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VHS/DVD Debate

Maister

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The Maister household recently stepped into the world of DVD when my brother-in-law got us a DVD player for Xmas. The Maister video library currently houses around 200 titles on VHS tape (and 4 DVD's). Some of the tapes are in poor condition from frequent viewing or getting stuck, and others, being pirated from various sources, were never quality recordings to begin with. What prompts the 'debate' here, though, is when Mrs. M. announced "she is making a list of all the videos we are going to have to purchase in DVD format". I'm thinking of maybe a half dozen - dozen good tapes that got screwed up, but she apparently was thinking more along the lines of most tapes......
This has caused me to evaluate just how many of these videos warrant repeat viewings (seeing as how most DVD's run $15 a pop!) and was surprised at how many we watched only once. Does the Throbbing Brain think it is worthwhile repurchasing a significant portion of titles on DVD because they have 'special features' or will not have to replace them eventually as one will with VHS tapes (at least until the next video format comes along....)?
 

Repo Man

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I would go through and only re-purchase the movies that you love. Of my VHS collection (which is very small) I replaced like 4 movies with DVDs (Fletch, Star Wars Ep I, Caddyshack, and A Fish Called Wanda). Buying DVDs just to replace movies seems like a waste to me. I look at some of the DVDs that I bought and there are a lot of them that I have only watched once...and a few that I have yet to watch. A cheaper solution that I have found involves DVD burner and a Blockbuster card.
 

PlannerByDay

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My suggestion is buy the tapes you watch the most and are in the worst condition. Join a CD club like BMG or Columbia and get them there, you can get the the older movies really cheap. But this is coming from someone who doesn't own any movies and infact the only videos I have is the Jackass series I recorded off MTV.

I also don't own a DVD player. I can't justify the cost since I have a hard time sitting still for a 2 hour block of time.
 
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I have a pile of VHS movies ready to be donated to Salvation Army or some other charity that I have never even opened. I seriously doubt that I will replace them with DVD's. As it's been said before, just focus on the "classic" movies that you know will be watched again and again. That's my intent.
 

Tranplanner

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I didn't amass much of a VHS collection, but I'm definitely building a DVD one. It helps that you can find many "classic" movies on sale - $10 or less.
 

otterpop

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We also got a DVD player fairly recently. Initially we bought some DVD for our son. "Black Beauty" was on a seemingly endless loop for months. I also have a pretty good collection of VHS tapes going back years. We don't use the DVD player as much now. Partly because they are fragile and the Berserker has destroyed two already. A VHS tape is a lot more sturdy. Though when I rent a movie I am more likely now to rent a DVD because of the picture quality.
 

Maister

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otterpop said:
We also got a DVD player fairly recently. Initially we bought some DVD for our son. "Black Beauty" was on a seemingly endless loop for months. I also have a pretty good collection of VHS tapes going back years. We don't use the DVD player as much now. Partly because they are fragile and the Berserker has destroyed two already. A VHS tape is a lot more sturdy. Though when I rent a movie I am more likely now to rent a DVD because of the picture quality.
Really? Granted I don't have any little berserkers, but I have been of the opinion that DVD's are a more durable format. VCR's seem to eat tapes fairly regular. DVD's don't have that problem. On the other hand, I suppose the playing surface of a DVD is directly exposed (not a problem if properly stored) whereas a tape is always protected by the case - I guess I could see how this might be a factor if 'berserkers' have access...
 

BKM

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Not that big a movie buff. I switched to DVD player simply because they are now so cheap (thank you, Chinese workers locked in the factories at night!) and because my VHS player was simply dying.

That said, I've used the thing maybe three times over the past couple of years. My brother even got me a NetFlicks subscription that I never activated because I just don't watch enough movies to justify $20/month. (Sorry, bro!)

I did enjoy the DVD version of The Seventh Seal. Something about that movie is awesome.
 

Gedunker

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We went through three VCRs in about 5 months. I was so ticked at shelling out cash for new ones, but I kept looking at my kids VCR collection and weighing the cost of transitting to DVDs. After the last one croaked, we bit the bullet and got the DVD for the kids. Mrs. G. then bought me a combo VCR/DVD player so that we can 1) still use the kid's VCR collection while they are still interested in Kipper, Thomas the Tank Engine, et al, 2) watch home videos of the kids, and 3) enjoy the benefits of modern technology, especially picture clarity of DVD vs VCR.

Those who say they prefer the VHS format over DVD are luddites, IMO ;-)
 

nerudite

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I haven't really replaced any of the vhs tapes for dvds. We don't buy DVDs very often, due to the price, but I figure if I'm going to rent a movie more than once, I might as well buy the DVD. There is a video store we rent from that buys a lot of DVDs for the first four weeks of a release, and then sells them used for 17.99 CAD or something like that. We just bought School of Rock (the extras are as funny as the movie) because I rented it twice and still wanted to see it again. Also, things like the Matrix, etc. need to be seen on DVD to really appreciate them. The other DVDs I tend to buy are those that are not easily rented... I have a DVD of "Chungking Express" because it is one of my favourite movies and I've never seen it for rent anywhere in Edmonton.
 

michaelskis

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Maister, let me put it this way. If you have to own a movie… get it on DVD. If you rent, rent DVD… if you want to tape something off of HBO, use the VCR. Other than that, don’t bother with Tapes. I only own about 10 DVD’s. I would suggest that you and Mrs. Maister sit down, make a list of your top 12 favorite movies. Those are the ones that you should have on DVD… other than that, keep your eyes open at places that have the $5.99 DVD’s because you can often find good movies that are old for cheep. OH and last year, Pizza Hut was giving a free DVD with every Pizza. I ended up getting “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Mr. Mom” in that deal.

OH and the movie "Twister" is a must on DVD with 5.1 sound... :)
 

SlaveToTheGrind

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Hey, we just got our first DVD for Christmas, as well. Since owning a VCR (or family has when I was young - corded remote on the top loading JVC, BABY!) we have not purchsed many movies. Now that we have a DVD, we have purchased more movies for the boys (don't know how may times I have watched Finding Nemo) and only a few for us. There are a handfull of movies I need to get on DVD because they are cenematic classics, like:
Stripes
Animal House
Caddyshack
Saving Private Ryan
Spinal Tap

If I was determined like your wife of building the DVD library, I'd check video stores or ebay for used copies.
 

kms

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I wouldn't replace them just to replace them; only get something you watch and love. Buy them previously viewed for under $10, and looks for bins for discounted DVD's. I've seem them pretty cheap at barnesand noble.com, and Deep Discount DVD's (they have lots of TV shows).
 

Elisabeth

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I went through the same thing a couple years ago, but I watch movies all the time (especially in the winter), so I've been trying to replace what I had on tape. I usually buy two DVDs at a time, but not often because they're a little more expensive than VHS. KMS had a good point--a lot of times you can get two for the price of one. Warehouse places like Sam's Club, BJ's Wholesale Club, or Costco usually have good deals too--video store have the previously viewed ones too for around 10 bucks. It's an arduous task, but done over time, will be well worth it. That's what I keep telling myself, at least.
 

Maister

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The whole vhs/dvd format transition that's going on has its advantages. Right now most video stores are unloading their tapes at firesale prices. Dude, you can get, like: Police Academy V, Megaforce, Wagons East, Spice World, Ishtar, and Heaven's Gate all for only $1.00 a piece! Copies of Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, Repo Man, Citizen Kane and The Hustler seem to be in somewhat shorter supply...
I think we are going to buy another VCR while they are still cheap and continue to use all of our current tapes. But from now on I will probably purchase mostly DVD's - I really do enjoy the improved image quality, lack of tracking problems, eating tapes, and sometimes enjoy the 'making of' special features as much if not more than the movies themselves (anyone see the DVD Making of Fellowship of the Rings? - Awesome!!). Mrs. M and I will just have to come to an agreement where we draw the line at buying DVD versions of Delirious that we already own on tape.
 

otterpop

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Maister said:
Really? Granted I don't have any little berserkers, but I have been of the opinion that DVD's are a more durable format. VCR's seem to eat tapes fairly regular. DVD's don't have that problem. On the other hand, I suppose the playing surface of a DVD is directly exposed (not a problem if properly stored) whereas a tape is always protected by the case - I guess I could see how this might be a factor if 'berserkers' have access...

I don't know why it is but I think I have had maybe two or three VCR tapes chewed up by the machine in the 15 or so years I've used them. I still have my original VCR in working order. The Berserker has broken two DVDs taking them out of the cases. Of course, he isn't supposed to have them. But he is smart and sneaky (like his father), and always seems to find ways to find those things he isn't supposed to play with. Heaven help us when he is a teenager and uses his smarts and sneakiness to play with things he isn't supposed to "play" with (teenage girls).
 

BKM

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nerudite said:
I have a DVD of "Chungking Express" because it is one of my favourite movies and I've never seen it for rent anywhere in Edmonton.

THAT movie is on my to-buy list. I saw it one night on television, and there was just something about that damn movie that mesmerized me. It just captures urban anomie so well. I understand why it's a cult classic.

I need to visit the Reel.com store in Berkeley this weekend. I'll pick up the Seventh Seal, as well.
 

ludes98

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[out of closet] Ok so this thread exposes my electronics and home theater addiction. I have over 100 titles on DVD, and 30 or so on Laserdisc (Granddaddy 12" discs.) I still prefer the sound quality from Laserdisc and the picture is comparable, but 5" is so much easier to handle. I plunked down the cash for a 300 disc DVD player, and now browse by title. I skip the theatre entirely. DVD and Blockbuster are the only way I see new movies anymore. I did transfer many VHS titles to DVD, but they are favorites. I have ditched the VHS collection and VCR entirely. Tivo takes care of anything I deem worthy (West Wing) of recording. If I could afford the 60K for a terrabyte home theater server I wouldn't even need DVDs. Maybe I shouldn't subscribe to HT magazine.....[/out of closet]
 

Maister

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BKM said:
I need to visit the Reel.com store in Berkeley this weekend. I'll pick up the Seventh Seal, as well.
If you liked Seventh Seal then you must have LOVED the scene in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey where Ted challenges Death to a game of Battleship.....
Seventh Seal? Isn't that one of them foreign movies? Not only that, but isn't it black and white? I heard that "Glitter" not only is in color but you don't even have to read subtitles [tip o' the day]
 

GeogPlanner

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i never really amassed a VHS collection, but i have replaced my favorite movies with DVD's (Singles, Star Trek TNG movies, Uncle Buck, ET) and I buy TV season sets of my favs when available and affordable (Will and Grace and King of Queens...can't afford the $$$ for ST:DS9 seasons)
 

nerudite

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BKM said:
THAT movie is on my to-buy list. I saw it one night on television, and there was just something about that damn movie that mesmerized me. It just captures urban anomie so well. I understand why it's a cult classic.

Wow... you are the only other person I've known that has heard of this movie. It's spellbinding to me... just beautiful! I have an old DVD copy burned in Hong Kong... at one point the English subtitles turn off for about three minutes and I have no clue what they are saying. If I ever find a used copy made for Region 1, I'll probably pick it up (again). :)
 

Wulf9

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I get used dvds at the rental stores and play them in a split screen on my computer whilst doing something else. I would get a dvd player, but most of the cheap ones don't have the old style coax connector for my very old tv.

Anyway, my VHS started eating tapes, so I might get a combo player and a tv with up to date features like stereo sound.
 

NHPlanner

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I'm slowly replacing the essential movies on DVD....but the real reason for DVD is to have all of the seasons of the Sopranos. :)
 

Wulf9

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ludes98 said:
Your solution exists. It is called an RF Modulator.

A ruff modulator?

Okay, bad joke. Thanks. I'll scare one up and play the dvd movies on my old and small television. I can even hook up my playstation (which used to work through my old cable box but not through the new one) as the dvd player.
 

mendelman

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Maister,

It's too bad that you didn't a combo VHS/DVD player as a present. We got for xmas and it has made life a lot easier. We don't have to wholesale replace our VHS collection, but we can still go either way when buying or renting movies.

DVDs are great, but I have had too many times that when I rent a movie on DVD, it has problems such as major skipping, freezing, etc. I haven't had a VHS rental go on the fritz in a very long time, but I had a DVD go screwy just this past weekend.

There are definite image and sound advantages that DVDs have over VHS, but VHS tapes, in my experience, definitely have some functional advantages over DVDs, such as an enclosed play surface as opposed to the DVD's exposed surface.

I guess it can be hit or miss, but I definitely prefer have the ability to view DVDs and VHSs with the same player. It's the most economical, I believe.
 
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Without reading the whole thread, my view as a military wife always looking to pare down before the next move:
This sounds like a fabulous opportunity to dramatically reduce the collection of VHS tapes that is cluttering up your home, occupying valuable real estate, possibly requiring routine dusting, etc. If your home tends to be cluttered (whose doesn't? (Budgie, please don't answer that :-D )), now is a great time to reclaim some space and declutter. While you are at it, go through closets, etc. Have a yard sale if you can't bear to just haul the entire carload to Goodwill or some such.

Replace only the worn out videos (if ANY). You can also rent DVD's rather than buy them. My husband rents DVD's pretty regularly. I, on the other hand, did not turn the TV on for at least 2 1/2 months of the 4 he was gone. He is more than welcome to take the TV and DVD player with him when he leaves. Good Riddance.

Besides, my computer has a DVD player -- and I have yet to get around to watching a movie on it. But I would have the other night if only I had a copy of Legally Blonde. For the first time since we owned a DVD player, I have a hankering to buy a DVD. I do have Erin Brockovitch and hubbie bought me Lawrence of Arabia because I tend to rewatch that every few years. I think hubby has bought every single DVD we own so far, whether it was "for" me or the kids or himself. Me and the kids just aren't really into it. Our addictions are best satisfied by DSL, not DVD.
 

tsc

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call me un-american... but I really don't understand the whole "movie collection" thing. I have maybe 1/2 dozen. I also rarely go to the movies. It isn't that I don't enjoy film...I just never seem to have time to watch a whole movie. I know people that do buy tons of movies.

Of course... I do have my collection of music cds... which is well over 300 or even possibly over 400 by now. B-)
 

biscuit

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tsc said:
call me un-american... but I really don't understand the whole "movie collection" thing. I have maybe 1/2 dozen. I also rarely go to the movies. It isn't that I don't enjoy film...I just never seem to have time to watch a whole movie. I know people that do buy tons of movies.

Of course... I do have my collection of music cds... which is well over 300 or even possibly over 400 by now. B-)

You're a woman after my own heart.

I have never bought a movie for my personal collection because it is VERY rare for me to watch a film more than once. First of all I it's a rare thing for me to sit down for two hours at a time - just too much energy - and all of those DVD's would just take room away from my CD collection. :)
 

Maister

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biscuit said:
You're a woman after my own heart.

I have never bought a movie for my personal collection because it is VERY rare for me to watch a film more than once. First of all I it's a rare thing for me to sit down for two hours at a time - just too much energy - and all of those DVD's would just take room away from my CD collection. :)
They invented cable and satellite tv just for you, Biscuit.
Mendelman - true we don't have the dual unit but we're keeping both the vcr and dvd player hooked up. Granted, our family room now looks like Apollo Mission Control with all the remotes we have.
MZ - our computer has dvd player too, but unfortunately is not positioned in a comfortable viewing location for groups (in a cramped home office, unfortunately)
 
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Maister said:
MZ - our computer has dvd player too, but unfortunately is not positioned in a comfortable viewing location for groups (in a cramped home office, unfortunately)

Group viewing? People DO that??? Gosh, you will have to tell me more some time. :)
 
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