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Thread: Misremembering VHS or VHS didn't look nearly as bad as people now claim it did

  1. #1
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    Misremembering VHS or VHS didn't look nearly as bad as people now claim it did

    VHS is obviously way below HD formats like Blu-Ray. No argument there. But it wasn't nearly as bad as it's now often portrayed as.

    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

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    I was in no hurry to jump on the DVD bandwagon and leave my vhs collection behind. Eventually I had no choice but still love my vhs (and beta) tapes.

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    Our earliest top-loading VCRs had a really good picture quality.
    Both Betamax and VHS.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_T7BhcH-_Lqw/Rph52zHLjQI/AAAAAAAAAWY/IRQJUp3saOs/s200/Hulk.jpg

    Looking for one CAH Mego Comic Activator (working or non working).

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    Yeah, I think a lot of folks forget that TV's have improved a lot as well but a nice new SP pre record of a movie on a tube TV was pretty sweet.

    I blame stuff like "Tim and Eric" which sort of lampoons the VHS tape that's been recorded on 50 times for this perception now.

  5. #5
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    My problem with VHS, and why I started buying laser discs then DVDs and then Blu-Ray, is more about aspect ratio than quality. Once I discovered that movies were shown, for the most part, in the wrong aspect ratio and were either presented pan and scan or "formatted to fit your TV"--which they still do unfortunately--it drove me crazy. Then of course you get into the open-matte problem, one notable example is Pee-Wee's Big Adventure when you can see the bike chain coming up through the bottom of his bag, which shows MORE of a movie than the director intended. That's when you see stuff like boom mics and tracks.
    I cannot and will not jump on the VHS nostalgia bandwagon though. Movies in HD in the correct aspect ratio just make me happy. I remember watching Eraserhead on VHS and not being able to see half of the movie. When I finally saw it on the big screen (and now on my remastered DVD) it was a revelation. I found myself muttering, "Oh, that's what that was!" It's probably not the best example since the movie is really dark anyway, but man what a huge difference!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Mego View Post
    I cannot and will not jump on the VHS nostalgia bandwagon though.
    This is actually about remembering the format in its correct historical context and not comically exaggerating its limitations. VHS picture quality obviously doesn't compare to Blu-Ray on a modern HDTV. But a good quality VHS tape on nice picture tube TV looked perfectly fine for the time.
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

  7. #7
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    Just making a personal annotation, it's not directed at the context of your post.

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    I have one the last models of VCR/DVD combos made before the production of VCRs were stopped. It actually has HDMI output. VHS image quality through HDMI on an HDTV is soft as you would expect a standard definition format would look on an HDTV. But it also looks far better than you would expect and is perfectly watchable.
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Mego View Post
    My problem with VHS, and why I started buying laser discs then DVDs and then Blu-Ray, is more about aspect ratio than quality. Once I discovered that movies were shown, for the most part, in the wrong aspect ratio and were either presented pan and scan or "formatted to fit your TV"--which they still do unfortunately--it drove me crazy. Then of course you get into the open-matte problem, one notable example is Pee-Wee's Big Adventure when you can see the bike chain coming up through the bottom of his bag, which shows MORE of a movie than the director intended. That's when you see stuff like boom mics and tracks.
    I cannot and will not jump on the VHS nostalgia bandwagon though. Movies in HD in the correct aspect ratio just make me happy. I remember watching Eraserhead on VHS and not being able to see half of the movie. When I finally saw it on the big screen (and now on my remastered DVD) it was a revelation. I found myself muttering, "Oh, that's what that was!" It's probably not the best example since the movie is really dark anyway, but man what a huge difference!
    Totally agree, original aspect ratio is very important to me, and it always drove me nuts to have videos that were pan and scanned, shown open matte, or otherwise altered (the only advantage to open matte is for movies that show more nudity that way, eg. "Mischief" ). Just before DVD showed up, some companies finally started releasing films on VHS that were letterboxed and I was thrilled about that (as at the time I couldn't afford a laserdisc player, which was the only way to see films in the correct aspect ratio at the time.

  10. #10
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    I actually liked pan-and-scan much better than letterbox on VHS.

    VHS letterbox had too much of a condensed picture --- you think you are seeing more but what you do see is lower quality than pan-and-scan.

    A lot of people hated to rewind the tape but I always thought it was part of the event of watching the movie --- like having a ciggy after doing SOMETHING.... that little time is contemplation time thinking about what just happened
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