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Out With the Old DVD?

28 Jan, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I got a VHS screener in the mail the other day. I tossed it in the trash.

At home, I cleared the last videocassettes out of my cabinet. I had been keeping a few that aren't yet available on DVD, but you know what? I can live without them.

My mom just gave me a videocassette about small animals for Hunter, my 2-year-old. I practically tore the poor lady's head off, informing her in no uncertain terms that neither I nor anyone in my family will watch a videocassette.

Call me an elitist pig, but I have completely excised VHS from my life and don't want to hear anything more about it.

When the folks at DreamWorks told me that more than 90 percent of Shrek 2 sales were on DVD, I didn't marvel at the high DVD sales proportion for a family title. I wondered who those less than 10 percent were who still don't have a DVD player.

Now I'm wondering how I'm going to react when the high-definition disc makes its debut later this year.

With DVD, I turned from VHS pretty quickly. I've never liked tape; back in the record days, I bought albums, never cassettes or eight-tracks. And when I started at what was then Video Store Magazine in 1991, I never got a warm and fuzzy feeling from videocassettes — I never collected them the way I did albums or CDs.

DVD — archival, neat, clean, not easy to break—was tailor-made for me. High-def discs? I'll collect them, file them away. But I don't think I'm going to toss out my DVDs or go on any mass replacement program.

If most people are like me, the high-def disc will be slow to take off. But then again, I haven't bought a high-definition TV set yet.

Maybe when I do, my DVD collection will lose some of its luster as well.

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