Movies are everywhere these days, from phones to huge HDTV screens, but they always seem to cost money. An old technology now makes it possible to watch movies at virtually no cost.

Buying a DVD costs money. BluRay discs are even more money. Then there are the streaming services like Netflicks — they cost money as well. Rentals at RedBox cost money. But there is a way, if you have the stomach for it, that you can watch movies for free — or very close to free.

Linsey Knerl at WiseBread explains: "Lucky for you, it's possible to see obscure and amazing titles unavailable on DVD or via streaming by looking to classic VHS tapes — and you can usually also get them for free!"

VHS tapes? Are you serious?

Knerl explains what is so wonderful about VHS on another post at WiseBread:

1. They are kid-proof. "There's less chance of a freak-out if my 3-year-old toddles in with my VHS copy of ‘Rumble in the Bronx’ than if he starts using my DVD version of ‘Rounders’ as a coaster," Knerl says. "(T)he tape usually outlasts the DVD, hands-down."

2. They offer variety. "If you are a fan of foreign or hard-to-find indie films," Knerl says, "sometimes DVD will fail you."

3. They are all mine. "Nobody ever asks to borrow them," Knerl says.

And, you can get them for free.

Knerl says you can find old VHS tapes inexpensive at garages sales — usually in the "free" pile. Online classifieds such as or Craigslist are other places to look. "Unless they are mint, Disney films, or part of a large set, however, you won't be expected to pay more than a quarter for these films." Sometimes VHS tapes are available on the free section of the websites.

Knerl also suggests asking libraries, friends and Facebook friends for old VHS tapes.

It is true that rare video treasures are online. A Classifieds ad boasted eight Willie Nelson Westerns on VHS including "2 of which are not available on DVD."

A page on Facebook titled "I still use VHS tapes" has only 192 likes — so there doesn't seem to be a lot of competition out there to get the tapes.

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To play the VHS tapes, you could buy a new Panasonic DMP-BD70V, a combination Blu-ray and VHS player for $1,399. The product description says, "Does it feel like technology is moving too fast, and your barely keeping up? Blu-ray Disc/VHS Combination Player gives you both the technology of yesterday and today, wherein you don't have to send your precious VHS cassettes to storage just yet in that the unique feature about this player compared to a regular VHS player is the fact that it provides up-conversion so it will enhance your viewing experience, like watching a remastered copy, but instead of doing the tedious task of improving video and audio quality yourself, the player does it for you."

Or, you could take your free VHS tape and play it on a $10 player you picked up at a resale shop or garage sale.


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