The FINAL VHS releases??

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jesse Skeen, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    It looks like over the past few months, several new releases have not been available at all on VHS tape. While I've wanted the format to die since the early 90s (when I got into laserdisc), it's quite strange seeing it finally happening. Being mindful of history, I'd like to find out what the absolute last movie to be released on VHS will be if it hasn't already, or at least the last releases by each studio.

    The first movies I heard about not getting a VHS release at all were Herbie Fully Loaded, followed by Star Wars Episode III. I don't know what else from around that time did come out on VHS, or what the pricing was. The last time I checked pricing on new VHS titles a couple years ago, it looked like the prices were lower than usual- some studios such as Warner had priced everything at sell-thru levels (roughly $20-30), while others had them around $50, down from the usual $100 for rental titles. All I can say is thank goodness common sense prevailed with the DVD pricing structure, as earlier on there were threats to have it go the same way as VHS had with new releases priced in the $100 range, intended to be bought by rental stores instead of normal consumers. By keeping DVD prices as they are, more people buy their movies than ever before with other formats.

    So, does anyone know if pre-recorded VHS is officially gone for good (most likely blank tapes will still be made for a few more decades), and how I might find out what the very last titles are? I might buy a copy of the absolute last release just to have. If possible I'd like to know the last releases by each studio, and also the last ones in non-movie categories like music videos and direct-to-video kids' titles. I've heard the very last movie released on Beta was The Lion King, the last CED videodisc was Jewel Of The Nile, and the last laserdisc in the US was End Of Days, followed by a few more titles in Japan, and a few non-consumer laserdiscs such as the Sears in-store program which lasted until 2001.
     
  2. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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  3. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Off the top of my head, I believe that the recent "Curious George" film is scheduled to be released on both VHS and DVD this Tuesday.
     
  4. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I thought most new releases still had VHS versions for Blockbuster and other rental stores, if not for retail.
     
  5. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    bbv and probably the rest dont rent vhs anynore
     
  6. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I thought I saw on Universal's website that Curious George wasn't available on VHS, but I could be wrong. (Most of their listings say "This title is currently unavailable on VHS.") I read something not too long ago saying kids' movies were still selling reasonably well on VHS, but it looks like Disney isn't producing them anymore.

    Interesting Wikipedia article though there's a few inaccuracies there, most notably that the linear audio track on VHS is mono- stereo with Dolby noise-reduction came out in 1982, and all recent pre-recorded tapes still have it- I have one of the few machines that can play both tracks in stereo, 99% of Hi-Fi VCRs can only play the linear track in mono. They also got some of the recording times wrong; VHS could hold at least 4 hours by 1980 (I have a 6-hour EP speed tape from later that year), and Beta could hold much more than 1 hour by then- the Beta II speed came out in 1977.

    I'll have to check out that entry about Magnetic Video too, though before they started there were a few small outfits putting out mostly old public-domain movies. MPI's recent DVDs say they've been in business since 1976, though I don't know what their first titles were- the first one I remember seeing was "Hard Day's Night" around 1982.
     
  7. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I don't believe I have ever owned a VCR that could play back the linear stereo tracks and wasn't aware new tapes still had Dolby linear stereo. You could offer corrected information for Wikipedia if you are sure of your information.

    Chris
     
  8. jim.vaccaro

    jim.vaccaro Second Unit

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    They don't. My mom and stepdad went to go rent a movie at a bbv last week and couldn't because it was all DVD. They have a 15 year old 20" RCA mono TV that only has coax connections, so unless they want to spend $60 on a modulator, they can't get a DVD player. [​IMG]
     
  9. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    Why don't you step up and buy your family a new TV and a DVD player? Both items could be had for less than $150. I can make that suggestion with full confidence because if it wasn't for me it's entirely possible that my parents would still be watching VHS on a decades old television. I know more about home theater than they do so I used the holidays as an excuse to upgrade all of their equipment one piece at a time. A television for Mother's Day, a DVD player for Father's Day, and an entry level surround sound system for Christmas.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Gotta remember a lot of people don't have a spare $150 laying around to spend on an extra TV/DVD/HT gear. It's funny though...because i did just that for my parents...over time. Bigger TV...DVD player. No surround sound, though. It would confuse the operators and not be appreciated! [​IMG]

    ================================================== ======

    Some of my local FYE and Coconuts stores (Transworld) still have small sections of VHS available. I almost stopped and gave the titles a look this weekend....but didn't. [​IMG]
     
  11. BrettGallman

    BrettGallman Screenwriter

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    Up until earlier this year, one of my local rental stores had been unloading all their VHS stuff. They were also selling BETA tapes, too. [​IMG]
     
  12. Jim Barg

    Jim Barg Second Unit

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    I bought an RF modulator for $30 at Radio Shack four years ago. Still works...

    This sort of reminds me of my college years where I had to teach my parents about the glory of widescreen framing and DVDs. Mom was sold when we watched my widescreen VHS copies of the Indy trilogy, and Dad understood the magic after he slo-moed some of the race scenes in The Fast and the Furious. (For the record, they have a 30" regular TV and no surround sound. He wants the widescreen and surround upgrade, she doesn't. I'd pull a Carl, but I can't afford that stuff for myself yet, let alone them.)
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Coming soon to Wikipedia:

    Pulling a Carl: Buying your parents upgraded HT gear -- TV, DVD Player, Surround Sound System.


    [​IMG]
     
  14. BrettGallman

    BrettGallman Screenwriter

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    You could always try to hook up a DVD player through a VCR. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't depending on the Macrovision copyright thing going on.
     
  15. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    We pulled a Carl on my grandparents for their 53rd wedding anniversary a couple years ago.
     
  16. Joe Reinwald

    Joe Reinwald Stunt Coordinator

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    This is actually an interesting thread, one that I've never really considered. I mean, I know the studios don't produce laserdiscs anymore, I just never really thought about which was THE last one printed.

    I would have to think that VHS will still survive at least until next year. With the wide use of VCRs there will still be the smaller studios putting them out. If not the smaller studios, then most definitely other, umm, industries?
     
  17. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    It's a bit sad, as one form of technology we've known fades away. I grew up with vinyl 45s and LPs, TVs with knobs, three major TV networks, local TV stations that actually signed off to "The Star-Spangled Banner", transistor radios, AM top 40 stations, manual typewriters, slide rules, mimeograph machines, dial phones, calculators the size of steno pads that had to be plugged in, and 8-track tapes! And now after nearly 30 years (a relatively short span compared to LPs and 45s), pre-recorded films on VHS are being discontinued. Who'd have thought it? I wonder how long DVDs will last as the home video software standard......
     
  18. Harpozep

    Harpozep Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, this is a fun thread![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    It would also be fun figuring out which was the first and last of a format. Such as the first Beta release to the public, then the last Beta release to the public.

    The first/last VHS.
    The first /last LD too.........

    Then the same for your personal list.......
    What you first owned/rented:


    My first VHS was Flesh Gordon.
    My last was likely Tench Miyo or some such middle weight anime around '98.

    My first LD was Song of The South or Kiss Meets The Phantom if I remember correctly![​IMG]
    My last LD was Star Wars Ep 1 imported from Japan. I brought in a half a dozen and sold four. Still have two and an early laser player in storage.

    First DVD came with my Sony 7000. Sesame Street I belive[​IMG]
    Slowing down now, but the last DVD is no where in sight [​IMG]
    I have some ten thousand owning a store that rents and all!

    My first Blu Ray was Fifth Element.

    First LP, Beatles 1962-1965 double album. THe Red collection.
    I may still buy an LP, so no last one, but the last actual one I bought was a Peter Jackson picture disc from Meet The Feebles![​IMG]

    First CD was an ungodly compressed/equalized for LP collection of '60's hits. what a way to start! And I brought it and my player to my friends house and tried to extol the virtues of the format [​IMG] We went right out and bought something worth hearing and have argued back and forth about formats ever since!

    First 8 track , Beatles Red again, it was given to me........as was Village People[​IMG]

    First cassette that I did not make my self ( I hate store bought tapes ) was Sea Level or UK's first album at a bargain bin for a dollar.

    I never got a quad album ( LP)
    Looked into El-cassette, but it vanished before it happened.
    I melted a couple of DIVX DVDs in protest once![​IMG] So much for that smear on DVDs.

    First SACD, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the moon.
    Still collecting that format.
    First DVD Audio, Queen The Game.
    Still collecting that format too.


    Anyone else care to reminisce?
     
  19. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    I do remember the first pre-recorded VHS tape that I purchased:

    Star Wars: A New Hope - This thing cost $70.00 (in 1984!) as it was really intended for rental only. It included linear stereo tracks with Dolby "B" hiss reduction. (The relative tape speed for the linear audio tracks was 1 7/8 inches per second; the same speed that audio cassettes used.) There was, of course, no "HI-FI" audio track. I think it was about 1987 or so that I purchased the entire Trilogy for $45.00 with "HI-FI" audio. I remember thinking that that was going to complete my Star Wars Home Video Collection(!) [​IMG]

    The last pre-recorded VHS tape that I purchased:

    Indiana Jones Trilogy - (VHS Widescreen) This was purchased in the Fall of '99 out of frustration. At that point I had already purchased a DVD player (November 1998) and couldn't believe that Lucas and Paramount were releasing these new highly-touted "HD remastered" downscaled transfers to VHS and LD only. (As it turned out, the domestic LD release was cancelled due to lack of interest; so they were released to LD in Japan only.) In April 2000 Lucasfilm released The Phantom Menace to VHS and VHS Widescreen only, but by that time I was totally done with VHS and just waited until the inevitable DVD release (November 2001) before purchasing the title.

    I never owned a LD player.
     
  20. Harpozep

    Harpozep Stunt Coordinator

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    I remember importing the Japanese DVDs of Indiana Jones. I was selling code free players and needed something to show off to folks. I figured it would be an incentive. Unfortuantely most people did not care so I stopped selling the players and only import what myself and a small userbase needed.
    These days the internet has taken over most of that. I point to websites where folks can get the non-region players to anyone whao asks.....which is maybe once every couple of years now days.
     

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