Re: [Videolib] VHS format

Gary Handman (
Sun, 17 Sep 2006 13:34:01 -0700

Hi all

I think VHS is pretty much dead in the water as far as a consumer medium. Seems
to me the consumer electronics industry will make sure of that. My prediction
is that in five years (or less) you'll walk into a Best Buy, ask for a VHS
player and get a blank "huh?" look. Sorta happening right now.

That said: we (librarians and archivists) be in big trouble. UCB MRC has
around 25,000 non-fiction titles on VHS. A certain number of those titles (a
very small number) will eventually make it into DVD. What about the rest? What
happens when you have a collection that's crumbling into oxide dust by the day?
A collection for which you can't even buy players any longer.

Makes me lie awake nights.

Gary Handman

> Jessica, I'm very intrigued with your comment that VHS is not an obsolete
> format and won't be for a long time. What's your evidence for/experience
> with
> this? Who is still using VHS? I recently (June '06) converted all 16 of my
> Women in Nontraditional Careers titles from VHS to DVD and am continuing to
> make the VHS format available (might as well, at least until my inventory is
> gone, was my original thinking). It's only been three months, but so far,
> given the choice, not one single customer has chosen VHS over DVD. Not one.
> I
> do still sell some VHS of my Women's History, Literature, & Art series that
> are still available only in VHS. I'm curious if you meant that preexisting
> VHS dubs will continue to be used until they wear out or that titles that
> are
> available only in VHS will still sell to reluctant customers who would
> really
> rather buy DVD if it were available or if you still see people who prefer
> (and, if so, what their rationale is). Thanks for any insight and I'd love
> to hear from others on the list about this issue, too.
> Jocelyn Riley

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