The Decline of VHS Tapes:

The VHS (Video Home System), VCR ( Video Cassette Recorder), was a mainstay in the TV-equipped living room for more than a decade, but is being replaced by newer technologies. For time-shifting (off the air or cable/satellite taping), hard-drive based DVRs have replaced the VCR as the time-shifting device of choice, especially in households with subscriber-based TV-services. The home camcorder market, one which VHS shared with alternative formats, has already transitioned to digital video recording. But the largest blow to VHS was the March 1997 introduction of the DVD format to American consumers. For home-video (that is, pre-recorded commercially-released movies, etc.) rental and sales,
DVD has completely taken the place of VHS. But although the DVD has almost every aspect better than Vhs tapes the tapes still have kick in them. At most electronics retailers, choice among VHS equipment is increasingly shrinking. New sales are focused on DVD-recorders and subscriber-based DVRs (such as TiVo). Most electronics chains have stopped stocking VHS home-video releases, focusing only on DVD and Blu-ray Disc technology. Major Hollywood studios no longer issue releases on VHS. The final major Hollywood motion picture released on VHS was David Cronenberg's A History of Violence. the se tapes have many good qualities too.
VHS Aspects:
VHS tapes have approximately 3 MHz of video bandwidth, which is achieved at a relatively low tape speed by the use of helical scan recording of a frequency modulated luminance (black and white) signal, with a down-converted "color under" chroma (color) signal recorded directly at the baseband. Because VHS is an analog system, VHS tapes represent video as a continuous stream of waves, in a manner similar to analog TV broadcasts. The waveform per scan-line can reach about 160 waves at max, and contains 525 scanlines from top of the screen to bottom of the screen in NTSC (480 visible). PAL variants have 625 scanlines (576 visible). In modern-day digital terminology, VHS is roughly equivalent to 333x480 pixels.In 1987 JVC introduced the new format called Super VHS which extended the bandwidth to over 5 megahertz, yielding 420 analog horizontal (560 pixels left-to-right). They are also nearly indestructible.
However, home-video VHS tapes can still be found in many second-hand shops, and are sometimes very cheap due to the lack of demand.

On December 31, 2008, the final truckload in the USA of recorded programming on VHS tapes rolled out of a warehouse owned by Ryan Kugler, the last major supplier of VHS-recorded videos. Kugler is President and co-owner of Distribution Video Audio, a seller of distressed goods such as VHS tapes. According to Kugler, "It's dead, this is it, this is the last Christmas, without a doubt. I was the last one buying VHS and the last one selling it, and I'm done. Anything left in warehouse we'll just give away or throw away."
Although VHS has quickly faded from mainstream home-video, the VCR is still used in many US households. The Washington Post noted that as of 2005, 94.5 million Americans still owned VHS format VCRs.

Archived tapes (mostly VHS) at a TV Station in external image vhs.jpgOlympia, Washington
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Several retail chains in the United States and in Europe planned to stop selling VHS equipment in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Despite these plans, VHS recorders and blank tapes are still being sold in major stores worldwide. As an acknowledgment of VHS popularity, in 2009 Panasonic has announced the world’s first dual deck VHS-Blu-ray player.


Optical disc-based technologies

The Rise of the DVD

The DVD-Video format was introduced first, in 1996, in Japan, to the United States in March 1997 (Test Marketed) and mid-late 1998 in Europe and Australia.
Despite DVD's better quality (480 typical versus 250 lines horizontal resolution), VHS is still widely used in home recording of television programs due to the large installed base and the lower cost of VHS recorders and tape. The commercial success of DVD recording and re-writing has been hindered by a number of factors include:

DVD Faults

  • A reputation for being temperamental and unreliable, as well as the risk of scratches and hairline cracks.
  • Incompatibilities in playing discs recorded on a different manufacturer's machines to that of the original recording machine.
  • Shorter recording time: Up to six hours on a single-layer disc (with high compression) versus approximately 12 hours on a T-240 or DF420 tape.
  • Compression artifacts: MPEG-2video compression can result in visible artifacts such as blocking, and ringing which become accentuated in extended recording modes (more than three hours on a DVD-5 disc). Standard VHS will also result in reduced luminance resolution which will make the picture look horizontally blurred (resolution decreases further with LP and EP recording modes).
The Newest generation of HD EntertainmentA newer optical disc format is Blu-ray Disc. A single Blu-ray Disc can hold up to 50GB of information including up to 1080p High-definition video, high definition photos, music, and more. the blu-ray disc is blowing the vhs tapes out of the water and fighting long and hard against DVD systems for dominance.

Cites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHS