back to article Last major VHS supplier ejects from tape biz

Although closing credits for VHS finished rolling years ago, the once-standard home movie format is just now reaching the very end of its tape. The last major American VHS supplier is ditching the tape biz completely at the end of this year - just over a week away. For most mainstream retailers, the gig was up shortly after A …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    The End of VHS and the Economy

    Oh yeah, we are just barreling into the Mother of all Depressions but no problemo - people will get their expensive Blue-Ray home theaters. Deficit spending, we love you. We are all Keynesians now, indeed.

    Paris because she's probably asking why Madoff doesn't pick up the phone.

  2. zonky

    Still nto convinced that bluray will win out of DVD

    in so much that digital delivery will supplant DVD, not another physical media type.

  3. Ewen Bruce
    Gates Horns


    "According to research by LG Electronics the average person in the UK will spend £350 ($516) on home cinema equipment this Christmas"

    Yeah sure. probably one of the least believable statistics this year. Must be a special definition of 'average' cooked up by LG's marketing department.

  4. Oldfogey

    Flawed business model

    I suspect that the media industry is looking at what happened when DVD took off, and assuming the same thing will happen again with Hi-Def.

    Wrong for 2 reasons;

    First is downloading, legal or illegal. I now get much of my stuff via iPlayer from the BBC, others use other sources.

    Second is that I have some 1000 DVD's, many of which I had previously on VHS, bith movies and TV series, and some which were not available on tape - eg Hawaii Five-0. I moved from tape to disc not for any improvement in quality, but simply to make room in the house, and I took the opportunity to buy a lot of stuff I couldn't get previously.

    So will I move to Blu-Ray?

    Eventually I will probably have to do so for some new content, but no way will I repurchase stuff I already own. Just because I can get an entire season on one disc is not enough of an advantage.

    In one of these pockets is a 10 terrabyte pen disk with all my movies on.....

  5. Nathanael Bastone

    Who wants Blu-Ray, anyway?

    Not me for one. On the other hand a scratch-resistant, crack-resistant DVD would be good! Incorporate that kind of damage-protection into blu-ray disks and then maybe we are talking! I don't know about you, but I want a £20-40 disk to survive for a while...

  6. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Down

    Blu-ray is un-necessary

    I have a HD plasma, DVD looks great on it, despite only being SD.

    To "enjoy" the relatively small improvement that blu-ray offers I would need to buy:

    1. New FULL HD plasma

    2. Blu-ray player or PS3, etc

    3. Re-purchase my DVDs in blu-ray format

    My question is: why?

  7. Nanki Poo


    Theoretically you're right, but again and again technology gets artificially impeded and restricted in order to promote the status quo.

    Why do you think there is this war on 'piracy'? To stop the innovation and keep the money where it 'belongs', in the hands of the distributers/hardware manufacturers/'developers' of hardware.

    The whole idea of 'entertainment systems' is, sorry should be, dead. a PC (as we know it now) is all you need, but that is not tied in enough for our current 'must expand' economy. Where's the fun in you watching movies on a two-year-old PC rather than the latest restricted-technology gadget the CEO's want to flog you? Why have one media player when you can be persuaded to buy four? (Radio, Digital TV, Video, DVD).

    The human race is currently neutered, advancement is only by permission. And when it is profitable. Not free, mind... PROFITABLE!

    Of course who am I to knock the capitalist model? it is so hugely successful. Er... yeah... becoz... er... (cunt p94)

    But I'm so with you on the principal, physical media types should be dead already.


  8. The Mighty Spang

    blueray? bah!

    I've got a 120" widescreen via a projector and even though it does 720p, I don't feel compelled to buy into hidef. even if it was 1080 its not worth it. more resolution != a better film

    If somebody released The Tribe or The Lover in HD, yeah I could be tempted (for the fwap factor) but otherwise... it really doesn't matter. OK it's tempting to buy a PS3 just to add in blu ray that i can hire online, but at like 150 watts just to run a player... nah thanks.

    once you are into something you really don't notice. i don't want the gaps in the hair follacles of the leading man or the 10 tonnes of slap on the leading lady to be apparant in films

  9. Dave

    Average spend?

    I guess I'm not average then, given that my spend on home cinema equipment is going to be zero. I can think of much better uses for £350.

  10. W


    >"It's good news for big retailers too. Not only because folks will buy fancy new movie players - but because they'll need loads of expensive equipment to see and hear the benefits of newer digital formats.

    According to research by LG Electronics the average person in the UK will spend £350 ($516) on home cinema equipment this Christmas."

    Or alternatively:

    -"It's good news for big retailers too - they hope. Not only because they're banking on the hope that folks will buy fancy new movie players - but also because they hope to hoodwink folk into believing that they need (and subsequently buy) loads of expensive equipment to see and hear the supposed benefits of newer digital formats.

    According to research by LG Electronics the median person in the UK will spend £??? ($???) on home cinema equipment this Christmas."

  11. Neil Greatorex


    "The days of the DVD are numbered. And that is good news to me."

    My DVD player went "Bang" today, wonder how he knew?

  12. W

    99% of statistics...

    Average and median can (and often are) wildly different figures.

    "One person buys a TV for £3500 & nine do not" gives a £350 average spend. But it also = £0 median spend. Not such an impressive statistic, eh? And this is assuming that the £350 "average spend" figure even includes folk who aren't actually spending.

    The Emperor's New HD is a crock in comparison to 85%* of the promises made.

    DVD (compared to VHS), and CD (compared to cassette/vinyl) are extremely good formats for the job in question, for 99%* of the population.

    Only 32%* of people can actually percieve even 5%* of the actual 33%* improvement that HD offers over DVD. Whereas 89%* of people can percieve 92%* the 281%* improvement that DVD offers over VHS.

    *see? We can all sprout spurious statistics to try and garner some thin sliver of credibility. Be they made up or otherwise.

    But there's no need for statistics when we all know that you need a socking great telly to make HD worthwhile. And not enough people are willing to shell out for it, even based on the grandiose HD claims. Heck, Freeview boxes can be had for £12 and yet we still hear of the steadfast refuseniks in digital switchover areas. And Blu-Ray is *voluntary*. Broadband streaming at "normal" quality is more desireable for most folk, as evidenced by the swift take-up of BBC's iPlayer in comparison to the indifference to Blu-Ray.

    The consumer electronics spend is understandably going on laptops and Nintendo Wiis, not "*slightly better* film disc players that play discs costing a wedge more than normal discs for the essentially the same film, but *slightly better*".

    If Sony want(ed) to trojan horse some tech (and they did/do), they should have released PS3-in-a-Vaio rather than BluRay-in-a-PS3.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    I for one am not a blu-ray / HD fan.

    Have you ever watched a high def porn movie? There's stubble and spots and all manner of scars!

    It's like being in bed with the missus!

    Foggy divx for me all the way!

  14. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Where's my DVR?

    I celebrated the death of the crappy VHS tape a long time ago. Then I celebrated the death of NTSC composite video. Now I'm shopping for a high definition DVR and can find nothing but TiVo rentals and bulky desktop computers pretending to be DVRs. What the hell?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    bluray hating

    lol at the blu-ray haters, can't resist a format war even when the article's about the old wrinkly (literally) vhs. Were you guys banging on about the unnecessary price hike, scam of re-buying your collections and woes of digital drop-out compared to the surely equivalent image quality of prosumer tape players versus dvd ? Who would ever need to view a film by chapters anyway ?! Actually, who does watch a film in chapters ?? What a price we paid when you could just eject the tape halfway through a movie, watch something else, put the film back in and start playing *exactly* where you left it !

    Bluray has an uphill battle, it's competing on quality of image, not functions - a self-evident very hard sell with so many die-hard blow-hards swearing blind that upscaled sd is just as good as actual high resolution. DVDs are sucking images through a straw (using 20yo codec), no matter how you arrange it after that it's still a mush - you can add fancy algorithms that try to detect edges and keep them sharp ... although there's a high-ish threshold below which this doesn't work, but it can fool an idiot long enough to fork out cash for the box. That's a much easier sell; convincing idiots they're right!

    Downloads, fine for PH in nightvision, or people who enjoy backing things up, or enjoy buying the same thing many times depending on the restrictions of a paranoid distributor trying to crowbar cash out of the freetard movement - but a bit fiddly for normal people. Still, great for pirates! Unfortunately also very difficult to wrap and put under the tree.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Never has so little (improvement) cost so much!

  17. martinX
    Thumb Up

    New Pana units

    I'll be upgrading/consolidating my equipment once the panasonic unit I want comes down to a reasonable price. Twin HD tuner, hard drive, blu-ray, can burn to blu-ray.Nice.

  18. vincent himpe

    a cr@p movie stays a cr@p movie , even on blu-ray

    I watch one or 2 movies a week. Get them through netflix. The ones i like i buy . And the only thing worth buying this year was Wall-e. All the rest was only worth renting, watching , and mark it off the list.

    As for the movies i really like, i strongly doubt they will ever bring Laurel and Hardy movies to blu-ray.

  19. Simon Buttress
    Thumb Down

    The average person will spend 350 notes on HE @ Xmas...

    "According to research by LG Electronics the average person in the UK will spend £350 ($516) on home cinema equipment this Christmas"

    O Rly?

    sniff...sniff...I smell shite.

    I also think that while the days of the DVD may well be numbered in media terms, the futureseers out there need to wipe the shit from their glasses in order to see clearly in that they think that once DVD goes everyone will suddenyl upgrade all their kit to Hi-Def? Don't think so chum. Look at the time and hassle on trying to ensure that as many people as possible are ready for the analogue switchoff for a comparison.

  20. Andy Worth

    Well I read it differently.......

    Where it said, "According to research by LG Electronics the average person in the UK will spend £350 ($516) on home cinema equipment this Christmas.",

    I read it as, "According to a marketing ploy by LG Electronics we need to make everyone feel like the average person will be spending £350 ($516) on home cinema equipment this Christmas so that those planning not to buy anything will feel left out and left behind"

  21. Daniel Harris

    Games consoles made HD "Mainstream" in the UK...

    Blu-Ray is better than DVD, but not worth upgrading to really.

    I personally think "HD" for games consoles is a definite improvement, even though I could still play games on much higher resolutions for years on my PC it's nice to be able to kick back and play on a large TV (Even though some games are 720p only).

    The main place you see the advantage in video games is the text I think personally. But overall I think that in the UK the whole "HD" idea didn't become mainstream until the Xbox 360 was released and started marketing it as the first High-Def games console.

    When they make TV's supporting the next "supa-dupa-ultra-high-def" I will not bother to upgrade. Don't see the point of going above 720p on anything that is 42" or smaller as it doesn't need it to keep the image sharp (in games atleast for sure).

    I'm sure the next games consoles will support 1080p as their native resolution, with the newer resolutions being available on some games. Sort of how 720p is the standard in games now, but some support 1080i/p, or they say they do anyway.

    For movies, I only have 2 blu-ray movies. One is Casino Royale because it came free with the PS3, the other is called "the condemned" or something and I only got that because it was £4.50 in Asda, it's probably a rubbish film but I haven't been compelled to watch it yet haha.

    Anybody else in the UK agree nobody was really bothered about HD (Apart from the hardcore movie lovers) until the Xbox 360 made it more "mainstream"?. I know in the US it has been more of a talking point for years but over here our RGB SCART connections are close to 720p anyway.

    People don't realise the difference in lines on the screen is less on a UK TV where we have 500 odd lines for SCART i think as apposed to 420-480 in the USA?? Not sure on the exact numbers lol.

  22. Schroeder

    wow .. guess the mircrosoft shrills are having to re-apply for their jobs too ....

    Article on VHS finally going the distance, and straight away a bunch of little shrills are chiming in against blu-ray. Boy, you guys must be really worried about your jobs. Working Christmas day too?

    As for the guy suggesting that families all gather around their PC's this Christmas to watch that grainy stereo SD download of WALL-E that took all night to download and that junior still doesn't believe he's been given as it wasn't wrapped and under the tree....nice troll.

  23. mr totalwar
    Thumb Down

    Just buy a DVD player

    Just buy a DVD player that format not dead yet and get one for £20 at your local Asda's.

  24. Simon
    IT Angle

    VHS wins......

    Buy a VCR, plug in, stick in tape, watch film.

    Got a blu-ray with my new PC, buy a BD film to try it out and immedietly get prompted to do a firmware update on the drive and download the latest version of the playback software. 45 minutes later I can finally watch the film. When a new film comes out supporting new Blu-ray features then I can repeat the process all over again.

    When did you ever have to update the firmware in a VCR?

    Is the average consumer ready (capable) to do firmware updates?


  25. Daniel Harris
    Thumb Up

    @ Schroeder

    If you include me in that well i'm not saying Blu-Ray is bad. In fact I think as a media format it is great. Not just for movies but in gaming.

    The PS3 is held back a lot by the fact that the Xbox 360 uses a more outdated media for its games. If Blu-Ray was more widely used in the games industry we would see a lot more content crammed into the discs. But a multi-platform game will be the same on the two consoles content wise because they won't bother adding extra content to a Blu-Ray version of the game if they can't sell it for more.

    We could have games that were much longer etc with more additonal content on the same disc. A game takes up a similar amount of space if it is released on both the PS3 and 360, so on the Blu-Ray discs they are left with loads of space they could make use of.

    I only have two Blu-Rays but not because I think it is rubbish, I just don't really watch many movies at home. I tend to see something at the cinema once and then after that I'm not really interested in viewing it again. Apart from the odd really good films.

    I will be buying Quantum of Solace on Blu-Ray and not DVD, and I also just bought the Dark Knight yesterday, Blu-Ray of course.

    It's not that I don't like Blu-Ray it is that I don't buy many movies. I do buy games though and HD in general is great. As I say Blu-Ray as a gaming media is held back a hell of a lot by other companies using discs with only 8GB of storage.

    It is also kind of down to the developers too though, they aren't making use of it where they could. For example Time Crisis for the PS3 should have included the PS1 and PS2 versions of the time Crisis games, the space was there but obviously not the budget to fit them in.

  26. Cameron Colley

    RE: bluray hating

    I think we _know_ that the image quality is better in BluRay. So what though? The killer features of DVD as sold were never the real killer features -- the same could be said, to a degree, for CD. The killer feature of both formats is that it gave the consumer digital information that they could copy, compress, edit, share, expand, stream... without any loss of quality.

    BluRay will likely gain some following -- but as bandwidth increases physical media sales will stagnate.

  27. Mark Reed

    BR is not the saviour DVD was.

    People won't be dumping DVD just because Blu-Ray offers a higher quality image if you've got a TV the size of a house. Most people don't have gazumps of money to buy fab new hardware that's expensive. Eventually people will buy BR instead of DVD's, but only when their current DVD player blows up and they need to buy a new one. The market penetration of BR will be slower and smaller than DVD. The fundamental format shift from big poor-quality tape to smaller, higher quality DVD is like going from old cassette C-90's to CD's. Huge. The format shift to BR is a small step, not a big leap. As long as people can watch DVD's on their BR players they will not be restocking their libraries. Not only that, but the percieved quality increase is not always realistic : some people have bought Godfather on BR and are complaining about image quality not being up to the BR standard. Get real. This is film stock from the 70's, not a digitally shot George Lucas CGIfest. They're called "films" for a reason!

    It seems every few years the industry comes up with another format, and wants us to dump all the old stuff and buy the same catalogue again and again and again and again and again in their new format. Most people, quite rightly, will tell them to stuff off. There's only so much money in the world. And I still have an record player and a VHS player because there's so much great stuff that will never be on DVD or CD due to rights and licensing issues, and I'm not losing that stuff just because of format fetishism.

  28. alphaxion

    convergent sytems

    I've been saying that the next format will be digital distribution backed up with physical sales on flash memory sticks (for those of you that can't go through life without touching something in meatspace as well as improvethe speed at which you can obtain your product).

    At home I'm replacing all of my TV/DVD/DVB set top setups with laptops that are missing their screen hooked up to monitors/tv's and then running mediaportal on them.

    Stream live broadcast tv across my network to each client, access centrally stored media, schedule recordings, control it all via web interfaces using ipimp.

    I've begun a project to convert all my DVD's to avi and finally be done with physical items until I need to bring another bit of media legitimately onto my network.

    It's all moving towards the digital file, the medium it is on just doesn't matter any more as long as it can be mounted by an OS.

  29. John White

    @ alphaxion

    Spooky - I'm in the process of doing the same thing - house already Cat5 wired and 24port switch (in the basement) in. All my music is done (mirrored server in the basement). Plug your laptops into a good amplifier and good hiFi speakers (all cheap on eBay) and your away....

    Question is - OS for backend? VLC for streaming? Mythubuntu for frontend/backend?

    Currently I'm on Linux for server (x86 with old Ultrasparc as backup repo).

  30. David Hicks
    Paris Hilton

    350 Quid?

    "According to research by LG Electronics the average person in the UK will spend £350 ($516) on home cinema equipment this Christmas."

    Which orifice did they pull this from? Or are there a few folk spending a couple of hundred million apiece?

    I like my Full-HD and games on the xbox or PS3 look fantastic on it. OTOH I hired and watched my first Blu-Ray movies the other day.

    Buggered if I can tell the difference between a decently made DVD and the Blu-Ray movies I saw.

  31. Daniel Harris

    Who said anything about re-buying all your movies??...

    Who said anything about having to replace your entire movie collection? All Blu-Ray players should play DVD movies no problem, and most probably even upscale them which can make a small difference.

    Blu-Ray is very crisp and clean looking compared to DVD's. You can't bash it saying "Well you can expect everybody to go out and replace their entire collection". Why would anybody think you have to do that?

    DVD players aren't backwards compatible with VHS....Blu-Ray players ARE compatible with DVD, and it is easy to convert your VHS collection to DVD or store it on a HDD and stream it across your network.

    I am also all for digital distribution in addition to Blu-Rays as long as there is no DRM stopping me from using my paid for, downloaded movies etc on any system that I want to. I should be able to take and use it where I want. Once this issue has been overcome it could really take off.

    There will be a need for a physical media for a long time to come though, and Blu-Ray is a good successor to DVD. The added storage space is essential.

    Also for games consoles, the games will need to come discs, who wants to pay out huge amount for a massive HDD to store all those games. Especially the kind of people who buy tons and tons of games, Considering current gen games on Xbox 360 take up approx 8GB each, with some Blu-Ray PS3 games taking up twice as much space.

    You would need to constantly be buying bigger and bigger HDD's over time. You wouldn't want to trust a company to allow you to just stream the movie whenever you wanted from any PC, because if the company you bought the movie / game from went bust or decided to shut down their servers etc, you have lost access to it.

    yes if there was no DRM you could just make backups but then you may aswell have just bought the disc in a store then ripped it to your HDD and store away the retail pack.

  32. alphaxion


    MediaPortal runs on XP and makes use of standard codecs, sql express/mysql and .net to make things work. Happily streams live video to multiple clients and a vlc plugin allows you to tap into the stream using that app. All that's missing is a web frontend for doing everything the fat client can.

    They just launched their first full release and have version 2 on the go already, plenty of plugins to add extra functionality.

    I've tried many setups - trials of beyondtv, linuxMCE, knoppmyth, mythbuntu etc and none of them behave the way I want them to or have spurious problems that apparently should never happen.

    MediaPortal certainly has its' own bugs, but on the whole it tends to be pretty solid and operates in a server/client config that suites me :)

    Using apps like autogk you can re-encode the recordings from the mpeg2 into smaller mp4 based formats and then file them away on your nas box.

    HDD storage is cheap as hell nowadays - £70 for a 1TB internal HDD, yummy :D

    I run the TV service on my main rig (Dual core goodness means I can play left4dead while the TV server records something for me) and have a bunch of clients based on toshiba sat pro L20's (with their XP keys on the bottom for legality) that I have salvaged from work due to the hinges snapping. They have svideo and vga out so I can make use of their small form factor and better energy consumption rates compared to a desktop.

    Easy to move around the house should I wish to re-jig or repair things, use a PDA or an iphone to access the ipimp plugin so I can remote control the mediaportal client and schedule recordings without having to fire up a client.

    The L20's even have competent DVD drives so you can use the DVD player in mediaportal to watch them should you feel the need.

    Just need to buy new monitors for bigger viewing :)

  33. Mark Reed


    ...I was suggesting that as they reissue all / most titles on BR consumers will feel pressure to upgrade from DVD to BR... the industry has tried on 'rebuying all your stuff in a new format' with the LP, the CD, the MC, the DAT, the MD, the VHS, the LD, the DVD... why not the BR as well?

  34. Rob Beard


    Well I must admit I am tempted to take the Bluray plunge but at the moment I have more important things to buy.

    I'll probably hang on at least another year and get a HD camcorder first (£150 in Tescos for a 720p one!).

    I'm not looking to upgrade my home cinema system yet. It's an LG one which I paid £150 for about 4 years ago. It still decodes Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 which is all I really need, sure it would be nice to have 7.1 HD Master audio but I get told off by the wife for turning up the 5.1 system so I doubt she'd allow me to have a 7.1 system.


  35. Daniel Harris


    " It still decodes Dolby Digital 5.1 "

    Never really heard of a home cinema system lose abilities as it gets older ;-) Unless its f*cked

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I think I'll skip it

    I think I'll skip the Blu-ray fad and wait till the next generation---where all the movies are either streamed or encoded on solid-state media. Probably less than five years at the current rate, maybe 7 max with the recession we're in.

  37. Steven Snape

    How much :O

    £20 for a blueray disk, No wonder Zavvi and Wollies have gone tits up.

    I can go to the cinema for less than half that price and see hi-def massive screen with a multi thousand pound sound system. I will only get to see the movie once but why would I want to see it twice? Just a shame about the oik flicking popcorn at the back of my head :)

    Sell me a blueray disk for the price of a cinema ticket and I might join the blueray party.

  38. Martin Silver badge


    >Never really heard of a home cinema system lose abilities as it gets older

    Ever had a home cinema system that needs online updates?

    Anything stopping a Blu-ray player refusing to play a DVD movie once the the Blu-ray version is out?

  39. Danny Craig

    Bluray will take off eventually

    Bluray will take off and become the format of choice eventually, the problem is that the studios think they should be able to charge more for their movies on bluray than consumers are prepared to pay. When this is addressed the mass market will come on board. When DVD first came out, studios were able to charge a large premium for the DVD version over the VHS because the advantages of the DVD were obvious for all to see, but as time has gone by, DVD isn't seen as being so special and so they have had to drop prices. The difference between DVD and bluray are a little more sutle to the average man on the street.

    Obviously, the studios see bluray as an opportunity to jack up the price once again, except this time people arent prepared to pay much more for a movie on bluray than they are for the same movie on DVD. Of course the studios see no point in spending the time developing this new format, if they can't charge a heavy premium for it, so they are bound to resist reducing prices. If the difference was a pound or two, and the bluray players were under £100 (which will happen eventually), then most of the population would come on board. So all this talk of bluray already being a flop and digital streaming/downloading to kill of bluray is BS. It's only a matter of time before the studios have to change their bluray strategy, bluray players to become more affordable and the mass market to come on board with it. After all much of the population has already bought a hd-ready TV and you'd find it difficult to buy a new LCD TV without it being HD-ready. The other issue is that with no competition (many studios decided to stop supporting HD-DVD and killed it off, remember the consumer never chose between the 2 format, it was made for us), their is nothing to push them into reducing prices quicker.

  40. Neurotic Nomad

    DVD's Assassination is BluRay's Only Hope

    A few weeks ago, I wrote that BluRay was doomed to take LaserDisc’s place as a movie-and-gadget-geek-only format.

    The article was based on the assumption that the studios would cling to DVD sales as hard as they clung to VHS (which they are finally letting die - a decade after DVD’s launch).

    However… what if they decided to knife DVD, leaving BluRay as your only choice? Would they do it?

  41. Roger m evans


    i still have a betamax here and remember my video 2000 fondly lol

    just about to buy a blueray player for my mother as her dvd is now refusing to play some discs ( might even get a ps3 just so i got something to do if i get bored there ;) )

    no i wont be rushig out and replacing my dvd collection for blueray on mass but will get selected ones and new ones in this format mostly from now on

    the only thing i can see that will stop it is if they bring out solid state media cheap enough to price including film at the dvd / blueray price

  42. Chika

    Here we go again...

    I was discussing this this yesterday with a friend and the main reason for Blu-Ray, we both concluded, had nothing to do with quality as it does not allow for enough improvement over DVD for the majority of viewers. Where it makes a difference is with quantity, so it becomes unnecessary to distribute large amounts of discs to cover series and such. However, until the price of the hardware and the recordability of the discs comes right down, DVD will remain on top. Consider how long it took for DVD to take off and why that was, and why VHS outlasted Laserdiscs.

    Don't get me wrong. I think that Blu-Ray is a good idea but with all the computer compression and delivery techniques available, from MP4 to Matroska, the amount of video I can squeeze onto even a standard single layer DVD is appreciable. It will be some time before I feel it necessary to risk my fortune on the bleeding edge, though I suspect that a combination of these two will really take off once the price comes down.

    Who put that torrent client in my pocket?!?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    To the thieving bastards who think we're going to bend over and take it time and time again....first for VHS, then for DVD, then for BluRay, then for ???

    I mean, what's the frikkin point? BluRay really has NOTHING going for it at all. Higher cost player. Higher cost disc. Higher cost telly. Higher cost cables just to connect the above. WTF? I haven't hit the lottery to pay for all that crap and don't think I would even if I did. I haven't replaced all my VHS tapes (and am never going to do so) and will certainly not ever replace my DVDs. Hopefully I can talk my sprog out of ever supporting this marketing wet dream.

    Paris, 'cos she knows all 'bout those dreams.

  44. Anthony Mark

    Blu-ray picture quality is vastly superior to DVD

    I have a Sony BDP-S350 connected to a Sony Bravia 40L4000, total price I paid for both was £670.

    Now, the difference between a standard definition DVD and a Blu-ray playing at 1080 lines and 24/p frames is obvious and makes one hell of a difference to the film.

    Even the upscaled DVD is noticably improved. My experience now, hooked up to a stereo hi-fi, is better than a cinema experience.

    Now all I need is a decent AV reciever and a set of 7.1 speakers - icing on the cake.

  45. Tonto Popaduopolos

    @ Anthony Mark and another thing!

    Did you know that you're above average?

    Wasn't it frustrating when you couldn't get both sides of an LP onto one side of a C90 tape?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look @ woolies.

    I popped into woolies clear out 60% off DVDs sale yesterday. Every DVD had left the umpteen shelves by lunchtime. Come 4pm I popped in again. The single Blueray shelf was still fully stacked. Even at 60% off no-one was buying.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sick of this bull.

    The prices best come down. I am sick of being ripped off. Sick of constantly re-buying my already over-priced media.

  48. Chika

    @Anthony Mark

    £670? That's still far too much. As for your assertion that upscaled DVD is so much worse than Blu-Ray, I'm not convinced. Apart from the fact that the improvement is very minimal, if there was such a big improvement as you imply, what would be the point of doing it at all?

    Reminds me of a character on a Usenet channel years ago that insisted that those of us that couldn't afford to buy the latest and greatest were somehow inferior. (Yes, I *am* the same Chika that is on rec.arts.anime.misc and it *is* "Spuer Genius" I am referring to!)

  49. GHok

    Blu Ray

    I was a very very early adopter of DVD. I was excited to have an affordable way to watch movies in widecreen and better quality, the extra features were great too. I wasn't so much an adopter of DVD because it was better quality than VHS, but because VHS was such shit to begin with. Bluray doesn't interest me. I watch movies on a computer for the most part, never owned any home theatre equipment. Blueray's nice and all that, and I'll buy newer stuff on it when the price comes down. Otherwise DVD is good enough quality.

  50. raving angry loony


    I bought vinyl records to get the music I wanted.

    I bought cassette tapes to get the music I already owned in a different format.

    I bought CDs to get music I already owned (twice) in what was to me a better format. I was ripped off.

    I bought VHS tapes to get movies I wanted, but the tapes didn't last long.

    I bought DVD to get the movies I already owned in a "better" (more robust) format. I was ripped off. Again.

    No fucking way am I converting to Blu-Ray until my DVDs are nothing more than deteriorated hulks. From now on, I'm getting my stuff in a format that's not tied to any particular media. That format is "digital" and I'll put the fucking stuff on my own media, thankyouverymuchyouscammingbastards.

  51. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Down


    I ain't doin' no steenking blu-ray!

    I'm currently (finally) converting my old vinyl to digital and my VHS tapes to DVD.

    These formats (CD and DVD) will do me just fine and dandy.

    The marketing wonks can go and blu-ray themselves.

  52. Bronek Kozicki

    @Danny Craig

    Agree, Blu Ray movies are plainly too expensive to take off, although I do buy selected movies in this format, from time to time. Just as I buy other movies in DVD. It is sad that Blu Ray suffers from regionalization, as there are some good movies only released in the US (ICOS HD chip mod helps here, but it's expensive). Just like you, I do not see how digital downloads might compete with Blu Ray, given that typical monthly "allowance" we have from our ISPs are about the size of single Blu Ray disc. Not to mention download times exceeding 12 hours, when your typical household is 3 to 5 Mbps.

  53. michael

    re:Who said anything about re-buying all your movies??...

    "DVD players aren't backwards compatible with VHS....Blu-Ray players ARE compatible with DVD, and it is easy to convert your VHS collection to DVD or store it on a HDD and stream it across your network."

    and that is more or less why it will not take off pepol might buy a player but they will lok at the dvd for £5-15 and the blu-ray for 15-30 and buy the dvd cos they can still play it and the blue ray dose not realy provide x2 the increse in value till prices are almost conpariable there will not be a masive increse on sales

  54. Andy

    blueray is dead, long live blueray...?

    downloads. streaming video. video on demand. physical media is so last century. if you can't be more imaginative than a DVD under the xmas tree, then i think you have more pressing concerns than which media format to invest in.

    althought.... UK peeps haven't got the infrastructure to cope with that sort of bandwidth.

    hmm, sony paying BT to keep us in the broadband darkages?

  55. Dave McKewan
    Paris Hilton

    Ah the English, such a backward bunch....

    I'm an ex-pat living in the US and this article, and the comments within, have been very entertaining reading for me.

    I have bought stuff on VHS, DVD and BD. BD wins every time. The image is much better, those with lossless sound is much better, the whole experience is just much better.

    SD DVDs that have been up converted look better on a HD TV than on a SD TV. But those of you who claim that they don’t look much better have one of 2 problems (or both). Either you haven’t used the best type of leads that are available (like going from yellow, red, white to S video etc) or you need your eyes tested. Or both.

    I do have a big arse TV (living here in the US as I now do), very good AVR, decent powered sub and a matched 7.1 speaker system. I prefer my setup to going to the cinema as I don’t get twats on the phone, dickheads sitting in front of me blocking the way or oiks chucking corn at me. Yes, the cost of a BD disc is more than a ticket. Until you factor in the cost to get there, anything else that you buy at the cinema and the fact that I can stop the film, come back to it anytime I want and watch it many times, all for the same BD price!

    For the ‘tards banging on about solid disc and DL for films, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee my friends. There are reports floating around that SD manufactures are in trouble and looking to scale back production and raise prices. SD media is also susceptible to being corrupted, unlike a BD (yes, one will damage, but with the coating that they have, this is less likely than DVDs). And DL a 25 or 50Gb film? Please, be real. I have a decent connection here in the US and a 50Gb film would take days, at 24 hours, to DL. And now several US ISPs are talking about throttling speeds and limiting DL limits so that they can push their own VOD products. Wait 3 days to watch a film that may have corrupted, or wander out, buy a disc and pop it into a player. Hmmmm, let me think about that one…..

    I do buy BDs when I can, even replacing SD that I already own. I have yet to pay full price for any of them. And as for the cost of replacing the discs, haven’t you lot heard of birthday’s and Christmas? I got 5 BDs this Christmas, all replacements for existing SD DVDs. All as presents. It’s not so difficult once you think about it….

    Paris, because even she can work this out….

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pores, digital hermit-dom

    Oh well, I'm sure wedding film-makers and Stanley Productions of Soho will together keep the analogue flag aloft!

    On this "Blu-Ray-ueber-alles" question, Is it just me, or is it a little perverse the viewer is the one who pays $40, to sit at home watching actors' pores and acne-scars in hi-def, whilst the latter perform some shameful sub-Bruckheimer dreck?

    Surely a key feature of a succesful business model, is that it should not be ridiculous?

  57. Liam Pennington


    No way will Blu-Ray take over DVDs within 3 years. Why can't the two formats just run parallel to each other?

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