The thought of going back to tapes - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-14-2001, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I just had a though about D-VHS. Over the past 2 - 3 years I have been amassing a good sized DVD collection. I've been eliminating the need for most of my tapes that I currently own which saves space. Now I'm thinking about going back to the stoneage and getting bigger, and bulkier tapes all over again to store HDTV on. Does this seem wrong to anyone else? There just HAS to be a better way. I know that the 169 solution will allow me to use Mini-DV, but I'm still suspect about that (not the product, but the output quality from the tape). I don't know if I want a wall full of those things either.

Right now 1 VHS case takes up the same space as 2 DVD cases. So if I have 300 tapes I could fit 600 DVD's in teh same space. That is a bigger problem to me then everything else I can think of.


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post #2 of 4 Old 04-14-2001, 08:09 AM
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Hi Chap: My thoughts on the subject...

I am an avid collector of 30's, 40's, and 50's movies. I presently have about 1400 titles. These were all recorded from DirecTV using Hughes/RCA standard definition digital VTR's. As far as storage space goes, it's about the same as DVD because I can put 2 two hour movies on one 120 minute S-VHS tape. If I use 160 minute S-VHS tape stock, I can record about 320 minutes of material. My tape stock comes from dealers who buy them from post production companies in Hollywood. They were used as client check recordings and have had 1 or 2 passes (cleans off the loose oxide). The tapes cost me $2 to $2.50 each. That's roughly $1 per movie. I don't have any problems with bad tapes. In fact, I use exactly the same tape stock for HD recording--still no problems. For my interest, this scheme has worked well. If direcTV is not skimping on bandwidth, the quality is quite good--I would say near or at DVD quality. I am now investigating the possibility of adding a Cinematrix scaler board to my satellite receiver which should make a considerable improvement for my front projection display.

I guess it's all a balancing act: Cost of program acquisition, quality of recording, media cost, storage space, etc. For me, the show's the thing followed by quality of recording. Now, if HD DVD's come along AND they are inexpensive, that's another matter...

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post #3 of 4 Old 04-14-2001, 11:55 AM
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While storage space is finite the growing collection of movies is not. I went through the collection phases in the mid 70's with 3/4U tapes (talk about a shelf hog.) I suppose that dates me in Home theater(not so humble) beginnings. These tapes are only 1 hour long. Then I got VHS in the late 70's and hit about 250 movies, one per tape. Threw them away when I realized that I had no time to watch and preferred the better quality of movie channels and PPV. Next I began to collect a very small number of DVD's ( Never did Laser Disk) Not much shelf savings but the biggest advantage I found in DVD's is the extra stuff you get along with the movie. No other format has this. Now I collect HDTV tapes and have over 250 on the shelf. The reason I continue to build this library is that these are some good entertainment and I fear the MPAA could eventually take our rights away through more extortion and fear tactics on the TV movie broadcast business. If it appears that history will again repeat itself, and HDTV will continue to open game on recording and viewing, I will most likely trash the bulk of the HDTV collection too and just watch the movies as they appear, recording only a small handful because I really like the story. I still have some Battle Star Galactica, Space 1999, and Don Kirchner's Rock concert with FM stereo simulcast on 3/4Umatic. The rest are all trashed. I'll always save a few as long as I have a player. With DVD, there are those unique extras that we will never find on the air or tape, so I feel DVD is the format that will be the keeper.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-18-2001, 02:48 PM
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I, too, used to have a U-Matic deck, Don! (Although I never really built up much of a collection.)

Here's what I think, unfortunately, we're in for...

DVD sales are really taking off. Just as with cassettes & CDs replacing LPs, DVDs are rapidly replacing VHS as the pre-recorded medium of choice. People will replace (or augment) VHS recorders with DVD players and buy new copies of material on DVD.

The manufacturers of both hardware and software (increasingly one and the same thanks to mega-mergers) want this to continue. Therefore, even though the technology for HD DVDs is within reach, they will hold off on their introduction for several more years (at least 5 is my guess) until sales of DVDs level off.

Given the advantages of discs over tape, some form of HD DVD will be the ultimate high-end format (at least until we go 100% solid state). To the extent that DVHS survives, it would likely have the same relationship as has developed with cassettes vs. CDs (and is developing with VHS vs. DVD). Tapes wind up being the low-end format for pre-recorded material, but survive due to the possibility for home recording. (Even this may change over time. Just look at how affordable CD audio recorders are becoming.)

It is the prospect of waiting another half decade for the introduction and propagation of the ultimate pre-recorded HD format, and the uncertainty over copyright enforcement tactics, which has me building my own collection.

If I could rent or buy HD material, I wouldn't bother with home taping. Once reasonable (large storage, good UI) HD PVRs emerge, even rentals would be less attractive than timeshifting.

Just my $0.02...

[This message has been edited by peterd (edited 04-18-2001).]

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