Why not a VHS resurgence?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Bardon, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Just thinking about the whole WS/P&S debate the other day when I read something about the deleted scenes being included on the Harry Potter VHS as well as the DVD. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a lot of VHS titles boasting the "special edition" banner, and many with some of the same features as the DVDs. This got me thinking-why not issue the edict that if you want fullscreen-stick with VHS[​IMG]VD is Widescreen land, and the hack and slashers need not apply.
    Do we REALLY need more people with DVD players to call the format a "success"? Does EVERYONE need to own one? Already the technology has penetrated farther than Laserdisc ever did, and discs are cheaper than ever with the number of players deployed. Most of the best selling discs ever (Gladiator, The Matrix) have been widescreen only, so would DVD really be hurt by a policy like this?
    So to the "Joe Six Packs" of the world-stick with your tapes if you want to see a fullscreen image. There should be NO NEED for you to move on to the next new format. No need to keep up with everyone else-if you like what you can get on tape-stick with it.
    Come to think of it, I can see Blockbuster using something like this...
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I would be quite happy with a plan like that but it's too late to keep fullscreen fans out of the DVD market. With players and movies priced at or below that of their VHS equivalent everybody and their grandmother has a player now. Rather than trying to keep that crowd out of the DVD market it would be more efficient to teach that crowd that widescreen offers more picture, not less. If my parents (the ultimate in Joe Sixpacktopia watching a 15 year old $250 25" television) can get used to widescreen than anybody can.
     
  3. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  4. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I guess what motivated this rant is trying to figure out what the average consumer (who apparently prefers P&S) gets out of a DVD player. I got into DVD for a lot of reasons. At first, it was being able to buy movies in widescreen, and to get the extras. Then, I quickly grew to appreciate the better picture, and as soon as I got my 5.1 system, the sound. If the average consumer doesn't want widescreen, and can get most of the extras on the VHS, then what's left. Do most of the people demanding P&S care about the quality of their films (I guess not if they want P&S, but I digress)? Do they have a 5.1 channel audio system? Will they really notice the jump in quality over tape? Somehow, I think not. Yes, there will still be a vocal minority of the P&S crowd who wants all of the benefits of DVD in P&S, but I have this feeling that a lot of people are buying into DVD because it's the "thing" right now that everyone's getting into.
     
  5. cafink

    cafink Producer

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  6. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  7. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    Quote: "I never quite understood this proposition. Just because a person prefers their videos being in "fullscreen," does that really mean that they see no benefit whatsoever of DVD over VHS? They might not understand a lot about film, but they aren't blind."

    ---

    They might not be blind, but some of them have serious problems with really simple geometry... (sorry, I just had to).
     
  8. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Many stores are forcing the changeover, as well. B&M's are quickly moving to phase out VHS. The local Costco only has a small number of VHS titles on hand, but a whole aisle full of DVD's. The local Best Buy told me they are planning to drop VHS movies "very soon."
     
  9. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    I fully support OAR. In fact I won't even buy a DVD unless it's OAR AND anamorphic (unless it's an odd ratio like 1.66:1).

    Most of the older DVDs I have are double-sided. OAR on one side and full-screen on the other. This was a great solution to satisfy both crowds and I don't understand why they dropped it.

    -Mike...
     
  10. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    I am always astounded when someone comes to the conclusion that because a person doesn't appreciate OAR they also can't appreciate the advantages of DVD over video tape. Here is a small list of advantages that anybody can appreciate:

    1. No need to rewind.
    2. Instant access to any scene.
    3. Never need to adjust tracking.
    4. Better picture and sound.
    5. Switchable subtitles.
    6. Large capacity for extra materials.
    7. Instant access to extra materials.
    8. Titanic can fit on one DVD, but requires two video tapes.

    Just because people don't appreciate OAR does not mean they're complete idiots. DVD has many advantages besides the fact that you can get most movies in OAR. Comments like "these people should just stick with VHS" don't help our cause; they just make us seem even more elitist than most people already think we are.
     
  11. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    As I just posted in another thread, this "theater aspect ratio" thing is always controversial.

    Here's my two sense worth, which comes at it from a slightly different perspective:

    I believe HT fans should be able to view films any way they wish in their homes. This means that the source material must be available to them in (at least) theater aspect ratio to "start with". To "start with" means so the HT fan can then begin their desired customization of the viewing experience in their HT to suite their taste. This customization must then include the capability for adjustment of ALL VIDEO PARAMETERS. Doesn't this make sense?

    Now this implies that in addition to: Contrast, black level, tint, color saturation, sharpness, gamma, noise filters, etc. - the HT fan should be able to adjust the SHAPE of their image. Doesn't this make sense?

    "Shape" as I define it, means adjustment of the image perimeter height-width relationship without introducing geometric distortion so that "circles stay round". This means the HT fan should be able to buy and use, if they wish, a DVD player with a good digital tap zooming capability so that "theater aspect ratio" can be adjusted. This implies that, if the HT fan desires, they should be able to start with a theater aspect ratio DVD and then zoom it to either fill the screen of a 16X9 shaped display device or fill the screen of a 4X3 shaped display device. Doesn't this make sense?

    It's about time DVD players universally offered good zooms along with good MPEG decoding, good deinterlacing, good bandwith, and good sound. The technology now exits for all of this at the same time in a DVD player at a mass produced price point.

    Let's stop over-using J6P, black bar haters, and other derogatory terms for HT fans who have various viewing styles. Theater aspect ratio is no more Holy or Untouchable than contrast or color saturation.
     
  12. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    A DVD player or DVD format that has all those capabilities are the last thing the industry wants to offer as a solution. Many of these people don't have the technical ability to set the clock on their VCR, much less modify aspect ratios/zooms/geometry settings, etc. That's about the messiest thing I've ever heard about (although I would probably like fooling around with it.

    I say, for now, include both versions on the same disc. There's plenty of space and most people understand what each one means. You can either do the double-sided thing, or give the menu option to choose (like "Bug's Life").

    -Mike...
     
  13. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Mike,

    Yeah, I agree with you 110%. Both versions is the ultimate solution for everyone concerned.

    Assuming this may be awhile, I've been looking for a decent zooming player in the meantime.
     
  14. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    Phil,

    Maybe you should consider the HTPC (Home Theater PC) route. I don't know if the software players necessarily zoom, but there's a lot more flexibility in setting up all the resolutions you could want to play with. A transcoder and component video inputs to your HDTV are all you need.

    -Mike...
     

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