- VHS tapes and DVDs are primarily used for watching movies. VHS makes it easy to record a program from television, especially if you don't own TiVo. Most DVDs can now be accessed in computers, and usually contain extra features. DVDs can also be used for digital data storage.
- VHS enables a viewer to play, pause, stop, fast forward or rewind a tape. DVDs enable much more, like skipping scenes and interactive menus. As a cassette tape is to a CD, so a VHS tape is to a DVD. The DVD offers a more convenient movie-watching experience, such as not needing to rewind afterward and having it be easier to skip ahead.
- DVDs are the same size as a CD, much smaller than a VHS tape. But DVDs can also store more content than a VHS tape. If a movie is longer than three hours, VHS usually must compensate by providing two tapes. A DVD can usually hold the entire length, unless it opts to fill in space with special features.
- VHS players and tapes are harder to find these days, and new movies are no longer released on VHS. But many thrift stores and used record shops still sell VHS tapes at low prices, usually nothing over $5. At the very lowest price, you might be able to find a DVD for $5, but they are generally more expensive. But DVDs are no longer the state of the art technology in personal home viewing either. Go with Blu-Ray if you want the best new media technology.
- One danger of DVDs is that they can become scratched. If a DVD is scratched, it will become permanently damaged, and you will find that some scenes in the movie will always skip and distort. VHS tapes do not have this problem, however, their quality is generally not as good anyway. Old VHS tapes often require tracking, which assists in clearing up white, fuzzy interference.