Star Trek on Original VHS

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Reeborg, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. Reeborg

    Reeborg Commander Red Shirt

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    I still own a lot of purchased original VHS (UK) cassettes, bought when they were first released (mainly DS9 5-7, Voyager 4+5). I am wondering if these hold any (collector) value? I want to get rid of these: dump them, search for a present/gift receiver or what to do?
     
  2. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect they're basically worthless now. You could have a look on eBay to gauge if there is any demand. I bought a job lot of similar tapes on eBay about 15 years ago for not very much money and gave them away when I upgraded to the DVDs. I doubt even charity shops would take them.
     
  3. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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  4. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    VHS? I had some of them on Beta!
     
  5. Jeffe525

    Jeffe525 Commander Red Shirt

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    I would think the covers are more valuable than the tapes. We're not talking about laser discs here, old VHS tapes are going to have terrible quality, especially if they've been run and used normally.

    I remember upgrading my collection to DVD. I was able to trade in some when Movie Stop was new, but I waited to long for most of them. My only choice was to donate about 50 movies to my local library.

    Put them on E-Bay and hope some die-hard sees it and thinks that he really needs another VHS collection (you know he already has 6 of them). Otherwise, you may have to make them a flee-market vendor's problem, who will probably give you about a buck for the lot.
     
  6. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Agreed. I took care to make hi-res scans of all the slipcovers from the tapes I disposed of. A collection of digital assets takes up a LOT less space in your home, and in it you can keep all the photos and graphics for future reminiscing.
     
  7. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yep, I would say the tapes are worthless but you might be able to sell on (for very little, but still something) the covers.

    I used to also own all of TNG and DS9 on UK video, and I feel occasionally nostalgic for the covers, and episode descriptions on the back.

    By sheer luck, I was able to sell the entirety of DS9 on VHS back in 2002/03 for £250, just before the DVDs were announced!
     
  8. Tracy Trek

    Tracy Trek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some people have VCR's and might enjoy watching them if they check tapes out of the library. So maybe donate them. I've sold a few at yard sales. And I donated some to a local library.
     
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've seen some in charity shops. Donate them.

    Reading other peoples posts have gotten me nostalgic for those old covers and episode descriptions!
     
  10. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Vinyl actually makes sense due to the quality of the analog audio, if played on good-quality equipment (not those cheap little turntables with built-in speakers sold at Urban Outfitters :ack:). In many cases the album artwork is also an asset.

    But VHS looked like crud in the 80s, and it still looks like crud. If this really is a trend, I expect that all the hipsters in the US will be jumping on this bandwagon soon :lol: (I don't know the UK equivalent to hipsters... :confused:).

    Kor
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Around 1985, I bought the pre-recorded VHS tape of ROCKY III, and there was a ghost image on it. For instance, in the beach scene when Adrian gives Rocky his career-biggest (though implausibly motivated) pep talk, you could plainly see an outline of their heads against the sky.

    I took it back to the little video store where I'd special-ordered it, and the guy claimed it was their hair. I returned the purchase and agreed to pay a rental fee to be done with it.

    I just saw the HD version of ROCKY III on basic cable, and behold, no ghost image. VHS at best was almost as good as Standard Definition. It wasn't great at the time, and today it looks downright blurry.
     
  12. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect the only ones that are valuable are the ones that were printed in very limited quantities.
     
  13. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    The bin now beckons for my TOS and DS9 videotapes. I gave away my TNG tapes to charity 15 years ago when I bought the DVDs. I've only this year got the TOS Blu-rays, and I'm one collection away from completing my DS9 DVDs. Then into the bin they go... minus the covers.

    They don't make decent VHS players anymore, so if anyone does get a nostalgic inkling to watch a tape, they're certainly not going to see them at their best, which let's face it was never that great.

    I'll probably bin my Voyager tapes without upgrading those. I didn't like Voyager much when I first watched it, and my opinion of it declined with each VHS that I rewatched of it (I've only seen it three times). Crap! I must have spent a couple of grand on Star Trek VHS tapes!
     
  14. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you were lucky enough to get exceptional TV reception, off-air recordings could be better quality than original VHS releases. Plus you could buy and use the best grade of blank tape. And 1980s/90s commericals, adverts for other shows, even weird editing decisions by the network, are probably the nostalgia kick you're looking for.

    Plus sometimes video releases were affected by incidental music substitutions. Goodnight Sweetheart got replaced for "The City on the Edge of Forever", something else heard playing on the radio, despite the score for the episode invoking the tune once or twice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure tape quality mattered all that much. I recently dug out a VHS full of home video I shot in 1984 thru 86, and it looks just as good as it did 30 years ago. I have other stuff I shot on the most expensive hi-quality Memorex tapes I could buy, and it's now totally unwatchable.
     
  16. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

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    Recently I threw away seasons 3 and 4 of TNG... all I had. I don't know whether it was the smart thing to do, but all those tapes did was to take up space.
     
  17. MaximRecoil

    MaximRecoil Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    That's impossible, unless the original VHS releases were ineptly made, which I doubt, considering they weren't made by a fly-by-night company. An analog TV broadcast will always have RF interference (RFI, AKA: EMI) patterns in the picture. Even if you live next door to the TV station's transmitter, have the best quality antenna and coaxial cable, and ferrite chokes of the proper impedance and spacing on the cable and relevant power cords, you can never completely eliminate it; i.e., the signal will never be as clean as the directly-wired component and composite signals used to make the master tape and the duplicate tapes.

    The master tape is made on a telecine machine, which scans the film source, and using 3:2 pulldown (for NTSC) generates a component video signal which is directly recorded on a [typically] Betacam tape (not to be confused with the much lower quality consumer-grade Betamax). The master tape is then used to make the duplicate VHS tapes for retail sale, recorded directly from a composite signal.

    For TV broadcast, a broadcast master tape was used, which, like the original master tape, was usually Betacam, but because they usually only did the telecine process once, the broadcast masters sent out to the various TV stations were usually copied from the original master tape, so they had an extra generation of loss in comparison to the original master tape. Then they were fed into an RF modulator and transmitted over-the-air.

    So, with an original VHS release, you are getting a second-generation copy (relative to the film source), all made on professional grade equipment with directly-wired video signals. With an over-the-air recording you are getting a third-generation copy, from the lowest grade video signal known to man (RF; it is the lowest grade because it combines the video signal with the audio signal and is always contaminated to one degree or another with RFI), recorded on [usually] a consumer-grade VCR.

    For one thing, you can count on a VHS release from a major company (e.g., Paramount) to be on very high quality tape to begin with, probably higher quality tape than any blank tapes you can buy at the store. For another thing, even if the blank tape were higher quality, it wouldn't be enough to tip the scales in favor of the over-the-air recording.

    Another issue with homespun OTA recordings is that they almost always have tracking issues when played back on a different VCR than the one they were recorded on. Prerecorded tapes from a major studio rarely have tracking issues, even though no one plays them back on the same machine they were recorded on. That's a testament to one of the differences between professional-grade recording equipment and consumer-grade.
     
  18. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To me, low res-videotapes aren't as annoying as digital artifacts
     
  19. MaximRecoil

    MaximRecoil Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I agree, though there are no noticeable artifacts in high quality digital video. Digital compression artifacts show up in low bitrate encodes/streams and/or when there are encoding errors/glitches. A good DVD or Blu-ray won't have any noticeable compression artifacts. If you're watching on a streaming site such as Hulu or YouTube, even at their highest quality setting, it will be a much lower bitrate than DVD or Blu-ray standards. DVD and Blu-ray standards at their upper end preserve film grain, and I've yet to see a streaming site that does that. Low bitrate smears away the film grain (which means it smears away detail), and very low bitrate results in visible macroblocking effects.

    Here are two 960x720 screenshots from Charlie X. One of them is from Hulu, which despite being on Hulu's highest quality setting, is still relatively low bitrate. The other is from a high bitrate encoding from the Blu-ray. Can you tell which is which (be sure to view them both fullsize)?

    1. http://i.imgur.com/VIpEvUq.png
    2. http://i.imgur.com/bDdZPyc.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  20. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For myself, i hate streaming of media, or even the digital artifacts from HD broadcast when you lose a bit of signal. i hate spending the money but anything I truly love watching I purchase the blu-ray or purchase the HD digital file to avoid that sort of thing.

    I of course will have to deal with this in 13 months but, oh well. I can always purchase better copies months later.