VHS Disasterpiece

This is not an episode, it is more of an experiment and a product of boredom. Thought I’d share it with the world instead of keep it to myself.

You can also download this (ridiculously large) video in XviD from Archive.org.

I decided I wanted to see how VHS degraded through the process of copying. Some people may be experienced with “workprint” cuts of movies. A workprint is simply an unfinished movie cut of a film meant for inner circulation by film personnel. Workprints can often contain unfinished effects, alternate takes, different endings, etc. This causes them to be highly prized by collectors.

So how does this fit in? Most workprints were dumped to VHS for circulation, and every once in a while these tapes would get taken off the movie set. People would copy a tape, give it to a friend, and continue this process. Most of these workprints have awful wear because of this.

I decided to run episode one of Obsoleet through some VCRs. The episode was streamed to a VCR via a modified Xbox running XBMC. I then copied the tape back and forth through two VCRs about seven times to get this result.

I dumped the tape to DVD via a DVD recorder, which actually tried to correct the tape and made it look even worse. The recorder might have corrected some of the color, but made the video shaky and more distorted.

I ripped the DVD and cut out a segment that I think best shows the degradation of the video.




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