VHS has two years to live
By MATT NANIA
Scene Movie Editor
How much longer will you have to sit there patiently while your friends fast forward through their antiquated VHS tape of "Scarface" while you wish they would just catch up with times and get a DVD player?
Two more years.
The Bakersville Communications Corp. has found in a study that worldwide spending on DVD will overtake worldwide spending on VHS in 2003, with DVD players reaching 625 million homes.
What your friend is waiting for, of course, is the ability to record "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" — which he has been able to do with his VHS deck forever — on discs. And when that technology becomes affordable for DVD, the format will pummel VHS once and for all, the study says.
By all accounts, things have never looked better for DVD. It has been the fastest adopted consumer electronics format ever. So many of the stumbling blocks that have peppered its path to success have been overcome.
All of the major studios have joined the fray, and Steven Spielberg, who had previously been holding off putting his films on DVD, has given the industry a strong jolt recently by releasing noted canon classics "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and his "Jurassic Park" series on extras-packed discs.
Consumer reaction has been very encouraging, with hardware and software sales setting records year after year. During the first five months of 2001, sales of VCRs dropped 31 percent, compared to the 71 percent increase in DVD player sales. Indeed, by 2010, the study says, 55 percent of the world's homes that have a TV will also have a DVD player.
Major video outlets such as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video have noticed the strong shift from VHS to DVD and are devoting more shelf space to the new format.
Single men, the early adopters who rushed out and bought the first players and titles, are now being joined by women and middle-to-upper-class families.
To top it off, the mainstream press, from major publications such as Time and Entertainment Weekly, has made an impact by providing article support and regular disc reviews and recommendations. DVD is clearly becoming more of an established item.
Now you can go tell your skeptical friend who refuses to pick up a DVD player that he will have one by 2003, whether he likes it or not.
Contact Matt Nania at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Scene Stories for Thursday, November 8, 2001