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The Future of VHS

Contributed by Mark Hine on 08/28/2009 

The VHS format has served us well but, over the past decade, has been replaced by DVD and digital media. The popularity of the later coupled with decreased demand has lead to the universal discontinuation of VHS media and VHS player manufacturing. While VHS players and recorders will remain on the market, the current supply is projected to be exhausted soon. Parts and replacement equipment for VHS machines will be harder to acquire. Quality blank VHS media will soon be difficult to procure.

Currently, VHS players are located in all eclassrooms. ITS will continue to maintain that supply as long as possible but, at some point, the equipment will no longer be available for repairs or replacement needs.

Given these facts, ITS recommends the following:

1. Purchase classroom media only on DVD or digital media (such as CDs, digital downloads or digital video repositories).

2. Assess your current VHS collection. Determine what items are critical (i.e. irreplaceable).

3. Seek out the DVD version of your critical VHS titles (especially feature films, documentaries and learning series).

Steps for Conversion from VHS to DVD


Obtain permission from the publisher to convert the VHS title to DVD. Normally, if a VHS title is available on DVD the publisher may ask that you purchase the DVD.

Once permission is obtained, Digital Media Services can assist you with conversion. It is important to understand that the conversion process may decrease the quality of the video to some degree depending upon the quality of the original VHS tape. Converting VHS to DVD is a lengthy process. For example, if a VHS tape is two hours in length it will take us two hours to make the conversion. Please be aware that, during the semester, it make take a significant amount of time to convert your media so please plan accordingly by prioritizing the titles you need converted based on when you use them in your course. There is a nominal charge per DVD conversion of $2.00 per disc. If you would like the disc labeled, please indicate the title on each disc. We do not process personal conversion requests at this time.

Faculty should also consult with Multimedia Services in Gannett Library (third floor, library center). This office can assist you with obtaining permission from the publisher and or to obtain the title on DVD.

Please note that support for VHS in the classroom will remain at current levels until further notice.

If you have any questions, contact Mark Hine, Digital Media Services, Gannett Center, 274-5700 or mhine@ithaca.edu.

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