright.com/ht/oar.shtml)

Widescreen Advocate (http://www.widescreenadvocate.com/)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

LTBasker
06-15-2002, 05:58 PM
I see how DVD's are superior on VHS but it's whatever you prefer and it's annoying people feel they have to preach about dvds and such just because someone wants a VHS.

Btw nice story, JJB. :D

Beast
06-15-2002, 06:05 PM
We arn't preaching because someone wants a VHS, we are preaching because people want Pan and Scam. That's what the real big deal is between VHS and DVD folks. Most (not all) VHS folks, hate widescreen. They complain that they are loosing picture, or other illogical and silly arguments.

DVD was great, until the widescreen hating folks started switching to that format, and complaining about all the widescreen discs. Then some of the studios, instead of educating people about what they are missing with pan and scan version of the movie, started releasing the DVD's with both, or 2 seperate releases.

Luckily, the Pan and Scan only releases have been few and far between, but if there isn't some education done, the studios will continue to cater to the people that don't understand, and the DVD industry will suffer greatly. OAR only!! No OAR = No Sale!!

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

LTBasker
06-15-2002, 06:10 PM
I didn't say you all were doing that, I was just stating it. ;)

QLD
06-15-2002, 06:12 PM
Yeah, if you want VHS, go for it. But our main point is Wide Screen vs Pan and Scan. It's one thing to not like Widescreen, but completely another to say you are losing picture. At least say you are losing picture SIZE, not picture.

Hasbro'sBountyHunter
06-15-2002, 07:29 PM
I was wondering when this change would start to come. I mean VHS did phase out BETA. It's time.

2-1B
06-16-2002, 01:18 AM
Rectangles vs. Squares, I don't know why so many P&S fans don't care to follow the example. :D

As far as I'm concerned, I'd personally help Circuit City throw every prerecorded VHS tape into the dumpster, but let's not be pulling VHS players from the shelves quite yet! :D If/when the time comes that stores start cutting them from their offerings, I'm gonna buy a few quality VCRs for future use because yes I do tape stuff and yes I do save stuff.
I have many items I need to burn to DVD when they get around to offering the format at a reasonable price, and even then I'll still need the VCR until I can get a DVD recorder for my TV.

Plus I'll need a VCR to watch the OT :rolleyes:

Beast
06-16-2002, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by Caesar
Plus I'll need a VCR to watch the OT :rolleyes:
*Plants a big wet kiss on his laserdisc player and Laserdisc boxsets of the OT and Special Editions.*

Sorry, I know that's mean that I bring those up. But as soon as I can afford to buy a DVD burner, I will be happy to supply each and every one of my friends here a copy of both on DVD. Most likely near to cost, so that I don't have Lucas pounding at the door with a lightsaber. :D

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

wedgeA
06-16-2002, 06:06 AM
Someone who would prefer to watch a film on VHS over a DVD is a fool.

Someone who would prefer pan and scam over OAR once they are told the difference is a fool.

This is a holy truth.

bigbarada
06-16-2002, 08:06 AM
I've spent hours trying to explain the difference between p&s and widescreen to people who should be capable of understanding; but simply refuse to accept it. I do think you're right Jar Jar, pretty soon the unwashed masses will be demanding full-screen versions of all movies on DVD and widescreens will fade to the background again.:( Although I do know of some TV manufacturers who are marketing flat, widescreen TV's. They are just all too expensive right now.

As for DVD vs. VHS, well someday I will get around to buying a DVD Player. I was holding off until the OT was released on DVD. Hey, three years ago that didn't seem like such an impossible dream.:mad:

Eternal Padawan
06-16-2002, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks

*Plants a big wet kiss on his laserdisc player and Laserdisc boxsets of the OT and Special Editions.*

Sorry, I know that's mean that I bring those up. But as soon as I can afford to buy a DVD burner, I will be happy to supply each and every one of my friends here a copy of both on DVD. Most likely near to cost, so that I don't have Lucas pounding at the door with a lightsaber. :D

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks


When one burns a copy of a laserdisc, does it copy the alternate audio tracks as well? How much does a DVD burner cost? I'd gladly send you the cost of my burned set early if it'd help you buy it quicker...;)

Exhaust Port
06-16-2002, 09:16 AM
I've seen DVD burners bundled with new computers which runs about $400-500 for the upgrade. Not too bad in my opinion.

I'm glad that VHS is being phased out. Perhaps this will lead to more effort being put into a lot of the DVD releases of older movies. My personal grip is DVD's that are just copied straight from a Pan and Scan VHS copy. AAAAaaarrrrrrrgh. I'm still waiting for them to get around to re-releasing "A Christmas Story" in letterbox. My other grip is releases that waste the advantages of DVD by not throwing in extra's (commentary, 5.1 sound, photos, outtakes, etc.).

If your not going to bother doing it right the first time then don't bother doing it at all.


PS: DVD's that aren't dual layered and require me to flip it over to watch the second have also really tick me off. Thanks for screwing up "The Right Stuff" WB. :(

JediTricks
06-16-2002, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks

I appreciate your views, but I think that DVD's and CD's are a much sturdier format than VHS. If people would care more for the rentals, and the Video Store workers would clean the discs when they come back in, there wouldn't be problems with them. A simple wipe with a clean cotten T-shirt on a dirty DVD will work wonders, trust me....I have rented alot in the past. As for VHS, everytime you play it the heads remove some of the oxide on the tapes, causing them to deteriate. Not to mention the people that return tapes with jam or crud on them. :(

As for the quote, and the real reason I am responding to your post. Trust me, I have tried to explain letterboxing and widescreen to people. It's not fun and really can cause your blood pressure to shoot thru the roof. I am a member of alot of DVD websites, and I know the frustration the DVD community has with people like these. Actually, a cotton t-shirt will put micro-scratches into the surface of the disc, after a few passes, the player may begin to show small read problems, and the more you do it, the worse it gets. Having worked in a video store myself, the one good thing about VHS is that if you damage 12 seconds of the tape, you can simply splice it out using the splicing machine and have a strong, working tape within minutes - with a DVD, I've found that any scratches on the "down" side will have to be filled in for the disc to play, and any scratches on the reflective "up" side will render the disc pretty much totally useless.

Both DVD and VHS are formats susceptible to damage and decay, but the VHS format is more susceptible and has less perks than DVD. However, the ability to record TV without paying a service that ends up transmitting your viewing habits to their central office for marketing research is still my preference. I don't want TiVO telling companies that I recorded Star Trek TNG reruns so they can focus more sci-fi-related advertising at me.

As for widescreen vs "pan-n-scan", I've always been a widescreen convert, but I notice that most folks I discuss this with that disagree have TVs that simply aren't big enough to get quality images out of widescreen programs. I tell you what though, I'm glad my DVD of Batman has widescreen and pan-n-scan because the TV set up to the DVD system in the other room is only a 13" screen and you really cannot see a lot of detail on widescreen on that size screen.

---

This situation mirrors what happened when records were phased out by CDs, yet there is still demand for records because not only are there vast record libraries out there, but also other advantages to records. This is the same with VHS and DVD, DVD will probably take over (until HDDVD comes out) and VHS will go the way of the dinosaur, but there will be a place in many TV-viewers' homes for the VHS machine because of their libraries of special tapes - whether they are custom-made or simply not on DVD.

What's sad is that VHS is an inferior format to Beta, but VHS had better marketing and more powerful corporate partners and industry backing.

Beast
06-16-2002, 06:06 PM
I dunno JT, I have talked to Videophiles over the years, and all of them recommended using a clean soft cotten T-shirt for cleaning their discs. Infact, they said it was much safer and easier on the disc then those disc wipes you can buy. I have been using it on Laserdiscs for about 10 years, and I have had no problems. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

JediTricks
06-16-2002, 06:34 PM
Well, use what ya gotta use, but according to a bunch of different sources I've read about CDs and DVDs, cotton fibers are too rough on the plastic, chamois (and artificial chamois) is much more gentle and appropriate and even then there's a very specific method to cleaning the disc. Chamois is also what I had to use for VCR cleanings and repairs as well, since the spinning video heads and stationary audio heads had surfaces far too delicate for regular cotton fabric or swabs.

master jedi
06-16-2002, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
I've spent hours trying to explain the difference between p&s and widescreen to people who should be capable of understanding; but simply refuse to accept it.
Same with me. I even show them on DVDs that have both the wide-screen and p&s versions that say what they are yet they still don't understand.


The only advantage VHS has over DVD is that there are some of the older movies that aren't on DVD yet and probably wont be.

Beast
06-16-2002, 09:58 PM
I have been trying to explain the benefits of Widescreen over P&S to my dad for years. It started feeling like I was banging my head against a brick wall, since he wouldn't listen. I do still try to explain it to people in stores, on occassion. But sometimes you just gotta throw your hands in the air, and walk away. That's why I adopted my new signature tag line, a fine quote from Roger Ebert. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

JediTricks
06-16-2002, 10:02 PM
Basically, I think it's all about the viewers' focus, some people want the bare bones of the film (pan-n-scan) while others want as much detail as the director intended (widescreen).

Those in the pan-n-scan column will say that seeing Motti's reactions to Vader's statements to Tarkin on a smaller screen really isn't as important as seeing as much of Vader and Tarkin as the screen will allow; while those in the widescreen column will say that a film isn't whole without showing everything it was intended to.

LTBasker
06-16-2002, 10:11 PM
Why can't it be shown in wide screen, with a bigger picture? :D

Darth Detori
06-17-2002, 09:38 AM
ah, see for a while I thought that they actually thought they were losing picture, but then I tried to show a bunch of people this feature on the Die Hard special edition DVD where it shows the difference. it was like, a minute and a half long and they had no interest in it. So it's not just that they don't like widescreen, it's that they don't want to take the time to learn and to adjust

Darth Detori
06-17-2002, 09:42 AM
oh, and thank god they're finally actively getting rid of VHS. The picture's crappy, the sound's crappy, and full screen is just......ARGH. My friend and I had to rent Monsters Ball on VHS last night because the DVD's were out- there were SO many moments in drastic need of widescreen. Full screen to me is just BLECH. it's like putting your hands on the sides of your head so that you can only see straight forward.
And why would you NOT want DVD anyway???? Special features, a MUCH MUCH MUCH better image, and incredible sound too! But most people are soooooooooo technophobic that they're like "no, I like tapes". My old girlfriend... oh boy. ;)
It's even gotten to a point where I'm NEARLY, NEARLY offended if it's in 1.85x1 instead of 2.35x1 ;)

bigbarada
06-17-2002, 10:00 AM
Personally I don't see the big difference between VHS and DVD as far as picture quality. It's quite negligible IMO.

There are some instances though when the DVD pictures seems too pixelated and jumpy; but I'm not sure if that is the fault of the movie or the format.

I will always like the VHS technology for the same reason I always liked Cassette Tapes over CDs. You might lose some quality but it's the sturdiness of the format that counts. I don't know how many times I've become frustrated with portable CD players that skip whenever you take a step or DVD players that overheat after showing only two movies. What can I say, I'm just a child of the 80s.:) And I'm not afraid of new technology, I just don't necessarily see how DVDs are an improvement. It's always a trade-off of one feature for another. You gain a miniscule amount of picture quality and give up tons of features that made VHS tapes great (sturdiness, recordability, ease of use).

I dunno, maybe I'll wait for the format that renders DVDs obsolete to catch up.:)

Jonna
06-17-2002, 10:04 AM
Ya, whatever! Just as long as we still have Beta tapes.....................What?


And yes I do realize that more than half of the users on this forum will have no Idea what the hell I am talking about.

bigbarada
06-17-2002, 10:11 AM
My friend's dad bought a Beta player when they first came out and cost like $500. He was recording some movies and told us to not tell anyone what he was doing because he didn't want the FBI banging on his door at 3 AM and arresting him for copywright infringement. Of course, this was when people actually took those FBI warnings seriously and didn't realize they were just a big joke.:)

Mandalorian Candidat
06-17-2002, 02:16 PM
Now that DVDs seem to be the inevitable format, for a while at least, will we soon be seeing the death of square screen TVs? I for one would love to get a rectangular one to get the widescreen in good proportion with my TV, but the cost is too high.

JediTricks
06-17-2002, 04:19 PM
I so very much want an HDTV set, but it's very expensive right now and the FCC has set the switch-over date back again because of the sets not being in enough homes yet.

BB, the image quality on DVD is significantly better than VHS, I took some VHS courses and even Super VHS doesn't have 3/4ths the video quality of properly-made DVDs (too many extras or improper transferring can cause worse image quality). Also, DVD won't be as easy to make obsolete because the next format HDDVD is supposed to be backwards-compatible. Of course, DVD is not without its failings as you pointed out and I'll probably always have a VHS recorder because of that. (It took WINNING a DVD player for me to jump into this format, before that, I had been waiting for HDDVD.)

2-1B
06-18-2002, 03:47 AM
What about this new D-VHS I've been hearing about? All I can picture is LFL shooting AOTC on digital tape so I have that thought in my mind. Yes, I've been kinda lazy in reading up on the format but I've noticed that companies are now announcing titles to be released in the new format. Where does it rank overall? Is it meant as a direct competitor to DVD or more of a "third choice" amidst VHS and DVD? Because honestly, if it is meant to compete with DVD they'll find a close minded consumer here, since when I hear tape I think of deterioration. ;) If they convince me otherwise, great - but they have a lot of work to do.

As for picture quality, I didn't seem to notice it immediately when I got a DVD player, but after not watching VHS for awhile, only DVD and then popping in a Star Wars tape, the difference is night and day. On the rare occassion that I rent anything, I prefer DVD but sometimes VHS is more practical since I can keep it several days longer.
JT, remember my Fifth Element experiment? I brought that movie home on VHS and the quality was really incomparable to any DVD I've watched recently. :D

Mandalorian Candidat
06-18-2002, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Caesar
What about this new D-VHS I've been hearing about? All I can picture is LFL shooting AOTC on digital tape so I have that thought in my mind.

I haven't heard of D-VHS before, but is sounds an awful like the video version of DAT, and we know where DAT is now.

I just really like the idea of movies being on a disc. You don't have to rewind or FF and you can just click to the scene you want without screwing around.

Boy, modern conveniences sure have made us impatient. :D

QLD
06-18-2002, 11:28 AM
I like DVD just fine. If they would just make the recordable aspect more affordable and easy to use, everyone else would too. Except the idiots who can't keep from scratching them to hell and back.

Exhaust Port
06-18-2002, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by JediTricks
I so very much want an HDTV set, but it's very expensive right now and the FCC has set the switch-over date back again because of the sets not being in enough homes yet.

I'd really hold off on getting a HDTV set for quite a while. Not only are stations slow to transmit but I recently found out that cable providers aren't carrying the signal. Even if a station is providing a HD signal, the cable companies don't have deals with them to carry the signal EVEN WITH DIGITAL CABLE. They get the signal, convert it to Normal Def., digitize it and then sent out via cable. How much does that suck?! We have Time Warner locally and my friend had quite a heated discussion with the cable people trying to get TV stations in HD. You buy the HD tier, you only get the 6 movie channels in HD, everything else is still a digital/analog signal which is quite different than what they imply in advertisements.

As for the sets themselves, they provide an unprecidented DVD image. It's the way God intented us to watch letterbox DVD movies. Everything else about them is worthless unless you're watching a true HD signal.

The manufacturers warn owners to limit the amount of "Letterbox" viewing they do. They say to limit it to something like 20% so you don't burn the screen. This means you have to watch all normal TV all squeezed and stretched so you don't damage your $3000 purchase. Not only that but the side bars that I've seen placed next to a normal TV ratio image are light gray (at least on the sets I've watched). Light Gray? It's quite annoying to watch something these light gray bars on either side. I'm assuming they're a "light" gray, not black, so the risk of Burning the screen is less.

This is the biggest negative factor with the HDTV sets. The whole reason I want a TV like that is for the Letterbox ability and they have a warning about not doing it too much. What's the point then? No thanks, I wait until I can afford my Plasma Screen in 5-10 years.

bigbarada
06-18-2002, 12:49 PM
I went to Circuit City and looked at all their HDTV sets and compared them to the images given off by the regular TV sets. No contest, the HDTV image is much, much.......worse! I couldn't believe that they were charging $1000 more for such crappy image.

My parents have a DVD player and I still don't see enough of a difference to warrant my paying $200 for one. In fact certain movies are far superior on VHS to their DVD counterparts. I watched the non-THX American Graffiti tape which had been sitting around at my local Hastings for like ten years and the image was about ten times better than the THX DVD version of the same movie. The DVD picture was so dark you couldn't see anything! The VHS image wasn't crystal clear; but at least you could tell what was going on.

I will grudgingly buy a DVD player eventually, but I don't really see the need to change over. Just like Nintendo going to discs over cartridges for the Gamecube. Cartridges are a far superior format for video games (no download times, more durable, no download times,....did I mention no download times?); but the market forced them to change over to discs.:mad:

QLD
06-18-2002, 01:11 PM
I wish Nintendo had stuck with cartridges myself. However, I understand the reasons they switched to CD format.

People complained because nintendo games, on average were 5-10 dollars more expensive because the manufacturing costs of cartridges are mroe expensive than CD.

Also, people complained because the Nintendo systems could not do video or audio even close to what the other systems can do with CD format. CD's just have more storage space than cartridges.

While I prefer the no load times of the cartridges, the Gamecube is quite excellent. The load times on it are almost non-existant. They use mini-discs which I guess gives it a faster load. Because I can't tell the difference between most GC games than if they were on cartridges.

The main thing I like about DVD's is the sound quality. I hardly notice the picture difference, but that is mostly because I need new glasses. That and not having to fast forward, and the ability to have the "extras" that I have become addicted to.

That, and with my X-Box, PS2, PC, and DVD Player, I have 4 DVD players in my house. Compared to 2 VCR's. :D

bigbarada
06-18-2002, 01:34 PM
I know about all the extra storage space; but I've only seen a couple of Playstation games that even come close to utilizing all that extra space(Gran Turisimo being one). Most games for the PS1 had like 7 or 8 levels and about 5 or 6 hours of gameplay. Hardly an improvement when old SNES games would take me an entire weekend to complete (and those were the short ones!). Look at Legend of Zelda: OOT for the N64, that game shows what can still be done with cartridges.

Cutscenes were never really that big of a deal to me since the only thing they accomplished was to show off just how bad the in game graphics were.

I did a price comparison of N64 games to PS1 games back in 1998 and the majority of N64 games were released at $50 with only a couple of games being $60 (Zelda 64, Rayman). The majority of PS1 releases were also $50! With a few $40 releases. I don't really see the big savings you get with CDs.

The Gamecube really is a nice system, but I'll hold off buying another one (I sold mine to my brother) until the new Zelda comes out. However, like the PS2 and X-Box, the graphics capabilites are really not that impressive. More evolutionary than revolutionary when compared to the N64 and PS1. While I was playing Rogue Leader, I had to double-check a couple of times to make sure I wasn't actually still playing Rogue Squadron for the N64. Nothing has really wowed me about that system, or any of the others thus far.

billfremore
06-18-2002, 01:41 PM
I used to be indifferent to widescreen and could take it or leave it...
...until I saw the SW Special Editions on the big screen and realized just how much I had been missing.

I had only seen ANH on the big screen once back 1977 and had really grown accustomed to P & S. Now I accept nothing unless it is widescreen.

I love the fact that most DVD's are widescreen, it used to be impossible to find anything in widescreen on VHS so I am thankful DVD's are here to stay.

I tried once to explain to my mother that my copy of the Spc. ED were in widescreen format.
She then told me that they wouldn't work on her TV because it wasn't a widescreen TV.

aren't parents cute! :D:rolleyes:

QLD
06-18-2002, 01:42 PM
The games that have really impressed me are:

Halo - XB
Metal Gear Solid - PS2
Resident Evil - GC
Final Fantasy X - PS2

But I agree with the evolutionary compared to revolutionary statement.

Unfortunately, most games dont take advantage of the extra storage space on CD's. And even if they do, wow, video.....but what about the game. Sometimes they do, but lately they have taken to making everything style, with no substance. Maybe I am getting old.

wedgeA
06-18-2002, 01:54 PM
A couple of points,

Caesar,
I believe that DVHS is seen more as a competitor to DVD, as it will supposedly provide the same quality, but give you the option of recording. However, you are correct in that like any tape, the quality will diminsh with the passage of time and use.

Exhaust Port,
I agree that buying an HDTV set right now is the biggest waste of cash. You can put the same amount of money into buying a decent complete home theatre system and still have enough money to waste of some Jorg Sacul figs.

Big Barada,
I see where you're coming from, but consider this. First it is true that there are some DVD with terrible transfers that don't really make them mush better than VHS. However, with a solid transfer, the difference is night and day, and the majority of the transfers fall into this category.

I have not seen the American Graffiti DVD, but I have noticed that sometimes tapes do look "brighter" than DVDs. However, that brightness is usually an atrificial by-product of the format. The transfer on the DVD is "usually" the look that most closely resembles the film print. Case in point, Muholland Drive is very dark in some scenes, but Lynch oversaw the transfer himself, so that image is what was intended. There have been complaints in the past that DVD audio tracks are not as loud as VHS. The reason for that is the DVD audio tracks are more accurate in capturing the fluctuations and nuances of the actual movie soundtrack instead of just equalizing the entire track.

bigbarada
06-18-2002, 02:01 PM
QLD, It's not that you're getting old, it's just that video games have finally penetrated into the mass market consciousness. Thus there are a few gems surrounded by tons of crap.

I saw the ads for Resident Evil on the GC and it immediately made me regret selling my system. Oh well, the nice thing about the video game industry: the longer you wait the cheaper everything gets.:)

I understand about the quality transfer of DVDs, but unless you have the money to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on an entertainment system, then the trade offs are just not worth it. I prefer the "equalized" sound of VHS tapes since you don't get the whisper quiet conversation scenes mixed in with the blow-the-windows-out action scenes. Watching DVDs with the built in speakers of most TVs is annoying since you are forced to constantly adjust the volume throughout the movie. As for the picture, call me crazy but if I'm going to spend $15 on a movie, then I would like to actually see the picture and not just a black screen with little bitty wisps of light here and there. Screw the artistic vision! I suppose if a director wanted to be artistic and release a completely blank purple screen with a soundtrack of garbled animal noises, then that would just be his "artistic vision" and we'd be dullards to not rush out to the DVD store and buy it.:crazed:

wedgeA
06-18-2002, 02:53 PM
BB,

What the hell do you mean adjusting the sound? Man, just crank it up and leave it up!!:) If others don't like, screw them!:)

As for the "artistic vision", if a filmaker was his film presented in a certain manner that's the way it should be. If you don't want to spend $15 on a blank purple screen with animal noises, no one is forcing you to buy it and you are smarter for not doing so. Maybe then we would be spared the elitist pretentious works of Jim Jarmusch, Richard Linklater, and Greg Araki. However, I do not think that customers just by virtue of them willing to spend $ on film have the right to have the film altered to suit their needs whether is be Pan and Scam, or anything else.

If you prefer tapes because the format creates an artificial brightness, fine. If don't like the fact that a film is given a dark muddled look, fine. However, I think it is wrong to say screw the filmaker's vision and change it so I like it.

bigbarada
06-18-2002, 03:12 PM
I guess, after over 20 years of just setting the TV to a comfortable volume then leaving it alone, I just don't like being blown out of my seat just because the director wants to startle the audience. And while it's pretty funny to say, "screw everybody else," it's not really a good policy if you want to still get along with the people you are living with, especially if you are staying with your parents and not paying rent as I am.:)

I still think that if a director is so caught up in his "art" or just wants to do everything his way, like any toddler; then that is more of a hamper to making a good movie than anything. In order to sell units you must cater to your audience and if the audience says "screw what the director wants, we want to be able to see the picture" then the director's wishes should be put aside and the picture corrected to please the majority of the audience. Just the rules of commerce; if you want to make money, you need to make a product that people will like.

JediTricks
06-18-2002, 03:27 PM
Caesar, I haven't heard of D-VHS, but VHS has been used for a while for high-quality audio-only recording, so I suppose if this is digital recording onto VHS tape, it should actually look pretty nice - though my ideal system would simply be removable harddrives or a similar format rather than a slow-winding tape.

For me, my first DVD experience was Batman, it was a gift given to me for xmas last year to coincide with the Playstation 2 we won. As soon as that movie booted up, it was painfully obvious how much worse VHS image quality was. I had seen the numbers and I knew about the various limitations with VHS, but once I saw it in action, that was all the convincing I needed.


MC, not having to rewind isn't just a nice convenience, it means there's one less big strain on the drive motor - less strain means less wear and breakage of the motor.


Exhaust Port, thanks for the head's up on that HDTV thing. That really sucks that cable companies don't transmit HD signal. For non-signal watching though, the HDTV really looks so much clearer than other TVs that it's still making my proverbial mouth water. However, I won't be buying one any time soon either, just ogling them at the local Frys Electronics. ;)


BB, perhaps your Circuit City has their HDTVs set up wrong because the ones I've seen at Good Guys and Frys are so great looking, but the ones I've seen at Best Buy (many are the same TVs, mind you) look terrible. As for brightness issues, my TV has several presets for various brightnesses at the touch of one remote button as well as total control over brightness and contrast from the remote, so it's not a problem for me - some movies are too dark, some movies aren't, so I adjust the set as needed.

Also, I suggest getting one of the $60-90 dollar DVD players like the Apex for a beginner DVD player, that's the one I got and the only negative so far has been a poorly-laid-out remote control. I'm not a huge fan of super-duper mega surround sound, stereo is all I need, so this one really works fine for my needs.

As for this sound balancing problem, both formats have it, it's like some sort of emotional problem that all of Hollywood has, moviemakers can no longer keep sound at a fairly constant level. We were watching Star Trek 6 last week on VHS and CONSTANTLY had to mess with the stereo's volume and EQ - made me kinda mad really.

bigbarada
06-18-2002, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
As for this sound balancing problem, both formats have it, it's like some sort of emotional problem that all of Hollywood has, moviemakers can no longer keep sound at a fairly constant level. We were watching Star Trek 6 last week on VHS and CONSTANTLY had to mess with the stereo's volume and EQ - made me kinda mad really.

Thanks JT, I'm glad someone finds it as annoying as I do.:)

And thanks for the DVD Player recommendations.:cool:

wedgeA
06-18-2002, 03:49 PM
BB,

I think the major point of contention here is that I see film as a means of artistic expression moreso than a commercial product. I agree that if a sneaker designer wanted to use silly putty instead of laces in the name of art, that would be foolish because there are objective standards to what makes a good functional sneaker, that's what people are spending their $ for.

In the area of film and other artisitic areas, standards are mostly subjective, I mean even Lawnmower Man 2 has some fans, so being able to tell what people will like is not clearcut. Going by your reasoning that films must be made in order to satisfy the public, then SW may never have been. In the 70's sci-fi was a nearly dead genre, and test screenings of the film were poor. Also, The Blair Witch Project was filmed extremely dark and muddy, but regardless of what your feelings about it are, it is one of the most profitable films ever made.

True it is important to make a film people will want to see, but almost any talented filmmaker will say the main goal for making a film is creative fufillment, not to make a ton of money.

Consider this:
Walt Disney, by all accounts, would never have allowed any of his older works to have been altered for the sake of political correctness in order to increase sales.

Orson Welles prevented Ted Turner from colorizing Citizen Kane.

Pulp Fiction would have been presented in linear order. Keep in mind that True Romance, written by Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, was written and shot in a similar manner, but was re-edited by Scott to be more palatable to the general audience.

Again this goes back to the point that the consumer is the ultimate judge. If you don't like a film, that's fine, but don't impose your view on the director to make something that you will like. Let the director present what he/she wishes and you can be the judge. It's the creative team behind the film that have put their money and reputations on the line, not the viewer, if they choose to produce something they feel is their vision, at the risk of sacrificing commercial viability, then so be it. You are free to patronize them or not.

bigbarada
06-18-2002, 04:48 PM
I can see your point wedgeA, I'm just not much of a movie aficionado; so I tend to like movies that don't try to screw with my head. Or my eyeballs. Two-hours of meaningless diversion is all I want.:)

j/k Actually I do like movies that are thought provoking; but not in the way they are presented. I don't like to have to squint to see the picture or constantly muddle with the volume to hear a basic conversation then quickly try to turn it down to keep from having my eardrums popped by an explosion. Just me.

wedgeA
06-18-2002, 11:00 PM
Fair enough bigbarada,

I do understand where you're coming from. When I was in school I was watching Laserdiscs and VHS on a mono-TV, and the fluctuations in the soundtrack frustrated me. I recently bought a Sony flat screen with built in stereo surround and it is much better to watch stuff, I don't even have a stereo, just rely on the TV's speakers. If you ever get a high end set, the difference between the two formats becomes more apparant, both picture and sound. Actually, these sets are pretty reasonable, about $400-$500 for a 24-27" set. Trust me though, if you get a solid TV with S-video capability, you might become one of the "converted" as well.

wedgeA
06-18-2002, 11:10 PM
bigbarada,

Sorry, but I wanted to add that respect to VHS, alterations in the look of a film is more about the technological limitations of the format than purposeful alteration, and I did not mean to accuse you of being a proponent of intentional alteration of a film. My intention was to argue how DVD allows for the presentation of a film which most closely resembles the filmaker's intent.

2-1B
06-19-2002, 12:03 AM
I did a little searching on D-VHS, apparently WB is out of the promotional push, the big 4 giving it a thrust are Dreamworks . . . and I can't think of the other 3 :D

Prices on the D-VHS VCRs are SRP of around 2 stacks of high society, with movies costing anywhere from 30 to 50 dollars. Too pricey for me, I'll stick with my little discs. :crazed:

Beast
06-19-2002, 01:20 PM
Wow, this is sad. :(

http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=7445484&page=1

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

SithDroid
06-19-2002, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Quite-Long Dong
Oh, and Jar Jar, I LOVE the quote by Ebert. When I worked at the video stores, I would get people bringing Letterbox movies back all the time, saying that it wasn't showing the entire picture. You should try explaining letterbox to those morons.

I'm with you on that one QLD. I used to work in a video store as well and I have definately dealt with the morons you are speaking of concerning letterbox.

QLD
06-19-2002, 09:10 PM
Yeah, they were a laugh riot!