I'm sorry, but I don't buy that DVD's are "costly" to make. Costly compared to what? It's just a little disc that's coated with bits and bytes so it can be 'read' by a laser. And what would make the Blu-Ray disc itself cost more? And I don't believe what passes for 'artwork' these days costs much, either. That Warner Archive disc I bought for the 1974 Tv movie "Killdozer" looks like it cost 5¢ along with the cheap-looking insert artwork stuffed in to the jewel case . . . another 5¢ piece of 'material', The alleged artwork isn't even clear; it's fuzzy-looking. I don't believe it cost much to put together at all. Cheap bought-in-bulk DVD recordable disc + cheapo artwork + plastic jewel case couldn't possibly be an expensive endeavor compared to the early 1980s when Warner Home Video was releasing loads of movies in BIG clamshell cases with heavy videocassettes and large-sized, colorful insert artwork. I have an old clamshell release from 1983 of 'PIRANHA' on Warner and no way would I believe a modern DVD release of "Piranha" would cost more to put together than the '83 big clamshell release. ► I do think a company like Criterion would spend more $dosh$ for their DVD releases overall, but I don't think they'd spend a lot of money just to obtain the discs used.
Who pays for the design of the DVD artwork, menu screens, etc.? Who pays the technicians to author the disc, which comprises of such tasks as video encoding, audio encoding, etc.? Who pays the guy who writes the jacket essay? Who pays for the guy who writes the subtltles: for French, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Japanese, etc.? Who pays for the DVD supplements such as making-of featurettes, interviews, etc.? Not to mention, the cost of the plastic case. DVDs and Blu-rays cost a lot more than just the cost of the plastic disc alone. That is why we have these crappy MOD discs that have no subtitles, no supplements, minimal features and artwork, and are only made "on demand", meaning it is not produced wholesale. Wholesale production of DVDs and Blu-rays nowadays are only reserved for blockbuster or "prestige" titles. Even Criterion has a "low budget" line of products called the "Eclipse" collection that comprises of barebone discs of lesser-known films that don't sell as well. Those who sell low-budget discs like Warner Archive are doing us a favor, so we shouldn't really bemoan them. They don't get rich making them; and if they didn't make them, nobody else would do it at all.
(Also, if VHS tapes have 'disappeared' how come I still have so many of them? )
So where is that VHS version of "Gravity" that I've been waiting for? If VHS tapes haven't disappeared, where are the VHS versions of "Argo", "Life of Pi", the latest restoration of "Lawrence of Arabia", etc.? I hope you see my point by now.