A home movie is simply a video or amateur film usually intended for viewing only at home by friends and family, and made with no special purpose in mind. Many people have their very own home movie collections. These can range from very simple things like a home movie of just the family as a family on vacation to incredibly elaborate projects like a home movie of a friend’s graduation party to something as simple as a home movie of one of your children playing in the bathtub. The purpose of your home movies is not really that important as long as they are entertaining or fun to watch.
Recently, however, there has been a bit of a format war going on when it comes to home movie viewing. There are new services being launched that offer free to download home entertainment videos for users to watch on any computer, smart phone or other mobile device. Often, these are offered in higher quality than those offered through regular VHS rentals at video stores. This has some home entertainment aficionados upset, especially those who wish to still watch movies on older formats.
The first issue is picture quality. Currently, there is not yet any known technology that can provide the same picture quality as a VHS tape or DVD player. However, the progress is being made, and companies are working on it. It is possible that sometime in the future laserdiscs will be offered for rent similar to VHS players. Until then, though, most home entertainment systems are limited to regular DVD or VHS.
Another problem is the recording time. Right now, home movie distributors are still tied to the original recording time. If you want to watch a two hour home entertainment movie on VHS, then that’s what you will get. In a few years, perhaps standard DVD recording time will be the norm, but right now, if you want super high definition (HD) picture quality, you are going to have to go with the special effects and the extra cost of going to a movie theater.
There is also the question of compatibility. Currently, it is most unlikely that there will be widespread VHS to Blu-ray compatible products in the home. Instead, consumers will be forced to choose between the old standard and the new high definition standards offered by companies like Blu-ray, Sony, Lionsize, and Samsung. If you have an older VHS player, you may want to consider converting it to a newer format, but this is something that you may have to do if it is your only option. If you already have a laserdisc player, you can convert it over to a blu-ray player.
Up until now, we have not been able to discuss the home entertainment market that really matters: sales. Between the VHS and the HD DVD formats, there is a lot of money made in this market. The home entertainment market that matters most is the pay-per-view market, and this means that if you have a HD DVD or a new Blu-ray player, you will definitely want to make sure that you are watching a show that is in high definition (as defined by the rating used by the Video Motion Detection system used by the studios). These releases are a lot more expensive than the old VHS releases, but they are worth every penny because they offer amazing picture quality and sound that even the best home theaters cannot compete with. To the average consumer, it doesn’t matter much which format is chosen, but to the home theater enthusiast, this decision is critical. As such, if you cannot commit to one format, at least make sure you are watching something in HD before choosing the format war!