The End Of The End Of An Era? No More VHS Distribution.
A trivia point for you: What was the last big studio movie to be released on VHS tape? The answer is 'A History of Violence,' released in 2006.
People in the consumer electronics industry have been announcing the end of the VHS era for years now – but this time they really, really mean it. Ever since the introduction of the DVD back in the late '90s, the VHS tape has been only the second-best solution to watching movies at home. The VCR is something only your parents or grandparents have attached to their second TV down in the basement or back guest room with a stack of old tapes sitting nearby, maybe your old copy of Eddie Murphy's 'Coming to America' or your mom's complete collection of 1981's 'Brideshead Revisited.' (Well, some mothers we know.)
Camcorders stopped using VHS tapes once other, smaller format tapes came out, like Super 8 or MiniDV so that source for a tape collection has also dried up. (And now video cameras that take recordable discs, memory cards or have hard drives are the common choice.)
During the last two years, movies on VHS tape have pretty much been available only in dollar stores, as the big box retailers have converted their floor space to carry DVDs and movies on Blu-ray Disc.
While watching a movie on disc is a much better experience than watching on VHS (no more "be kind, rewind" signs at the rental store is certainly a good thing), people can't deny the effect this technology had on American movie-watching patterns.
"I think in some ways it even pulled families together, if that doesn't sound too corny, because renting movies became such a part of the weekend," Jim Henderson tells the Los Angeles Times. He's one of the owners of a Hollywood store that sells pop culture in just about every format imaginable, including VHS. But even he no longer buys new VHS tapes. His inventory comes in by way of customers who want to want to buy and trade hard-to-find items.
JVC, the first company to make VHS players for consumers, announced before Halloween that it would no longer make stand-alone players – although it will continue to make DVD-VHS combo units for the time being.
And one of the major distributors of those cheap VHS movies you see in the dollar stores has announced he's bought his last new VHS tape. Ryan J. Kugler, who runs a family business that specializes in the cheap tapes says he was the last one buying VHS and the last one selling it. "And I'm done," he says. "Anything left in warehouse we'll just give away or throw away." [From Los Angeles Times, via Engadget]