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VHS Media

Many home theater enthusiasts prefer DVD. I have to admit, so do I. But what got me into home theater in the first place is my love for movies. Unfortunately, not all movies available for home viewing are on DVD. Many worth while films are available only on video tape. While this format is not up to the standards of DVD the movies should not be overlooked. Most home theater receivers are capable of providing excellent sound for a wide variety of video tapes. There is simulated surround, theater mode etc. These modes can heighten the enjoyment of most films. Many tapes are available in Dolby Prologic which, while not a fully enabled surround format, does provide excellent reproduction. This section was created to provide information about movies that are currently to be found only in VHS format  Some of the movies reviewed here are unfortunately, not even to be found on VHS. They are available on some premium cable stations. In any case, don't hold the lack of digital format against them, you will be missing some great films.

There are several factors that affect the use of VHS tape. The first is the length of the tape. It used to be tapes were one length, the 120. This provided 120 minutes of recording at the highest speed, SP, 240 minutes at LP and 360 minutes at EP or as it is now called  SLP. Now, there are many different lengths of tape to choose from. The longest I have seen provides 10 hours at EP. The problem with the longer tapes is in order to get more tape in the same space the tape is much thinner. This can result in a much greater chance of the tape stretching or breaking. For something you want to keep spend a few extra dollars and get a master or professional grade 120.

VHS is still a viable medium and will be for awhile longer. All new studio releases are still produced on this medium. Unlike many DVDs, if you want both letterbox and pan and scan you will have to get two versions of the same tape. That is if the letterbox version is even available on tape. Just before DVD I had to find the rare store that had a section, usually very small, that had letterboxed VHS movies.

The sound on a tape can be good but it will never come up to the standards of DVD. The best sound you can hope for is Dolby Prologic surround. This is a form of surround sound where there is a mono rear channel pushed to both rear speakers.

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