inthe00s
The Pop Culture Information Society...

These are the messages that have been posted on inthe00s over the past few years.

Check out the messageboard archive index for a complete list of topic areas.

This archive is periodically refreshed with the latest messages from the current messageboard.




Check for new replies or respond here...

Subject: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 02/21/21 at 8:04 am

There was a very good article in the New York Times yesterday called "Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?". Read it in it's entirety here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/style/vhs-tapes.html

Here are a couple of pertinent excerpts. As a number of us have argued here on this site, the fact that "everything" (including in music) is available on streaming, or will STAY available, is a huge myth:

"'The general perception that people can essentially order whatever movie they want from home is flat-out wrong,' said Matthew Booth, 47, the owner of Videodrome in Atlanta, which sells VHS tapes in addition to its Blu-ray and DVD rental business.

Streaming, Mr. Booth said, was 'promised as a giant video store on the internet, where a customer was only one click away from the exact film they were looking for.'

But the reality, he said, is that new releases are prohibitively expensive, content is 'fractured' between subscription services, and movies operate in cycles, often disappearing before people have the chance to watch them. In that sense, the VHS tape offers something the current market cannot: a vast library of moving images that are unavailable anywhere else."



And for those of you who love to use the word "nostalgia" around here, check this out:

“ 'I think that people are nostalgic for the aura of the VHS era,' said Thomas Allen Harris, 58, a creator of the television series 'Family Pictures USA' and a senior lecturer in African-American studies and film and media studies at Yale University.  'So many cultural touch points are rooted there,' Mr. Harris said of the 1980s. It was, he believes, 'a time when, in some ways, Americans knew who we were.' "

I love that last line "a time when, in some ways, Americans knew who we were". It rings true.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: wagonman76 on 02/21/21 at 8:55 am

I buy them when I see something interesting that I don’t have. Actually most of mine lately have been given to me. In those I have gotten 3 Wonderworks films that I had been looking for since my childhood.

I’ve said it before, but with a VHS you’re getting the real deal. The film the way it was meant to be seen, at least for home release. When things get re-released to DVD or other media, I don’t trust that things haven’t been edited or censored. They call it improved, I’d rather have the original with all the imperfections. Perfect example is the Little Mermaid thing in the article.

And I have stuff on tape that will probably never be available anywhere else.

My ex housemate said the VHS era movies looked brown. That’s the warm analog quality I like. That and the lo fi sound, helps transport you to the era they were made.

One thing I don’t have but I want, is this recording of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer from the late 80s. During the snowstorm, the TV station put a real storm alert across the screen for our area. Several people recorded it including my coworker. I told him if he ever thinks about tossing it I want it. But he tends to cling to old school stuff too.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 02/21/21 at 9:32 am




I’ve said it before, but with a VHS you’re getting the real deal. The film the way it was meant to be seen, at least for home release. When things get re-released to DVD or other media, I don’t trust that things haven’t been edited or censored. They call it improved, I’d rather have the original with all the imperfections. Perfect example is the Little Mermaid thing in the article.



Absolutely! It was the last era when we were getting the absolute truth. Now everything is edited (i.e. CENSORED) to reflect the current political climate and identity politics point of view. It's kind of scary, actually. They mess with reality and with our memories.


My ex housemate said the VHS era movies looked brown. That’s the warm analog quality I like. That and the lo fi sound, helps transport you to the era they were made.


If you look at movies from the 70s in particular, they have a sort of "tint" to them that is unmistakable to that era. Not only was the analog warm and human but it made things look "larger than life" which is kind of what movies are supposed to do.
Now, with high definition, everything looks hyper-real, while somehow looking flat and dead at the same time. I'm not talking about the "soap opera effect" of HD TVs, I managed to fiddle that away by messing with the settings on my TV.  But even at the best it's going to get it still looks too flat and real and can't compare to analog.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: nally on 02/21/21 at 11:01 am

I don't think I've actually bought any in the last 15 years. The last time I bought any was in 2006, at Best Buy. It was a set of blank ones.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Ripley on 02/21/21 at 11:27 am

I would like to honestly. Sadly not even DVD’s are big in stores now. Hardly any video rental stores either. Therefore, all new releases have to be rented through iTunes, Youtube, Google, Prime, etc. Well, even older movies cost a good amount to rent on there. $5 for a large amount of them. New ones are $20. Verses $2-3 at the rental store. Plus, you would get 5-7 days in most cases. Where as with the streaming services you won’t really know until you order it if it’s a one time watch. So it would make more since to just buy it. Therefore, you couldn’t return it if you didn’t like it. Some subscriptions  like Hulu and Netflix have newer ones, but the big theater premiers are just on HBO Max as far as I know.

Excuse my rambling lol I just hate how are options are now for checking out new movies.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 02/21/21 at 11:55 am


I would like to honestly. Sadly not even DVD’s are big in stores now. Hardly any video rental stores either. Therefore, all new releases have to be rented through iTunes, Youtube, Google, Prime, etc. Well, even older movies cost a good amount to rent on there. $5 for a large amount of them. New ones are $20. Verses $2-3 at the rental store. Plus, you would get 5-7 days in most cases. Where as with the streaming services you won’t really know until you order it if it’s a one time watch. So it would make more since to just buy it. Therefore, you couldn’t return it if you didn’t like it. Some subscriptions  like Hulu and Netflix have newer ones, but the big theater premiers are just on HBO Max as far as I know.

Excuse my rambling lol I just hate how are options are now for checking out new movies.


You can get the old stuff on VHS in thrift shops though. Generally for 50 cents each. There's a lot of them. Strangely, though, CDs (and, to an extent DVDs) have vanished even from thrift shops. There used to be lots of CDs there, now there's usually just a tiny rack, if that.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: violet_shy on 02/21/21 at 12:26 pm

I haven't bought any since 2002.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Howard on 02/21/21 at 2:22 pm


You can get the old stuff on VHS in thrift shops though. Generally for 50 cents each. There's a lot of them. Strangely, though, CDs (and, to an extent DVDs) have vanished even from thrift shops. There used to be lots of CDs there, now there's usually just a tiny rack, if that.


You can also check out some flea markets or garage sales.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Howard on 02/21/21 at 2:23 pm


I haven't bought any since 2002.


I can't remember the last time I bought a VHS tape.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Philip Eno on 02/22/21 at 8:02 am


I can't remember the last time I bought a VHS tape.
It is the same for me, it must had been at the time I brought my first DVD. I know for sure I was using VHS in 1997, footage of family holiday, and my recording of Diana Spencer's funeral.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 02/22/21 at 9:12 am


It is the same for me, it must had been at the time I brought my first DVD. I know for sure I was using VHS in 1997, footage of family holiday, and my recording of Diana Spencer's funeral.



Diana's funeral was also commercially packaged and released as a VHS tape and available for sale. My friend told me he went to the dentist and they were playing it on the ceiling while he was reclining in the dentist's chair! That was the beginning of the era of "funerals-as-entertainment". The next year Sonny Bono died and his funeral was broadcast on live network TV here in the US. Sonny Bono! The grand finale was a teary eyed, overwrought speech by Cher, who he was not even married to at the time of his death, while his ACTUAL widow sat in the "audience" stone-faced. What a joke!  At that point, I knew culture was sliding downhill.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Philip Eno on 02/22/21 at 9:15 am


Diana's funeral was also commercially packaged and released as a VHS tape and available for sale. My friend told me he went to the dentist and they were playing it on the ceiling while he was reclining in the dentist's chair! That was the beginning of the era of "funerals-as-entertainment". The next year Sonny Bono died and his funeral was broadcast on live network TV here in the US. Sonny Bono! The grand final was a teary eyed, overwrought speech by Cher, who he was not even married to at the time of his death, while his ACTUAL widow sat in the "audience" stone-faced. What a joke!  At that point, I knew culture was sliding downhill.
I was videoing the funeral cortege with my own (now, long gone) video camera, and the events in London as where were. I edited the video on to a VHS tape, which I still have. On the day I recorded the BBC coverage, which is again on VHS, which I also still have. 

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 02/22/21 at 9:27 am


I was videoing the funeral cortege with my own (now, long gone) video camera, and the events in London as where were. I edited the video on to a VHS tape, which I still have. On the day I recorded the BBC coverage, which is again on VHS, which I also still have.


That's a historic thing to have. Quite different than a commercially edited and packaged VHS of the televised event.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Philip Eno on 02/22/21 at 9:32 am


That's a historic thing to have. Quite different than a commercially edited and packaged VHS of the televised event.
Thank you, but the only drawback so far is having no VCR, but once the shops are open again, the VHS tapes will be transferred to DVD, then better editing can be done.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 02/22/21 at 9:50 am


Thank you, but the only drawback so far is having no VCR, but once the shops are open again, the VHS tapes will be transferred to DVD, then better editing can be done.


I videotaped Live Aid as it was happening on MTV but I only taped the people I liked. I left out people I didn't care for like Madonna, Thompson Twins, etc. I also taped "The Concert For Bangla Desh" movie which was aired on MTV the night before Live Aid in anticipation of the event. Bangla Desh having been the first superstar charity concert, you might say. In more recent years I came across multiple audio cassettes of the entire of Live Aid in a thrift shop that somebody taped off the radio. These were fifty cents each. So I have audio and video of Live Aid, all on obsolete formats, which doesn't bother me in the least. Music is music, and it's on there.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Philip Eno on 02/22/21 at 10:06 am


I videotaped Live Aid as it was happening on MTV but I only taped the people I liked. I left out people I didn't care for like Madonna, Thompson Twins, etc. I also taped "The Concert For Bangla Desh" movie which was aired on MTV the night before Live Aid in anticipation of the event. Bangla Desh having been the first superstar charity concert, you might say. In more recent years I came across multiple audio cassettes of the entire of Live Aid in a thrift shop that somebody taped off the radio. These were fifty cents each. So I have audio and video of Live Aid, all on obsolete formats, which doesn't bother me in the least. Music is music, and it's on there.
O0

You brought back a memory for me. On the day of Live Aid, we were visiting friends, out in the garden, etc. The television was on, but not in a position to concentrate on it. On our journey home, I was looking forward to watching it as recorded on television, on our arrival back home, it had not recorded for me!

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Howard on 02/22/21 at 2:59 pm


It is the same for me, it must had been at the time I brought my first DVD. I know for sure I was using VHS in 1997, footage of family holiday, and my recording of Diana Spencer's funeral.


My memory of using a VHS tape was probably during The 90's.

Subject: Re: Who Is Still Buying VHS Tapes?

Written By: Philip Eno on 02/22/21 at 3:07 pm


My memory of using a VHS tape was probably during The 90's.
I had a favourite Video Shop in central London during the 1980s, tapes were being sold for £1.

Check for new replies or respond here...