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vic user
October 20th, 2005, 07:52 AM
Vito Pilieci
The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's been a good run, but the Video Home System tape has had its day. Manufacturers have decided to stop producing VHS tapes in 2006.

Here's a real blockbuster: The digital revolution is about to kill the video cassette.

After 28 years, manufacturers have decided to stop making the tapes some time in 2006.

Nearly two decades ago, the North American TV room was the battleground for a bitter war between VHS and Betamax. VHS (It stands for Video Home System) won that war but next year, a new king of the TV room will have to be crowned.

As has been seen with the decline of technologies such as vinyl records, cassette tapes, floppy discs and photographic film, digital technologies are muscling in and taking over.

By the end of 2006, companies within the home video industry will phase out VHS technology, leaving only DVDs (formerly digital video discs, but now known as digital versatile discs) as the way in which people can buy or rent a movie.

The announcement detailing the end of the VHS technology was made at an industry trade show in July.

While giving his annual state of the industry address, Crossan Anderson, president of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) which lobbies on behalf of the home entertainment industry, said "within 12 months or so, or sooner than that, we must expect that new releases will be exclusively digital."

"In my mind, there is no reason to mourn the passing of VHS. A quarter of a century of reliable service for consumers -- a medium that retail entrepreneurs drove to the position of consumer's first choice for watching movies," he told the crowd. "For me, it is a hall-of-fame product worthy of appreciative applause."

Both 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. studios have reportedly announced that they will stop manufacturing VHS copies of their new releases by the end of next year. Movie rental businesses, such as Blockbuster Video, have either already completely replaced their VHS collections with DVD copies, or are overwhelmingly onside with the digital format. Some stores, such as Circuit City and Best Buy in the U.S. have stopped selling VHS movies and many electronics manufacturers are no longer making VCRs.

With DVD players now in more than 80 per cent of Canadian homes, it's no wonder VHS is finally being tossed out.

The turning point for the technology came in 2002, when DVD player sales surpassed VCR sales for the first time.

"I am frankly surprised that it has hung on this long," said Jeff Leiper, director of Canadian market strategies for research firm the Yankee Group.

"They will just stop making (VHS) because no one wants to buy them anymore."

According to figures provided by the VSDA, VHS sales revenues have plummeted over the past five years. In 1999 people spent $5.5 billion U.S. on VHS movies.

In 2004, that figure dropped to $910 million U.S. On the other hand, DVD sales in 1999 were a mere $1.3 billion U.S. Last year, DVD sales topped $15.15 billion U.S.

"It has become very clear that DVD has supplanted VHS," said Brian Newman, executive of National Video Resources, a lobby group for independent film and video, adding that movie companies are having a tough time making a profit on VHS movies.

There are more than 97 million VCRs in homes across North America.

The VHS video medium skyrocketed to popularity after winning two battles in the early 1980's -- the first with Sony Corp.'s Betamax over which video tape technology would become the industry standard, the second was with the entertainment industry which argued the technology should not be allowed because people could breach copyright laws by taping their favourite TV shows.

It became a favourite of consumers because of its ease of use, durability and low cost.

"It has been around for so long for the same reason that audio tape was, it's a very durable format," said Mr. Newman.

"With an audio tape you could throw it on the floor of your car, stomp on it and you could still play it in your car stereo. A VHS is much the same way, unless you leave it on the dash and it melted."

Mr. Newman said some people have refrained from purchasing a DVD player until more recent years, as the movie discs can scratch easily, there have been problems with DVD movies not working on some players and, until 2002, the cost of the units was still high.

He said in recent years, all of those problems have been addressed. But, the biggest reason people are switching to DVDs is because of the picture quality the digital disc offers.

"VHS is not the greatest format in the world in terms of picture quality," said Mr. Newman.

Where VHS cassettes often offered a grainy picture and stereo sound, DVDs offer crystal clear picture, Dolby Digital 5.1 or better sound and a slew of bonus features including movie blooper reels, interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes footage.

"People are willing to pay a premium for it over VHS, for the premium features," said the Yankee Group's Mr. Leiper.

"DVDs can charge a premium of $5, $10 or $15 because of the ease of navigation and the DVD bonus features."

The other factor that is forcing the home entertainment industry to close the door on VHS video cassettes is the emergence of two new video technologies next year.

In 2006, Sony Corp. will release its Blu-ray disc and Toshiba will release its HD DVD movie technologies. The new technologies promise even better picture and sound quality than what is offered on current DVDs.

Movie studios are spending millions to get ready to offer their new release movies on the two new technologies.

However, while fans of the VHS movie may have a tough time finding movies for their VCRs at the local video store, Mr. Newman said the VHS cassette may live on a little longer in universities and libraries where millions have been spent to build VHS movie collections over the past 28 years.

"They are going to be reluctant to spend money to buy the exact same titles in a new format," he said.

"They just don't have the funding of a Blockbuster."


chris

Terry Yager
October 20th, 2005, 09:04 AM
Damn! And I still haven't learned how to program one yet...

--T

carlsson
October 20th, 2005, 03:42 PM
It was a while ago I checked whether stores still sell audio cassettes. They do, don't they? I'm sure some smaller manufacturers will continue to manufacture empty VHS tapes for a few years more, as long as there is a reasonable demand for it. As noted in the news text, many people will want to tape their TV programs and other things. Already today, there are recordable DVDs and units with hard disks, but it will take a while until they drop in price so the majority of people are willing to buy it, in particular those who recently bought a simple DVD player.

I wonder what happens with the price on DVD+/-R after VHS tapes are removed. On one hand, the demand should rise, leading to more sales and lower prices, but the industry, politicians (!), record and movie companies may see a golden opportunity to make more money with fewer options on the market. Already now, in many countries there is a special sales tax on recordable media which is meant to cover loss for copied material. People who use a lot of recordable media - for whatever reason - grunt every time these taxes are raised. I don't know if the tax is based on how much amount you can fit or other parameters, but one would assume a DVD-R poses more threat to the entertainment industry than a VHS tape.

Terry Yager
October 20th, 2005, 04:13 PM
It'll be a while yet before audio cassette tapes disappear completely, because the market for them is much broader than for video tapes, which is kinda vertical. The main market for videotapes is the distribution of Hollywood movies, thru sales, but mostly thru rentals, but when have you ever seen an audiotape for rent? The market for pre-recorded audio tapes has pretty much been taken over by the ready availability of cheap CDs, but there will still be a market for blank tapes for many years to come.

--T

NathanAllan
October 20th, 2005, 04:14 PM
There was a special charge here in the US, too, for blank cassettes for a while at least. I can still buy a variety of cassettes and videotapes for a lot of different purposes. And as long as the stop-action security VCR is around and stays relatively inexpensive they're gonna stay around. My $0.02. And I use tapes and videos every day still, regardless of my DVD sitting there.

Does anyone know if there's a DVD player that has a TV tuner on it that isn't a DVD/VHS combo??? I have a cheap-o cyberhome. I'm holding off on getting another one because I want one with a TV-tuner.

Mad-Mike
October 20th, 2005, 04:38 PM
Shoot, I just bought a TOP LOADING VCR at the local thrift for two and a half bananas. They sell tapes for cents......the nice part Is I'll be able to amass a huge VHS collection on the cheap.

Terry Yager
October 20th, 2005, 05:34 PM
Shoot, I just bought a TOP LOADING VCR at the local thrift for two and a half bananas. They sell tapes for cents......the nice part Is I'll be able to amass a huge VHS collection on the cheap.

They'll go very nicely with your collection of 8-track audiotapes.

--T

carlsson
October 21st, 2005, 10:22 AM
Does anyone know if there's a DVD player that has a TV tuner on it that isn't a DVD/VHS combo???
Hmm. Those recordable DVDs and with hard disk, doesn't they have a tuner and a timer? I always assumed it is how they work. If it is not recordable, I don't know what you want a tuner for. Maybe if someone makes a combined digital TV reciever and DVD player, but it sounds a bit wicked.

Mad-Mike
October 21st, 2005, 02:22 PM
Shoot, I just bought a TOP LOADING VCR at the local thrift for two and a half bananas. They sell tapes for cents......the nice part Is I'll be able to amass a huge VHS collection on the cheap.

They'll go very nicely with your collection of 8-track audiotapes.

--T

LOL, I don't have any 8-tracks....though I'm toying with changing that eventually (come 70's rock came on 8-track).

Actually, it's not a bad VCR I find, actually, the picture quality is pretty impressive for something that old.

Terry Yager
October 21st, 2005, 03:30 PM
I've got a couple (Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, etc), but I've always kicked myself for not collecting more when they were available for just pennies.
The few that I do have were "collected" when I had a '71 Buick Electra Rag-Top that I installed an "original" streeo stystem into.

--T

CP/M User
October 23rd, 2005, 12:48 AM
What troubles me about this is what will happen to the blank VHS media?

I've stopped getting VHS tapesin terms of Movies etc & only use them as for recording stuff off the telly (it still serves it's purpose IMO).

DVD recorders are still too pricey (IMO), plus I have a perfectly good DVD player - hate to just stack another player on top of my DVD!

CP/M User.

katey
October 23rd, 2005, 06:23 AM
I was looking though the big stack of fliers in the paper yesterday and I think it was future shop that had a standalone dvdr for 150. Not just the burner but the full vcr replacement, tuner, remote the whole bit so they are getting cheaper pretty quick.

katey

Vlad
October 23rd, 2005, 01:22 PM
I have a bunch of old 8 tracks I always thought they were awesome. They were harder to lose than cassette tapes.

-Vlad

Terry Yager
October 23rd, 2005, 01:41 PM
I have a bunch of old 8 tracks I always thought they were awesome. They were harder to lose than cassette tapes.

-Vlad

...And ya don't hafta keep flippin' 'em (on old systems without "Auto-Reverse").

--T

CP/M User
October 23rd, 2005, 02:08 PM
"katey" wrote:

> I was looking though the big stack of fliers in the paper yesterday and I
> think it was future shop that had a standalone dvdr for 150. Not just the
> burner but the full vcr replacement, tuner, remote the whole bit so they
> are getting cheaper pretty quick.

Yeah, it's possible to pick up a burner here for around $200, but they look
to be pretty dodgy. Between $300-$400 you can get something which is a
bit more well known - though you're shelling out just that little bit more to
get some quality.

Maybe you're getting something just a little bit better in Canada/US for
that sort of money perhaps?

Another rumor (which I hope isn't true) I heard about these DVD Burners
is their only good for 500 burns. Can someone here confirm this?
This might explain why we're getting Hard Disks attached to DVD Burners
(to save the amount of Burning an ordinary burner would do) - just to
record our favourite late-night programs & delete them after we've seen
it. So it seems if that's the case then we're becomming big on the
throwaway society - terrible.

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
October 23rd, 2005, 02:14 PM
Yup, everything's disposable these days. It's almost cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy a new (pair of) ink cartridge(s) for one.

--T

CP/M User
October 23rd, 2005, 02:31 PM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Yup, everything's disposable these days. It's almost cheaper to buy a
> new printer than to buy a new (pair of) ink cartridge(s) for one.

We got one of those printers where you can throw in 4 individual
cartridges - Black, Blue, Magenta & Yellow (I think they are). I just
replaced 3 of the 4 cartridges the other day (thats the trouble with
photos - they just seem to use up the seperate inks in the same time
frame (not to mention each cartridge costs $25! - think their've gone up
in price since we got the printer - we did get a lot of photos out of it
though - around 200!)

Epson Printers seem to be the best. The cartidges seem to be cheap ($30-
$40 for -A- colour cartridge) & have dual cartridge system (which the
Hewlett Packard printers also have) - so you get one slot for the black &
the other for the colour! Buy a cheap Cannon or something & you don't
have that - when I got mine a few years back it was terrible just having a
single slot for the cartridge! :-(

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
October 23rd, 2005, 02:46 PM
Yeah, we just found out last week that the color cartridge for our Lexmark All-In-One costs $28.00, but a whole new printer is only $32.00. Kinda suckful, ain't it?

CP/M User
October 23rd, 2005, 03:38 PM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Yeah, we just found out last week that the color cartridge for our
> Lexmark All-In-One costs $28.00, but a whole new printer is only
> $32.00. Kinda suckful, ain't it?

Here's an idea for that printer. Disassemble it & put a brochure in the
Computer Classifieds (or flogg it off eBay) as some DIY build your own
printer. Write some instructions on building the thing & sell it for $40 or
$50! ;-)

Just buy more printers when you get the customers! ;-)

CP/M User.

Mad-Mike
October 23rd, 2005, 03:49 PM
I hate lexmarks with a passion, so much so that I've pretty much dumped every one that someone "gives" me to get rid of it (becayse they are crap).

I have the same HP DeskJet 841C I had when I started this hobby 5 years ago, that sucker literally self destructed during the move, and I put it back together in 10 minutes using Superglue! It's an expensive sucker to refill though, around $50, more than it's worth now.

Shoot, I see ink jet printers around here in Seattle go for as little as $5 in Thrift stores, and I'm talking stuff that was made a YEAR ago!

What I don't understand is why Ink cartridges cost so much, all it is is a plastic casing lined with plastic coated tinfoil, with a sponge inside, filled with ink, and a little electro pattern on the front that lines up with the one inside your printer. That can't be THAT hard to make in these days of mass production.

CP/M User
October 23rd, 2005, 04:05 PM
"Mad-Mike" wrote:

> I hate lexmarks with a passion, so much so that I've pretty much
> dumped every one that someone "gives" me to get rid of it (becayse
> they are crap).

Oh yeah, I agree. I swore a oath to myself never to get one of those printers. Nothing but trouble.

We had one when I was doing Year 12 which was temporarly working & the quality of the print wasn't great either (when it did print something) before it decided to stop.

<Winge On>

Must admit though that in Yr 12 - some idiot brought in some virus which screwed around with the Printers (they simply just stopped!)

The only good times I had back then was with my friends (and even then I didn't have many) - course I managed to pass all my subjects & got some good results - amonst some average stuff (tests prove nothing IMO). At that time I wanted to leave my old home town & today I envy having ever moved from there.

</Winge Off>

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
October 23rd, 2005, 10:16 PM
I agree, tests only prove whether you're good at taking tests or not. (That's how I managed to "skate" thru 9 years of school, never did any homework, and very little desk-work, but whenever they'd test, I'd be right there).

--T

carlsson
October 24th, 2005, 03:55 AM
I know the printer situation. Regarding four or two cartridges, I think it is a matter of taste. At work we got a Brother all-in-one fax/printer/scanner which has one cartridge for each colour. It regularly cleans the jets, and therefore consume a bit of ink. We didn't print much colour photos, so the biggest reason the cartridges had to be replaced every 4th month was due to the regular cleaning activity. On the other hand, ink will also in many cases dry unless you print every day, so that is a common reason to replace cartridges. My dad knows, he is an unfortunate Lexmark owner.

I think Epson implemented some kind of cartridge identification on their latest printers, to prevent 3rd party and refilled cartridges from being used. That leaves HP and Canon and perhaps some more manufacturer I can't remember.

Personally I prefer an old B/W laser printer (got a HP LaserJet 6L) over a new colour inkjet printer. Speaking of which, I need to replace the toner in a while.

Terry Yager
October 24th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Whenever I need to print something, it costs me about $12.00 per page. (I only use my Diconix once in a while, so every time I need to print something with it, I have to replace the $12.00 cartridge which has dried up). Anybody know a good way to keep them from drying? (I though I might try storing it in a jar of alcohol between uses).

--T

vic user
October 24th, 2005, 10:41 AM
your best bet is to remove the printheads and cartridges from your printer, if you will not be using them for a while.

just pop them in an air tight bag.

the printers i use at work (as long as they are left on) can remain idle for ages, without worry of the prinheads or ink carts. to dry up.

good news, since each ink cart. costs over $200.00 CDN and the printheads are abput $100.00 CDN, and there are 6 of each for the colours for each printer!



I think Epson implemented some kind of cartridge identification on their latest printers, to prevent 3rd party and refilled cartridges from being used. That leaves HP and Canon and perhaps some more manufacturer I can't remember.

That's quite a common strategy now eh?

I know that Staedtler has ink replacement systems, and they have some that are really effective at circumventing the printers' methods of detecting non-standard inks.

If I get time, I will scan in the inside of the casing of an HP ink cart. and you can see some of the circuitry.

chris

p.s.

I am like you, kind of Anders, in that I prefer b&w printers over colour ones, although i still like dot matrix.

i miss my citizen gsx-130 (IIRC).... god that thing printed great!

chris

Terry Yager
October 24th, 2005, 11:42 AM
My Diconix is really a battery-powered H/P ThinkJet, and the carts for them come in a little pressurized tin, but that doesn't even keep them from drying up, so they come with an expiration date on the packaging. I picked up a bunch of them several years ago, since they were expired, and clearance-priced at $.50 each. About half of them turned out to be bad.

--T

vic user
October 24th, 2005, 02:27 PM
wow, i had no idea they made battery powered printers!

sorry to hear about 1/2 of the carts. being bad.

chris

Terry Yager
October 24th, 2005, 03:25 PM
wow, i had no idea they made battery powered printers!

sorry to hear about 1/2 of the carts. being bad.

chris

Oh, I'm not complaining. The good ones more than made up the difference in price. I bought 20 of 'em for $10.00, so even though I only got to use 10 of 'em, the whole lot cost less than one "new" cart.

The reason I like & still use such a vintage printer is that it uses off-the-shelf batteries. It takes standard "C" cells (x5) and is switch-selectable for alkiline or rechargeables, with charging capability built-in.

They come up pretty often on eBay, for $5 - 10.00 or so.

--T

EvanK
October 24th, 2005, 05:08 PM
Didn't anyone else noticed what I noticed about this story?

The reporter says VHS is going out, but the person quoted says something quite different.

The person quoted only said "we must expect that new releases will be exclusively digital." See? Only * NEW RELEASES * ... he is not saying that BLANK videotapes will stop being produced.

LOL, I think the real news is that DVD is dying at an even faster rate, because of hard-disk recorders and services like Movielink.com.

With hard drives so cheap, RAM getting cheaper, online bandwidths and access methods increasing (think BPL), the very concept of having to rent physical media for any software / movie is what will become obsolete soon.

Not blank tapes. :)

vic user
October 25th, 2005, 04:01 AM
They come up pretty often on eBay, for $5 - 10.00 or so.


they are so cute!

would love to hook one up to a model 100.

chris

carlsson
October 25th, 2005, 07:03 AM
But Evan, the story also mentions that manufacturers will not make any more VCRs. Certainly it doesn't mean that the production of tapes will end the same day the last brand new player leaves the factory, but we've been warned.

And Chris, I don't miss my matrix (Commodore/MPS-801) printer. :wink: Maybe it was on the low end of matrix printers, but I'm to this day still happy I found a buyer who was willing to consider the shipping costs too. Out of all vintage computing and associated peripherals and items, a printer is the least interesting to me. At least if I'm about to use it, and not collect for a museum.

mryon
October 25th, 2005, 09:01 AM
But Evan, the story also mentions that manufacturers will not make any more VCRs. Certainly it doesn't mean that the production of tapes will end the same day the last brand new player leaves the factory, but we've been warned.


I'm sure that tapes will be available for quite some time. Right now, in 2005, the big electronics shop (Fry's) down the street from me still has blank Betamax tapes on the shelf.

DimensionDude
October 25th, 2005, 02:12 PM
Terry,

I, too, have a Diconix printer (Kodak Diconix 150 Plus). I've never had an ink cartridge dry out. I know for a fact that my printer has been sitting for at least a year without being used. After priming the cartridge it printed fine. Does your printer use the HP 51604A (or Canon CJ-3A) cartridge?

My printer uses only NiCad batts, I sprung for the hi-capacity cells from Radio Shack. Every now and then I run them completely dead and charge them with a reflex charger. Keeps them from getting a "memory" and can rehabilitate cells that have developed memory.

Back to the ink, though. If you shake a "dead" cartridge can you hear the ink sloshing? Careful when you shake it, you may end up looking like a dalmation :D

Terry Yager
October 25th, 2005, 04:11 PM
DD,

Same printer, 150Plus. It uses the H/P carts. It's not like they dry-up completely, but one or two of the jets will plug up, leaving a blank line thru the print. They could still be used for draft or compressed mode, but forget about NLQ. I can prime & prime them and still no joy. (It's the kind that have a little rubber "bladder" inside the cart, so you can tell if there's any ink just by looking at 'em).

I've been running on the same set of NiCads (standard capacity) for several years now, and they still are going strong. So, do you have to give yours a two-finger salute to drop it into charge mode, or does it stay that way constantly?

BTW, I haven't forgotten about the D6K stuff, I still want it, just have been having other monitary priorities lately (like beer, gas, food, etc (in roughly that order)).

--T

mryon
October 25th, 2005, 05:08 PM
Same printer, 150Plus. It uses the H/P carts. It's not like they dry-up completely, but one or two of the jets will plug up, leaving a blank line thru the print. They could still be used for draft or compressed mode, but forget about NLQ. I can prime & prime them and still no joy. (It's the kind that have a little rubber "bladder" inside the cart, so you can tell if there's any ink just by looking at 'em).

One thing that used to work for me with the DeskWriter carts when they got plugged up was wash the business end in alcohol. Sometimes I even got desperate enough to soak it in alcohol for a bit. Usualy worked like a charm.

Terry Yager
October 25th, 2005, 07:34 PM
Yeah, I was thinking that since I only use the printer once or twice a year, I might try storing the carts in a sealed jar of alchohol between printings. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether leaching would be a problem, either into or out of the cart. I guess I'll just hafta try it to find out.

--T

mryon
October 26th, 2005, 07:39 AM
I do suspect that long term storage in alcohol might be bad. I think your ink will become alcohol and your alcohol, ink. ;)

carlsson
October 27th, 2005, 12:20 PM
Like when gas and condensed water goes into the oil trough. You read the oil stick, and you wonder why the car doesn't consume any oil.. :roll:

Terry Yager
October 27th, 2005, 12:27 PM
Like when gas and condensed water goes into the oil trough. You read the oil stick, and you wonder why the car doesn't consume any oil.. :roll:

If you run it like that long enough, you'll be wondering why the engine blew.

--T

Terry Yager
October 29th, 2005, 09:25 AM
They come up pretty often on eBay, for $5 - 10.00 or so.


they are so cute!

would love to hook one up to a model 100.

chris

Chris,

I found another Diconix 150 Plus in ComputerHell. I plugged it in with my power supply, and it goes thru the motions of the self-test. I don't have any ink carts, so unable to test any further. You can have it for $5.00 + shipping (weighs around four pounds), without batteries or power supply (9v. D.C. @1A).

--T