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Anyone still using VHS?

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So yesterday, I was sitting in my newly-Christmasified room and was working on some homework. I decided I'd add to the festive mood by putting on a movie while I worked. I ultimately chose to watch my all-time favorite movie, "It's a Wonderful Life". I stll cry every time, even though I've seen it countless times already!

Anyways, my copy of the film is on VHS. It got me thinking: does anyone else still use these things?

I know the picture is horrendous, but here's my thought. My TV only has coax anyways (I need an adapter to use other things like my Wii U on it), so the picture is going to suck regardless. I don't watch movies by myself too often (I'm more of a video game guy), but when I do, I end up using the VCR a fair amount. If I feel like watching a movie, I would go to my local thrift store (before the pandemic, of course) and buy a couple of tapes. They had a permanent (as in the past 5 years or so) sale going on there: 3 movies for $0.25. For that price, you can't go wrong! I've bought a few things there in the past; It's a Wonderful Life, ET, The Wizard of Oz, the original non-specializied Star Wars trilogy (I'd like to convert that to DVD). I saw Pulp Fiction there once, but I was like 11 at the time and hadn't been old enough to see it. After watching it, I regret not picking it up. It's a great film!

So here's my point: I don't watch movies by myself too much, but when I do, I tend to break out the videotapes.

Do any of you use VHS? How often? I'm really quite curious.

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We still have a VCR hooked up on our upstairs TV.  I haven't used it in years, but I know my youngest will sometimes bust out old VHS movies I've kept.

Me personally - I have a small CRT TV with a VCR built in.  It's maybe 8".  My brother gave it to me.  It was in his RV, and when he upgraded to a flat screen (and DVD) he was going to toss that TV, but he asked me if I wanted it first. I usually get it out around this time of year to watch the VHS movies we have.  The big ones being "Die Hard", Star Wars trilogy, and the Indiana Jones trilogy.

Here's an old pic of that TV. 

CAM00126.jpg

Edited by RickR

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I don't use VHS and don't have any equipment anymore. Even during its heyday, I hated tapes because of the need to rewind them.

After getting a tube TV this summer though, I have been much more open to older technology and have recently started buying DVDs of old TV shows (I had been holding out for Blu-ray releases). For DVDs with heavy compression that look poorly on a modern TV, the tube TV cures all ills.

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I still have a VCR stored as I have some stuff on VHS tapes but I have not used it in some time.  For all I know it won't work when I decide to use it!  The TV that I use to play games has an integrated VCR but it doesn't work.

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Wow, no, I’ve never heard of these things. My VCR has built-in rewind and fast forward. I assume for these gadgets to exist that the earlier models didn’t have that feature built in or something?

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26 minutes ago, nosweargamer said:

Back in my day, this is how we rewound tapes...and we liked it!

🤣 Is that for real???

 

1 minute ago, HDN said:

Wow, no, I’ve never heard of these things. My VCR has built-in rewind and fast forward. I assume for these gadgets to exist that the earlier models didn’t have that feature built in or something?

Hahaha I'm assuming you're being serious, Harry. During the height of video tape watching in the Korean community (80s-90s), people would rent literally dozens of VHS tapes at a time to watch their favorite shows from Korea on a weekly basis. These tape rewinders were meant to 1) save wear and tear on the player and 2) let the player be used to watch videos while the tapes were rewound. And with dozens of tapes to rewind, you could do two at a time.

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26 minutes ago, socrates63 said:

🤣 Is that for real???

 

Hahaha I'm assuming you're being serious, Harry. During the height of video tape watching in the Korean community (80s-90s), people would rent literally dozens of VHS tapes at a time to watch their favorite shows from Korea on a weekly basis. These tape rewinders were meant to 1) save wear and tear on the player and 2) let the player be used to watch videos while the tapes were rewound. And with dozens of tapes to rewind, you could do two at a time.

So as a time-saving thing. I get it. Makes sense. Thanks.

I guess nobody understood what “Be Kind, Rewind” meant.

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Yes.  My wife and I still have and regularly use VHS.  I have had no bad experiences with VHS other than playing a tape so much they wear out.  I also don't mind having to rewind tapes.  I'm use to that.  But I only use the VCR to rewind my tapes because when VCRs and VHS was in its prime my family members on my dad's side recorded tons of shows off cable TV.  By the time VHS phased out my grandmother had over 400 tapes and my aunt had almost 700, each with at least three or more movies and other programs on them.  All of them had commercials cut out of them.  They also invested in some prerecorded tapes but not as much.  We all invested in those tape rewinders but overtime those started pulling the tape off the take up reel when the tape reached the end.  I fixed the tapes but suggested leaving the rewinding to the VCR.  I mean the machines have circuits that protect the tape.  A VCR should never tug on a tape when it reaches the end.  That's what the clear leaders are for.

Today we still use them.  I still have them because of the Disney movies.  I have too many movies on VHS that is hard to find on other formats.  The quality got better as technology advanced for the machines and TVs.  My JVC looks really good paired up with a late model flat tube CRT TV.  

IMG_20201107_105347.jpg.1a849814c6951023ff6dbc41f04640c2.jpgIMG_20201107_105406.jpg.1d7a5a49c9d9bea5eb9e56b62a5e3db4.jpg

Those lines are from the camera, not the VCR...but the quality is there.

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Speaking of Blockbuster, back in college I built up a collection of VHS tapes, around 150 or so, mostly shopping the Previously Viewed rental tapes Blockbuster would sell (and games too).

I think they had buy 2, get the 3rd free sales, or something similar, pretty often. Those round red stickers are pretty nostalgic for me.

mk.jpg.2e1d2d172e86345e30488d05d912c35e.jpg

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1 hour ago, nosweargamer said:

Speaking of VHS, apparently there is still one Blockbuster open in Bend Oregon:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/blockbuster-earth-mints-memberships-day/story?id=61505627

@RickR, you ever go that way?

Yes!  Bend, OR is kind of a vacation/resort area.  I've been to that Blockbuster once several years ago.  It's fascinating that it's the last one.  Of all places. 

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4 hours ago, nosweargamer said:

Speaking of Blockbuster, back in college I built up a collection of VHS tapes, around 150 or so, mostly shopping the Previously Viewed rental tapes Blockbuster would sell (and games too).

That’s how my dad built up his SNES and N64 collection back in the late 1990’s and early to mid 2000’s. Lots of games from lots of long-gone video stores.

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I've got to find a multi card reader so I can use my camera again.  Any who, here's part of our VHS collection.

IMG_20201107_155329.jpg.271480064c3f739941a29e935ebc2a44.jpg

IMG_20201107_155349.jpg.4f795e3799d1832bf3faee3aeea280c7.jpg

The cheap VHS tapes have made it easy for me to finally see movies I haven't seen before without breaking the bank.  I don't care about extra features, I just want to watch a movie.  I had never seen Ransom (Mel Gibson) or The Terminal (Tom Hanks) until I picked them up at Goodwill.  Both were really good movies.  The Terminal became one of my favorites.

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You bring up a really good point:  VHS movies are super inexpensive.  Our local library sells them for 25 cents with a huge variety to choose from.  I haven't looked at the cost at Goodwill, but I'll bet they're $1 or less. 

I inherited a lot of them from my father-in-law when he passed.  A lot of what he had still have cellophane wrap -- never opened!  I've still got a few left that way, but I will get around to watching them. 

 

 

Edited by RickR

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I made the jump when DVD came out.  I bought an RCA DVD player for $320. With it came a coupon good for five DVDs from WB.  So I went back to the store and grabbed five DVDs.  While nice I learned later just how fragile those discs really were.  Now that they are cheap the quality is missing.  I don't know how many cheap movies I would go through and hear the disc moving around inside the package.  

While I know I will never find modern movies on VHS there are enough titles on VHS that I would be satisfied for the rest of my life and I wouldn't have to worry about scratches.  You can toss a tape and it will be fine. VHS is a lot more kid-friendly than DVDs.  I have a feeling the movies will outlast the machines when it comes to VHS.  In some ways I wish VHS was still around.

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