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VHS, 30, dies of loneliness

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Variety says it all:

VHS, 30, dies of loneliness
The home-entertainment format lived a fruitful life
By DIANE GARRETT

VHS RIP
After a long illness, the groundbreaking home-entertainment format VHS has died of natural causes in the United States. The format was 30 years old.

No services are planned.

The format had been expected to survive until January, but high-def formats and next-generation vidgame consoles hastened its final decline.

“It’s pretty much over,” concurred Buena Vista Home Entertainment general manager North America Lori MacPherson on Tuesday.

VHS is survived by a child, DVD, and by Tivo, VOD and DirecTV. It was preceded in death by Betamax, Divx, mini-discs and laserdiscs.

Although it had been ailing, the format’s death became official in this, the video biz’s all-important fourth quarter. Retailers decided to pull the plug, saying there was no longer shelf space.


What the hell are we supposed to do with all our old tapes???

  1. Well, if it’s any help, in my area the big box stores have turned a lot of their former VHS player space over to VCR/DVD and VCR/DVD+/-R dual decks. Been thinking about ponying up the $150 for one of the DVD-R models to dub off some long out of print (and very doubtful to come back out) movies.

  2. I discovered that VCRs were almost dead a few months ago, when I decided to replace my late ‘90s VCR when it died. Very few new models existed, and they only had bare-bones features. Interestingly, my old Panasonic VCR remote runs my new Panasonic VCR, and is able to perform some functions that are not available on the new remote!

    I’ll have to eventually pony up for some VCR to DVD transfer method, especially to save the 1981 animated Spider-Man series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man_%281981_TV_series%29) I taped back in the day. I’m still a hopeless romantic for Christy Marx’s Spidey/Medusa pairing in “Under The Wizard’s Spell.â€?

  3. >> They need to make kid friendly DVDs.

    It’s certainly too early to switch to the next generation DVD’s, but one of the things that Blu-ray disks have going for them, is that TDK created a hard-coating technology for Blu-ray disks that apparently managed to resist wire wool scrubbing.

  4. I wouldn’t worry about this too much. A few months ago I bought a new turntable for my vinyl collection at Best Buy. Granted, there were only two models to choose from, but they were good quality and inexpensive.

  5. VCRs do not equal turntables though. Records have been around for what, a hundred years? Plus, if you have the right set-up you can get a comparable or better sound out of a record. VHS is an inferior medium any way you slice it.

  6. “VHS is an inferior medium any way you slice it.â€?

    OK then, what is currently the best medium for casual viewing (only a decent picture/sound quality is required)— i.e., recording a program, watching it once, and re-using the data storage device? I’m curious, not sarcastic. I watch little TV, so I don’t consider TiVo to be cost effective.

  7. I wouldn’t advertise that you’re copying that Spider Man television series. I’m sure it’s breaking some sort of copyright law which you could be arrested for. That’s the way the corporations see it, anyway.

  8. “I wouldn’t advertise that you’re copying that Spider Man television series. I’m sure it’s breaking some sort of copyright law which you could be arrested for. That’s the way the corporations see it, anyway.”

    I would guess he’s talking about transferring stuff he taped from TV back in the day to DVD to preserve it. Nothing illegal in that.

  9. Beta is not, in fact, dead. I talked to a Comcast advertising rep a few weeks ago, and the format they use for all local commercials is ye olde Betamax. It seems that Beta has lived a long fruitful life in the commercial (in two senses of the word) realm.

  10. “I would guess he’s talking about transferring stuff he taped from TV back in the day to DVD to preserve it.â€?

    Yes, preserve it for personal home use only.

    Though what’s right, what’s legal, and “the way the corporations see it,â€? are often three different things.

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