Friday, December 26, 2008

No more VHS Tapes

The last US supplier of VHS tapes is going to stop carrying them. If you want 'em, buy 'em now.

If you're like me, you're probably surprised to hear that there are still VHS tapes around. Seems there was quite a niche market for them:

But as shops unloaded their unwanted VHS inventory, Florida-based Distribution Video Audio was there to scoop up the refuse and make a tidy profit. Distribution told The LA Times it sold more than four million VHS videotapes during the last two years.

Its clients are mostly bargain stores, outlet malls, truck stops, and mom-and-pop operations - places that don't exactly cater to the bleeding edge of technology. Public libraries, military bases, and cruise ships were also buying VHS tapes, although nowadays are mostly only interested in DVDs.

But no more. Like I said, get 'em now, because there probably won't be any more, at least easily.

I have to say, it's not better picture quality that did VHS in for me. It was small children frustrated at having to rewind. Of course, DVD just meant that it was easier to play Mickey's Songs To Annoy Dad again faster.


Weer'd Beard said...

Good riddens to the damn things. Crappy quality, finite lifespan (My copy of Aliens was held together by Scotch tape before I upgraded to the Director's cut) They are big and bulkey, no chapter selection, alternate audio-tracks (Seriously, there would be ZERO market for VHS commentary tracks from Actors directs and crew, and that's all neat shit!) no ability to toggle decent subtitles, and no special features.

Of course you never had to worry about dropping a brand-new VHS and runining it right out of the box.

Nope the Mrs. and I sold our VHS about 3 years ago...haven't missed it a bit.

TOTWTYTR said...

Wow, I was just going to toss out some that the Mrs. bought last year for some reason that I can't fathom. Maybe I should put them on Ebay and I'll be able to make enough money to retire.

I have a VHS/DVD combo player, but I don't remember ever having put a tape in. I've replaced most of my VHS movies with DVDs over the past few years, and will continue to do so. I just have to figure out who I can donate the VHS tapes to.

Borepatch said...

Weer'd, what's interesting is the first PCs I remember (TRS-80 and the like) had cassette storage (not disk). It was a pain, for exactly the reasons you say - sequential, not random access. Fragile. "Who forgot to rewind the @#$%! tape?"

Interestingly, while I wasn't able to do it, I worked with an older guy who could recover data from old 300 DPI computer tapes with iron filings and a magnifying glass. Probably a post in there somewhere.

TOTWTYTR, this may be like cyclamate soda after it was banned: you may have christmas presents for other folks here!