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Old 06-21-2002, 11:35 AM
ivylass is offline
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But I don't want to give up my VCR!


According to the Washington Post, VCR's will soon go the way of the dodo bird.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Jun20.html

Now, I have probably 100+ tapes, with movies and home videos, including the birth of my daughter (my husband was in the Navy and missed it) and I don't want to face the possibility of never watching them again.

Plus, I record shows that I want to watch when I'm not home or can't stay up to watch them. DVD players don't record yet, do they?

We have a DVD player in the form of a Sony Playstation 2, but I don't want to pitch the VCR. Anyone else screaming and digging their heels in at the fast pace of progress?
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:27 PM
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First off, just because they stop selling pre-recorded video tapes doesn't mean they're going to raid your house and remove your VCR. And Blockbuster still rents tape, so people need to buy new VCR's to view them too. So I think your home videos are safe for now.

It's ture that DVD players don't record. That's why in the future you'll get a Personal Video Record (PVR), like Tivo. That takes care of recording stuff off of TV. Not archival, true, but better than a VCR 95% of the time. They'll probably even be built into your cable box directly, and you'll rent them from the cable company.

The other major use for VHS tapes, camcorders, have already moved on past VHS. It's hard to find one nowadays that isn't MiniDV or Super8 or whatever.
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:32 PM
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Stand-alone DVD recorders (as opposed to computer units) are available, but they are expensive ($1000+). Don't worry, though, the price WILL drop.
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:37 PM
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That's only part of the techno-trend story...

Presumably recording of TV shows will be taken over by digital video recorders (FAQ here: http://www.sgsw.com/misc/faq.html), which have a number of advantages over tapes. E.g.:

1) Random access -- you don't have to rewind or fast forward, groping around for the spot you want

2) File management -- no more "what's on this tape?" or "Where'd we put the tape with all the "24" episodes on it?"

3) Always on -- You can effectively do your own "instant replays", or archive moments never to be repeated (bloopers/profane slips/TV news carnage that gets yanked for being in bad taste, etc.)

For home video-type recording, transitionally, people might continue to use video cameras to tape, and simply play those and older tapes onto a digital system for archiving. Ultimately, digital video cameras will replace tape based ones, though this will take some time (digital still cameras are only beginning to displace film-based ones).
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:41 PM
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There's also the option of a DVD and VCR in one unit.
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:50 PM
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As has been pointed out, the Media Police aren't going to bust down your door and remove your VCR. You are free to enjoy your VHS tapes in peace. There are still people who have Betamaxes stashed away somewhere, I'll bet.

Of course, once you do buy a DVD player with a decent surround system, you'll never look back. Tapes have muddy picture with half the resolution and lines per screen of DVDs. DVDs have commentary tracks so you can listen to the filmmakers discuss the movie as you watch it; they have the movie trailers and deleted scenes; and they include "making of" documentaries. They also have scene selection menus so you can jump immediately to a favorite scene without having to rewind or fast forward.

In addition, DVDs have 5.1 surround sound on both Dolby Digital and DTS formats, so you can hear the movie happening all around you. Thec clarity of digital sound is vastly superior to the analog sound of VHS. DVDs don't have the tape hiss or the crackle of dirt going through the playing heads that you get with VHS.

DVDs are to VHS as CDs are to cassettes.
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:52 PM
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Re: But I don't want to give up my VCR!


Quote:
Originally posted by ivylass
Anyone else screaming and digging their heels in at the fast pace of progress?
I had the exact same thought when I read the article in the San Francisco Chronicle about 15 minutes ago. (And this is not the first time that I've read an ivylass post and thought, "wow -- the two of us are sharing a brain. )

I edit, collect and trade T.V show tapes. I have hundreds. While I'm aware that this is not the primary purpose of video recording devices, it's the one that's most important to me, and it seems to be the one that doesn't have a ready replacement available.

The last time a took my VCR in to be repaired, I found that my much-loved repair shop was going out of business. It seems no one is using them anymore.

Maybe DVD recorders, or very large memory Tivo-type devices, or even some new form of media will eventually work for me, but I'll always have a soft spot for good old VHS. When I was a small child, I used to dream about owning T.V. shows and being able to watch them over and over again whenever I wanted. Then along came VCR's, and my dream became a reality. :sniff:
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:54 PM
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My father and thousands of others have hung onto their record players and LP collections. As long as the equipment works for you, there shouldn't be any concern of general obsolescence.

Of course, ten years from now you may find it impossible to have your VCR repaired or replaced, making your old tapes extremely expensive to convert into whatever the current format is.
  #9  
Old 06-21-2002, 12:54 PM
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I love DVDs, but I still use my VCR regularly. I won't give it up without a fight.
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Old 06-21-2002, 01:10 PM
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My concern is the VCR will break and I won't be able to get it fixed...like trying to find a ribbon for my typewriter or new beads for my abacus.
  #11  
Old 06-21-2002, 01:18 PM
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I frankly don't think DVDs have any real advantage over tapes other than not having to rewind them.

Audio tracks: what a goddamn waste of time. There are probably less than a dozen films that I'd care about how they were made, and the people involved are all dead by now. But I doubt anyone with a brain would give a damn about 90% of the tracks, and I don't have the time to watch a movie twice just to hear the people involved patting themselves on the back.

Quality: You can see the movie fine. The extra sharpness doesn't do a thing to improve things, other than letting you gush, "Golly gee whiz, that's so clear! And its so shiny and bright! It must come from the gods!"

Recording: I record more these days than I rent tapes. DVDs have a long way to go.

Jumping to a scene: Dumb. I watch a movie from start to finish. Why should I want to see any particular scene out of context?

Special features: The trailers are interesting, but other than that, who cares?
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Old 06-21-2002, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
When I was a small child, I used to dream about owning T.V. shows and being able to watch them over and over again whenever I wanted. Then along came VCR's, and my dream became a reality. :sniff:
And with DVDm, your dream is a reality as well, only with vastly improved picture and sound. Friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Simpsons, The Prisoner, and Space: 1999 are just a few of the TV show DVD box sets that are available. As the technology matures, more and more full seasons of TV shows will become available for purchase, and in a couple of years, you'll be able to burn shows from TV onto your DVD-R drive.
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Old 06-21-2002, 01:22 PM
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Quality: You can see the movie fine. The extra sharpness doesn't do a thing to improve things, other than letting you gush, "Golly gee whiz, that's so clear! And its so shiny and bright! It must come from the gods!"
Um, it makes the picture sharper, hello? I have compared movies on VHS that I repurchased on DVD, and there is no comparison. The colors, the clarity, and the detail are so much better than VHS. If you don't want DVD, fine. But if you can't see the visual difference between the two media, you need your eyes checked.
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Jumping to a scene: Dumb. I watch a movie from start to finish. Why should I want to see any particular scene out of context?
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Old 06-21-2002, 01:32 PM
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Don't worry. The gradual transition from brown shiny tape to digital visual media will go the same way as every previous transition from one technology to its successor.

You can carry on using your VCR and enjoying your video tapes for as long as you want and as long as they last. But 'as long as you want' may not be forever, once you appreciate the benefits of the new medium.

As the video market declines, and the DVD market expands, there will indeed be fewer people supplying tapes or repairing VCR machines. But there will be more people offering the service of transferring the material on your tapes to the new digital medium, and it will become easier and cheaper to do this for yourself at home.

Domestic DVDs that also record are already on sale. At the moment they are hideously expensive, but this will change gradually over time as popular take-up encourages lower prices and vice-versa.

Eventually, one of three things will happen to all your taped material. (1) For the not-so-essential stuff, you'll keep it on tape, enjoy it while you can, but accept there may come a day far in the future when you can't view it any more. (2) Pay someone to transfer it to DVD or (3) when the domestic kit is up to the job, transfer it to DVD yourself at home.

It was the same for 'Super-8' home movie buffs when video came in and took over. And the same for whatever came before Super-8 when Super-8 came in.

The nice thing about the transfer from analogue media (like video tape) to digital media is that although this transfer itself will incur some marginal loss of picture quality, once the data is in digital format it can then be copied forever with no further loss of quality.

BTW, I know someone who still earns a living as a typewriter repair man!
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Old 06-21-2002, 02:31 PM
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Hey, gobear, my Betas are not stashed away. They are being used. Much better archival than VHS. (Finally that ugly crap is going to die!)

They are selling nicely on eBay (sold one of my old monos not too long ago).

So a chain I don't go to won't sell tapes I wouldn't buy (or rent) anymore. And the issue is ... ?
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Old 06-21-2002, 02:38 PM
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RealityChuck, I think the fact that Criterion is still in business, and is in fact releasing more movies than ever since they started back in the late 80s with Laserdiscs, demonstrates that there is a not-insignificant group of people that wants exactly the features that you think are so stupid.

And the difference in picture quality is far beyond marginal. I can't imagine any rational person asserting otherwise. Ever been in a theater that shows a severely underlit projection of a movie? Then seen that same movie properly projected? Well, the difference between DVD and VHS is about double that.
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Old 06-21-2002, 02:59 PM
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One advantage VCRs have which will help them stay around for a while is that you can take a tape and bring it to some other location for viewing there. AFAIK, TiVO and their ilk don't support that capability yet.
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Old 06-21-2002, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RealityChuck
I frankly don't think DVDs have any real advantage over tapes other than not having to rewind them.

Audio tracks: what a goddamn waste of time. There are probably less than a dozen films that I'd care about how they were made, and the people involved are all dead by now. But I doubt anyone with a brain would give a damn about 90% of the tracks, and I don't have the time to watch a movie twice just to hear the people involved patting themselves on the back.

Quality: You can see the movie fine. The extra sharpness doesn't do a thing to improve things, other than letting you gush, "Golly gee whiz, that's so clear! And its so shiny and bright! It must come from the gods!"

Recording: I record more these days than I rent tapes. DVDs have a long way to go.

Jumping to a scene: Dumb. I watch a movie from start to finish. Why should I want to see any particular scene out of context?

Special features: The trailers are interesting, but other than that, who cares?

Oh I dreaded the Day DVDs started to become the new norm. That means folks like Reality Chuck can start changing the content of DVDs through market force. "I hate letterbox because I can't see all of the pictures!" "Get rid of those dumb comentary tracks! Who needs extra features?"

Damn it DVD was created for people who love film!! It gives them the proper aspect ratio (Hopefully) It gives them insight into the creative process it gives all the little Tidbits we enjoy learning about. DVD was not meant for the average consumer who doesn't give a rats ass. If this keeps up expect all Discs to be full frame without all those needless features.

Lord Save me from Lonnies!
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Old 06-21-2002, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RealityChuck
I frankly don't think DVDs have any real advantage over tapes other than not having to rewind them.

Audio tracks: what a goddamn waste of time. There are probably less than a dozen films that I'd care about how they were made, and the people involved are all dead by now. But I doubt anyone with a brain would give a damn about 90% of the tracks, and I don't have the time to watch a movie twice just to hear the people involved patting themselves on the back.

Quality: You can see the movie fine. The extra sharpness doesn't do a thing to improve things, other than letting you gush, "Golly gee whiz, that's so clear! And its so shiny and bright! It must come from the gods!"

Recording: I record more these days than I rent tapes. DVDs have a long way to go.

Jumping to a scene: Dumb. I watch a movie from start to finish. Why should I want to see any particular scene out of context?

Special features: The trailers are interesting, but other than that, who cares?

Oh I dreaded the Day DVDs started to become the new norm. That means folks like Reality Chuck can start changing the content of DVDs through market force. "I hate letterbox because I can't see all of the pictures!" "Get rid of those dumb comentary tracks! Who needs extra features?"

Damn it DVD was created for people who love film!! It gives them the proper aspect ratio (Hopefully) It gives them insight into the creative process it gives all the little Tidbits we enjoy learning about. DVD was not meant for the average consumer who doesn't give a rats ass. If this keeps up expect all Discs to be full frame without all those needless features.

Lord Save me from Loonies!
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Old 06-21-2002, 03:23 PM
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Re: Re: But I don't want to give up my VCR!


Quote:
Originally posted by SpoilerVirgin


(And this is not the first time that I've read an ivylass post and thought, "wow -- the two of us are sharing a brain.
How scary! Let's see, I think we agreed on how can one sleep while there's a homeless man bleeding in your garage...anything else?

ivylass planning to guard her thoughts when Spoiler is online
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Old 06-21-2002, 04:54 PM
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RealityChuck, I'm (for the most part) with you. I have a DVD player, and it is pretty cool in a "golly gee whiz" sort of way. The extra features are nice too. But for all of the build-up I received from people of how I'd never look at video the same way again once I got a DVD player, I have to say it fell short.

Don't misunderstand me; I do like the DVD player I have, but a good film is a good film, whether you're seeing it on a VHS tape, a DVD, or a black and white television.

As for the "extra features," I can't see myself watching all of them. Take the deleted scenes feature, for example. The scenes were deleted for a reason: they're not very good scenes.

But, since the technology is obviously moving forward, I'm ready for it to do so. VCR's and VCR tapes will continue to be available for at least another ten years, probably more. In the 1980's, when CD's first came out, some people said that cassettes would die out in a year. You can still buy them, of course. As long as there are people who will buy VCR's and VHS tapes, they'll still sell them.

So, I guess I'm a reluctant DVD guy, but a VCR loyalist. When DVD recorders go under $100, I'll buy one of those too. (I finally broke down and bought my DVD player when the $50--after rebate--price tag was too cheap to resist any longer.)
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Old 06-21-2002, 05:55 PM
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Re: Re: Re: But I don't want to give up my VCR!


Quote:
Originally posted by ivylass
Let's see, I think we agreed on how can one sleep while there's a homeless man bleeding in your garage...anything else?
Well we both balance our checkbooks to the penny every month, but I think I noticed this phenomenon when I was logging on to Cafe Society regularly to check threads for The West Wing, Enterprise, and CSI, and I noticed you posting (or being the OP) in every one.

Television...bringing the world together.
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Old 06-21-2002, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gobear

Of course, once you do buy a DVD player with a decent surround system, you'll never look back.
Gobear (or Anyone): Pardon the mini-hijack, but for a small apartment, how much would you suggest I spend for a Surround System, and which brand-names do you recommend?

Thanks

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Old 06-21-2002, 09:31 PM
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Re: Re: But I don't want to give up my VCR!


Quote:
Originally posted by SpoilerVirgin


I had the exact same thought when I read the article in the San Francisco Chronicle about 15 minutes ago. (And this is not the first time that I've read an ivylass post and thought, "wow -- the two of us are sharing a brain. )

I edit, collect and trade T.V show tapes. I have hundreds. While I'm aware that this is not the primary purpose of video recording devices, it's the one that's most important to me, and it seems to be the one that doesn't have a ready replacement available.

The last time a took my VCR in to be repaired, I found that my much-loved repair shop was going out of business. It seems no one is using them anymore.

Maybe DVD recorders, or very large memory Tivo-type devices, or even some new form of media will eventually work for me, but I'll always have a soft spot for good old VHS. When I was a small child, I used to dream about owning T.V. shows and being able to watch them over and over again whenever I wanted. Then along came VCR's, and my dream became a reality. :sniff:
Me too, except for the trading part; I have a over hundred tapes in my room of tv shows I needed to tape so I could watch them again and again...and I'm going to have even more once WE starts airing Felicity and 2 Guys and a Girl this fall since I didn't realize when they were on that I needed to watch them again...how foolish of me. I would never buy a Tivo because it doesn't let you keep all your shows forever.

Don't get me wrong, I love my DVDs too, but they're only good for watching movies and seasons of shows released for sale so far, so my friend the VCR will have a place of honor for a long time to come. I seriously doubt that they'll stop manufacturing blank video tapes in the next few years, so I'm not going to let it bother me that one chain of stores has declared tapes obselete.
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Old 06-21-2002, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
I have probably 100+ tapes, with movies and home videos, including the birth of my daughter (my husband was in the Navy and missed it) and I don't want to face the possibility of never watching them again.
Take them to Walgreens and have them transferred to DVD for $19.95. It's cheap insurance against both obsolescense and loss.

Quote:
how much would you suggest I spend for a Surround System, and which brand-names do you recommend?
Not to steal Gobear's thunder or anything, but you can buy a very nice 'home theater in a box' containing a DVD player, receiver and speakers for ~$500 (plus or minus) from respectable brands like Yamaha, Sony and Pioneer.
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Old 06-21-2002, 11:23 PM
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If you already have a DVD player, you can pick up a Kenwood or RCA 600-watt home theater for about $250 at Best Buy. For a small apartment, that will provide more than enough power to blast some some sound.
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Old 06-21-2002, 11:24 PM
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Will also point out, that the next generation of DVD recorders coming out can store up to 17 hours of normal TV video on them. The current generation you can expect to drop in price pretty dramatically in the next year or so, and the new blue light laser DVD's will probably start out a bit high, but should drop pretty dramatically. Provided, of course, that Hollywood doesn't get to dictate matters like they are currently trying to.
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Old 06-21-2002, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gobear
If you already have a DVD player, you can pick up a Kenwood or RCA 600-watt home theater for about $250 at Best Buy. For a small apartment, that will provide more than enough power to blast some some sound.
Thanks, Gobear. I will definitely check it out. Heretofore, I've been running my DVD through my stereo system, and while it boosts the sound through my stereo speakers, it also boosts the soundtrack, making the dialogue very difficult to hear over the music at times.

Quasi
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Old 06-21-2002, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bryan Ekers
My father and thousands of others have hung onto their record players and LP collections. As long as the equipment works for you, there shouldn't be any concern of general obsolescence.
I think a better comparison is between audio cassettes and CDs. Everyone still has a tape deck, and they still sell blank tapes everywhere, but virtually no one buys albums on them anymore. I'd imagine this is just the way it will be with VHS tapes.
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Old 06-22-2002, 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by nineiron
Don't misunderstand me; I do like the DVD player I have, but a good film is a good film, whether you're seeing it on a VHS tape, a DVD, or a black and white television.
True. There's absolutely nothing lost when, say, you're watching The Wizard of Oz on a black and white TV and...Dorothy steps out of the farmhouse into Oz.



Quote:
As for the "extra features," I can't see myself watching all of them. Take the deleted scenes feature, for example. The scenes were deleted for a reason: they're not very good scenes.
This may be one of the single dumbest generalizations I've ever read on the Dope.

Scenes are cut from movies for all sorts of reasons: studio politics (the proper ending to Brazil ), a fight amongst the creative team involved ( Twice Upon a Time ), ratings reasons ( possibly the "love scene" from Tron...I'm not positive that's why it was deleted) or, dumb as it sounds, legnth: When Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks opened, it was going to premier at Radio City Music Hall, which back then was a big deal. Radio City Music Hall said "Mmm...we want one more showing a day. Cut out 20 minutes." and the film was butchered. Two dance numbers starring the incomparable Angela Landsbury were cut and a bunch of dialogue (enought to make the movie into gibberish went...after seeing the restored (partially...one number seems to be lost forever) version, my only conclusion is that a chimpanzee was given a pair of scissors and the film and let loose to cut more-or-less randomly. If you don't see the deleted scenes, among other little tidbits, you don't know that the kids' parents are dead...and it's implied they're alive, since the kids trying so hard to get back to London, presumably to be with their folks. That removal of the dialogue where they explain that their parents died in the Blitz makes the scene where they're trying to get Professor Brown to stay so that they'll have a father weird and jarring.

The musical The Fantasticks was a wonderful little movie that the studio did it's best to ruin for some reason: the studio cut the most famous song ("Try to Remember") from the musical completely out, along with like...3 other songs): it would be like cutting "Big Spender" out of Sweet Charity But thanks to the magic of DVD, I've got the movie back and can see it the way the director intended.

Sure: some scenes should stay on the cutting room floor, but to blythely say that all cut scenes are cut because they're "not very good" is ridiculous.

Fenris
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Old 06-22-2002, 12:54 PM
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Like Fenris above, I've discovered that you can tell a lot about a director, or whoever did the editing, by the deleted scenes. In a good movie, deleted scenes are usually scenes that reinforce an idea already present. In a poorly edited movie, they contain vital information.

We watched the deleted scenes for The Wedding Planner (not the greatest movie in the world, but our DVD player was still relatively new, and we wanted to play with it). The movie made *way* more sense with the deleted scenes in. To make it worse, the commentary on the scenes kept running along the lines of "I don't know why I cut this scene. I wonder if it's too late to put it back in" followed by laughter. Um, yeah. Why did you take those scenes out?

I agree with cckerberos's vision of the future. Tivo? Last time I checked, it wasn't available in Canada, so that's not even an option. I like to archive my favourite shows. There's not a lot of shows that I archive, but until I can replace my entire BtVS or DS9 collection on DVD (which is slowly happening by the release of official DVD's), my VCR isn't going anywhere.

I argued this whole point in a thread sometime last year (where were some of you guys to back me up??). My point was that there are far too many technophobic people out there, and people who do not want to spend the extra money on the high tech recording equipment to spell the doom of VCR's. It's going to be a very long time before the public in general quits using them. Nothing beats the price and ease of recording with one, hence, at least for recording purposes, they will not be going away for a long time.

I love my DVD player. But I am not getting rid of my VCR until my extensive collection of VHS tapes are replaced on DVD (and I'm not sure if that's ever going to happen) and until I can tape and archive anything I want to view on TV as easily and economically as I could with VHS.
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Old 06-22-2002, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fenris
[B]
True. There's absolutely nothing lost when, say, you're watching The Wizard of Oz on a black and white TV and...Dorothy steps out of the farmhouse into Oz.

Right. And "Freddie Got Fingered" becomes great art when you watch it on a DVD. Gosh, I'm sorry that my use of exaggeration was not understood. Let me put it another way, then: No, nothing is lost when Dorothy steps out of the farmhouse and finds no director's commentary or deleted scenes. Nothing is lost at all. The film speaks for itself, as any good one should, and does not need a director or anyone else to explain it to the audience. I guess I'm odd in that I enjoy a good movie in whichever form I see it, and that added picture clarity and/or sound does not improve what most people care about in a film: the plot and characters. As I have said, improved technology is nice, but it doesn't improve a good film, nor does less-than-up-to- date technology ruin a good film.


Sure: some scenes should stay on the cutting room floor, but to blythely say that all cut scenes are cut because they're "not very good" is ridiculous.


The film as it is shown in the theater is the "real" film. There may be other interesting tidbits of "what we might have done" or "what we could have done" or even "what we should have done" from the makers of the film, but if a scene is deleted, it is no more a part of the film than a discarded rough draft is a part of a finished novel. There was a fight among the creative team in the movie? There were political differences? OK, but that's part of the reality which led to the version of the film that was produced. If said scenes were not in the version of the film that was released, they're not vital. Again, they're a nice little diversion and fun, I suppose, but far from necessary.

If every novel I read came with "author's commentary" telling me why he wrote each sentence the way he did, along with "deleted chapters not available in the original novel," I'd probably steer clear of those too, choosing to let the work stand on its own merit. And if increased clarity of the words were available, along with nifty 3-D images to go along with the words in the novel, well, that'd be just lovely, but not necessary either. It's the same with DVD: the bells and whistles are nice to have, but I will stand by my statement that a good film doesn't NEED all of the extras, as fun or interesting as they may be.
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Old 06-22-2002, 09:06 PM
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In the special edition of Alien, you get to see the deleted scens AND an explanation of where they go, why they were cut, and (more importantly) how their removal affects the rest of the movie.
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Old 06-22-2002, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nineiron

The film as it is shown in the theater is the "real" film. There may be other interesting tidbits of "what we might have done" or "what we could have done" or even "what we should have done" from the makers of the film, but if a scene is deleted, it is no more a part of the film than a discarded rough draft is a part of a finished novel.
Sez you.

Let's talk novels.

Heinlein had a very clear message he wanted to covey in the book Red Planet. His psychotic editor decided that she didn't like it and had cut chunks out. The novel has been restored to exactly how Heinlein wanted it. Heinlein's estate won't allow the butchered version to be reprinted (at least in the US) Which is the "real" book?

Let's look at this in another context: the stage production.

There are probably 8 versions of the musical "Chess". The authors keep tinkering with it. Several versions often play at once. Which is the "real" one.

Or even movies: if being shown in the theater is the magical determinant of what's real, which version of Fantasia counts? The original, with the black centaur shoe-shines, or every re-release since 1967(?) that doesn't have them?

What about Bedknobs and Broomsticks? Butchered to incomprehension at the whim of a theater who wanted time for dancing girls to perform between showings. Are you honestly saying you'd rather watch an semi-incoherent version missing about 20 minutes that the director wanted in rather than watch one that makes sense, even if it wasn't what was originally shown?

And what about Star Wars: the first time it was shown in a theater (for a test screening) it had none of John Williams music. Is every version with music an interesting 'what might have been'?

Artists revise their work all the time. No one but the artist has the authority to say "This is the real one". "This is the one I prefer" yes. "This is the only true one": no, IMHO.

Fenris
  #35  
Old 06-22-2002, 10:15 PM
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The funny thing is that it's really academic. Don't like commentaries and deleted scenes? Don't watch or listen the farkin' things. If all you want to do is watch the movie, what difference does it make to you if it's on a DVD or a VHS tape? It costs the same to rent it at Blockbuster or Hollywood whichever format it's on; and if you're buying them, they aren't any more expensive than VHS tapes were when they first started offering them at sell-through prices. And they'll get less expensive as market penetration increases.

So if it costs the same to rent as a VHS version, and gives you the same movie as the VHS version (actually better), then it serves the same purpose as the VHS version, so what difference does it make to you if it's on a plastic disc or in a tape cartridge? It isn't as if you rent the movies then record over them and return them, I hope.

And I still don't get this deal about "The sound and picture quality don't matter." Of course they matter. Anyone who has seen a shitty pan & scan transfer of Lawrence of Arabia, then watched the DVD transfer in the original aspect ratio, can tell you it matters. If it didn't matter, directors would still film in 1.33:1 and record their sound in mono. Do you think Alfred Hitchcock just stood there when filming Vertigo and said, "Oh, just put the camera any old place; it doesn't matter?"

Would you say that Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" was just as good if half the canvas was missing and it was in black-and-white? Is the "1812 Overture" as good if played with the brass section missing? Cripes, I hope not. How an artist composes the elements of his work has a direct bearing on how the work is experienced by the audience.

Adding to Fenris's point about "real versions" of films, here are two more examples. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was rushed into theaters in 1979 because the studio had committed to an opening date. It was sent out with unfinished special effects and temp music in places, and that's what people have seen since 1979. The recent DVD release is, according to director Robert Wise and everyone else involved, the "real version."

Similarly Close Encounters of the Third Kind has gone through many permutations. The original release was not what Spielberg wanted, but again, the studio had committed to an opening date and needed the movie. Spielberg asked for permission to re-edit and re-release the movie, and the studio agreed on the condition that he add footage of the inside of the mothership. He agreed to do so, and that was the second version. There have been combinations of the two cuts throughout the years, but the version recently released on DVD -- without the mothership footage[/i] -- is, according to Spielberg, his cut, the "real version."

That DVD also contains several deleted scenes, particularly with Francois Truffaut's character, that reveal a great deal about how the pacing and focus of the movie changed during the shooting, and how material was moved around in order to provide better structure. There are some of us who, as film students (in the amateur sense of the word) find that interesting, and enjoy seeing it. Just because some people like to passively absorb a movie and then forget it doesn't mean everyone does.
  #36  
Old 06-22-2002, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Right. And "Freddie Got Fingered" becomes great art when you watch it on a DVD. Gosh, I'm sorry that my use of exaggeration was not understood. Let me put it another way, then: No, nothing is lost when Dorothy steps out of the farmhouse and finds no director's commentary or deleted scenes.
I also vehemently disagree The commentary tracks on the Universal horror classics, like Dracula and Bride of Frankenstein are immensely illuminating on the careers of Karloff and Lugosi. Roger Ebert's commentary on Citizen Kane is a master's classd on camera technique and composition. Some people like to think about the elements that go into the creation of film, as opposed to just watching a movie.
Quote:
There were political differences? OK, but that's part of the reality which led to the version of the film that was produced. If said scenes were not in the version of the film that was released, they're not vital.
Sorry, but that is just gross ignorance. Take, for example, Orson Welles' masterpiece, A Touch of Evil. It was taken from Welles and reedited (with a hatchet) by the studio. The opening three-minute long tracking shot, which is crucial to setting up the character development and plot of the movie is obscured by credits. The DVd restores the movie to be seen as Welles intended it.
  #37  
Old 06-23-2002, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fenris
The musical The Fantasticks was a wonderful little movie that the studio did it's best to ruin for some reason: the studio cut the most famous song ("Try to Remember") from the musical completely out, along with like...3 other songs): it would be like cutting "Big Spender" out of Sweet Charity But thanks to the magic of DVD, I've got the movie back and can see it the way the director intended.Fenris
The Fantasticks is one of my wife's favorite shows; she actually knew some of the people involved in the original (pre-Broadway) production. When it was first announced that a movie was being made, we were wondering how they would handle the "abduction song" since there was no way the original lyrics would be acceptable in a movie. Due to the movie's extremely limited release, we completely missed it until I came across an article which mentioned the video version, which is when we found out how badly it had been butchered. When I found out there was a "special edition" DVD with the missing songs, I ordered it even though we didn't have a DVD player (in fact, the only one we have now is the one on my computer, for various reasons).
I love the fact that they put out DVDs with "missing" scenes, alternate endings, commentary and interviews. As gobear said, the insight into the creative process, the chance to see what the director wanted to do as opposed to what the studio forced him to do, etc all enhance my viewing experience.
  #38  
Old 06-23-2002, 01:18 AM
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I've got a home theater with a 102" screen, and it would not be possible without DVD. VHS tapes are unwatchable at that size, whereas a good progressive scan DVD can look as good as an average print in the cineplex.

DVD gets a big thumbs-up from me. But there is a worrying trend towards removing letterboxing from DVD's and going back to TV aspect ratio. I believe Blockbuster has already announced that they will not distribute a DVD that does not have a 1.33 version on it. Worse, my local video store will ONLY stock 1.33 versions. So even if the DVD is available in both aspect ratios, the store will only bring in the 1.33 versions. The only movies I can rent there are the ones where both aspect ratios are on the same DVD.
  #39  
Old 06-23-2002, 05:10 AM
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Until I can record something off the TV and take it over to my friend's place without involving our computers, I'm not moving my VCR. Take that, TiVo.
  #40  
Old 06-23-2002, 05:44 AM
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Fenris' post reminds me of that bit on TCM or AMC with various director's talking about the evils of pan and scan. Very interesting. And I think DVDs are great. Now watching VHS is like reading Lord of the Rings without the appendix.

We are becoming a digital society. First PCs, then CDs and now DVDs and photo disks. Making things digital makes them so much smaller and more portable. I can't wait till I can get rid of my VCR and I can stop worrying that it will eat one of my tapes. With my DVD player I know I can always get it back.
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Old 06-23-2002, 06:38 AM
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Sometimes I enjoy the commentary track more than the actual movie!

And Sam Stone, you've gotta try Netflix.com!
  #42  
Old 06-23-2002, 06:47 AM
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Just getting back to the OP for a moment here...vinyl's been dead (or anyway in a coma) for over ten years now, but the electronics stores around where I live (not a big city) still have turntables. So take heart Ivylass, I'm sure you'll be able to play your old tapes as long as they last, and listen to your old vinyl records too.

Speaking for myself, I really like my VCR, but I've wanted a DVD player since I first heard about them and intend to get one quite soon. You can tell I really mean that because I am posting DVD player-related questions to this board. Not that I would shamelessly take advantage of this opportunity to plug it...whups, too late, already did .
  #43  
Old 06-23-2002, 02:46 PM
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DVD was not meant for the average consumer who doesn't give a rats ass.
Nonsense, DVD put on the market so as to suck dollars into corporate coffers from every single consumer they can convince into contributing - there is nothing artsy, noble, or profound about it. It's a techno-toy for techno(and/or movie) geeks (No offense, I am a movie geek myself). The industry is 'going digital' because the industry wants to go digital.

As yet I don't own a DVD, I don't have anything against them per se, but like the OP I have too many tapes to bother trying to switch now - and probably not until I'm forced to.

My suggestion for those of us who are slower to jump on band wagons is the next time there is a sale in the electronics department, stockpile 3 or 4 VCRs, probably won't cost much more than $100, and stick 'em in the closet for replacements.
We can go on watching and recording tapes for years yet
  #44  
Old 06-23-2002, 07:50 PM
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Quote
Quote:
DVD was not meant for the average consumer who doesn't give a rats ass.
Actually, DVD as it was originally envisioned was very much designed with the consumer in mind. Ever see the betaDVD version of Batman that was show back when DVD was being originally being shown as a new tech? Amongst its neater tricks, is on the same disk, PG/13 and R versions of the film. The attempt was made to actually have the film seamlessly cut out the scenes to make it PG/13, and if set to PG, change some of the words. DVD has a lot of features that are aimed at the average consumer, problem is, the studios don't want to use them.
  #45  
Old 06-23-2002, 11:33 PM
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Many may not realize the main reason Hollywood fought off the VCR was that it would cut revenue. In other words people would FAST FORWARD thru the commercials.

The courts ruled this wasn't likely.

A recordable DVD takes away this. Not only can you zip thru commercials you can program it to skip them to start with.

The court reasoning to allow the VCR (many people don't realize what a battle it was to make the VCR legal)
will make Hollywood fight the recordable DVD on a large scale. In fact according to Business 2.0 magazine they already have started lawsuits.

I only use a VCR to record. I rarely rent. Most of the hostility is having to shell out bucks for the same product. I mean a record, an eight track, a cassette, then a CD now a DVD...How many times am I gonna have to buy that "Meet the Beatles" record.
  #46  
Old 06-24-2002, 02:27 AM
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I want to get a DVD player, and plan on getting one soon. I will sometimes buy pre-recorded tapes, and I want to stop doing that. I want to start buying pre-recorded DVDs. No use in fighting the inevitable. If I stick with buying VHS movies, I'll just end up "re-buying" the same movies in DVD later on. I've already got too many movies (already owned on VHS) that I know I'll be getting on DVD. No need to make this whole transition more expensive than it is already destined to be.

But regarding VHS tapes in general—they'll have to pry my VCR out of my cold, dead hands. (No, I know, no one wants to do that!) I have SO many VHS tapes, it's beyond comprehension. Hundreds and hundreds. And I've been especially enjoying them lately. I recently moved, and we haven't got the satellite dish hooked up downstairs (where my "office/cubbyhole" is). I MUST have a TV down here, but with no satellite dish, I am watching tapes. And it's been great. I'm pulling out old tapes and re-discovering all sorts of old shows that are NOT shown anywhere (that I know of).

I just hit upon a rich vein of tapes from the '93/'94 era. I just let 'em run all the way through, as I do my work. I had taped a short-lived show with Valerie Bertinelli called "Cafe American". Not the best show of all time, but cute, and I have enjoyed seeing it again. As far as I know, no network is showing reruns of it. And, there are old reruns that the Sci-Fi Channel showed back then, like "The Invaders". (I have decided that Roy Thinnes is so fabulous! Sigh.) And anyone remember the really rather bad '70s show "Fantastic Journey" with Roddy McDowel and Jared Martin? Or the bad '70s "Gemini Man" (an Invisible Man premise) with Ben Murphy? Or the '80s show "Otherworld"? I've seen 'em all in the last week, on these old tapes. And it's been a blast. So, I will not be giving up my VCR anytime soon. There are so many forgotten treasures in my VHS collection! I will plan on gradually transferring them to DVD, when the technology becomes affordable. But with so many tapes, it will be quite an undertaking. It will take years and years.
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  #47  
Old 06-24-2002, 07:07 AM
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Except the price is a rippoff, & it won't ever come down.

CDs never got cheaper.

Don't talk to me about the "extra quality". The pricetag per film is what I care about.

The whole DVD/TVio thing is just another way to rip off the public.

F*cking corporate cheats.
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  #48  
Old 06-24-2002, 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by yosemitebabe
[B] And anyone remember the really rather bad '70s show "Fantastic Journey" with Roddy McDowel and Jared Martin? B]
YES! Thanks for this, I've been trying to remember the name of that series for years. I got myself convinced I imagined the whole thing!

Wasn't there a kid in it too, who later went on to star in something else? (sorry I can't remember any more)
  #49  
Old 06-24-2002, 09:53 AM
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Originally posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Except the price is a rippoff, & it won't ever come down.

CDs never got cheaper.
Why should they?
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  #50  
Old 06-24-2002, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yookeroo


Why should they?


Maybe because I can count, add & subtract, unlike others.

If a VHS costs $18, & a DVD costs $30; & if the "added value" features are things I don't give a damn about, then...

I, and incidently you, are being ripped off!

Do I have to spell out everything?

Most of the electronics in your home will be largely useless in 5 years or less , and will have to be replaced by much more expensive gear that does not perform any better in a meaningful sense, and in some cases loses one or more capabilities ==like the "no archive" problem with TiVo. Or whatever the stupid thing is called.

This is not trading up. This is called "losing your ass".
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