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VHS

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VHS tapes were sold in Thailand starting year 1979. It started to be popular at worlwide audience level in year 1977 as TV and VHS player price started to be more affordable. A VHS player cost 50,000 to 70,000 THB.

นักฆ่าหน้าหยก
นักฆ่าหน้าหยก
VHS tape of movie นักฆ่าหน้าหยก (1994)

Initially, movies released on VHS format were mainly foreign and Chinese movies. Foreign movies were often copies as, at that time, there was strong protectionism of Thai movies with a tax on foreign films.

เพชรตัดหยก
เพชรตัดหยก
VHS tape of action movie เพชรตัดหยก (1982) featuring Sorapong Chatree

Renting a VHS cost 20 THB. Renting a VHS copy (เทปก๊อป) cost 10 THB. Some shops asked for a guarantee before renting VHS.

นางไม้
นางไม้
VHS tape of horror movie นางไม้ (1996)

In year 1988, VHS tapes had to feature a mandatory sticker in order to regulate the VHS rental market. Target was to stop illegal copies done in theaters. หนังซูม ("Movie zoom") or หนังชนโรง were movies pirated in theaters by filming the screen. People walking or people talking could be seen.

พยัคฆ์ร้ายเชี่ยงชุน 2
พยัคฆ์ร้ายเชี่ยงชุน 2
VHS tape of action movie พยัคฆ์ร้ายเชี่ยงชุน 2 (1994) featuring Panna Rittikrai

Gradually outdoor cinema companies (หนังกลางแปลง) were killed by VHS players as people stayed at home instead of going out.

หนูเลิก (ผ) แล้วค่ะ
หนูเลิก (ผ) แล้วค่ะ
VHS tape of erotic movie หนูเลิก (ผ) แล้วค่ะ (1996)

Some outdoor cinema companies refused to sell back films to make VHS so some Thai movies were lost as the 35mm film finally died and no copy / no transfer of it was done.

มือผี
มือผี
VHS tape of Thai horror movie มือผี (1995)

Movies support keep evolving over the years, such as 16mm, 35mm, VHS, U-Matic, betacam, VCD, DVD, Blu-Ray and finally digital (mp4...). Every ten years, movies format is changing. It started with 16mm film, 35mm film, VHS, VCD, DVD, Blu-ray...

คนล่าคน
คนล่าคน
VHS tape of movie คนล่าคน (1996)

Some shops were recording Thai movies shown on TV CH7 such as สิงห์ล่าสิงห์ (1979) and then rent the VHS tapes. It became forbidden after year 1988.

ผีแม่ม้าย 3
ผีแม่ม้าย 3
VHS tape of horror comedy movie ผีแม่ม้าย 3 (1993)


Thai VHS covers
Thai VHS covers
Thai VHS covers
Thai VHS covers


During VHS business boom, many Thai companies released movies under VHS format. The main companies were เอสทีวีดีโอ (ST Video), ซีวีดี (CVD), วีอาร์ซี, โกลเด้นเวย์, โอเรียลเต็ลวีดีโอ, วีดีโอเวิล์ด, เรนโบว์พิคเจอร์, เรนโบว์ซีน, ไรท์พิคเจอร์ (RIGHT Pictures), สยามรีจีน่า, วีดีโอสแควร์ (Video Square), เอพีวีดีโอ.

ปอบผีฟ้า
ปอบผีฟ้า
VHS tape of horror movie ปอบผีฟ้า (1991)

Then VCD era started end of 1996 with a boom in decade 2000s for old Thai movies.

งูเก็งกอง ภาคพิเศษ
งูเก็งกอง ภาคพิเศษ
VHS tape of folklore movie งูเก็งกอง ภาคพิเศษ (1995)

In year 2019, old VHS are sold 30 THB only. Some collectors are still looking for them to find old Thai movies never released on VCD or DVD format, or to get a version with sharper picture compared to a VCD. A VHS can have a picture quality similar to a DVD if transfer is done properly.

แม่นาคพระโขนง
คนล่าคน
VHS tape of horror movie แม่นาคพระโขนง (1978)

Nowadays VHS tapes have no more value. It is worth 2 or 3 baht. Collectors, looking for rare films released in VHS but never in VCD/DVD, have to buy whole stock from former VHS stores in order to assume their passion.

The Master
The Master
The Master (2014) is a Thai movie / documentary about a VHS shop selling bootlegs movie in decade 1990s and helping Thai people to discover unknown cinenatographic treasures.

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