RIP, VHS

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In a move that marks the beginning of the end for a hugely successful chapter in technology history, Britain's biggest high street electronics retailer Dixons has announced that it's taking VCRs off its shelves for good.

"We're saying goodbye to one of the most important products in the history of consumer technology," Dixons marketing director John Mewett said. "We are now entering the digital age and the new DVD technology available represents a step-change in picture quality and convenience."

Whole story here.

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  1. …and Happy Birthday, death of fair use!

  2. Not bad for a format that in more than way was “broken as designed” (region coding, CSS and the like). What sort of breakage will be designed into the format which replaces DVD?

  3. If Tivos get banned by the Omnibus packing sitting in Congress, perceived veracity of the VCR will go through the roof.

    It’ll be a bull market for VHS VCRs once again, at least in the US.

  4. Alas, the demise of magnetic tape. Digital medium is here to stay? For a few more years, at least, until ever’one has invested a fortune in equipment and the market for such dies, then the electronic manufacturers will come up with somethin’ else. Ain’t it truly a wonder that vinyl LPs dominated the scene for such a very long time, but nothin’ else has come close.

  5. I’m hanging on to my collection of 8-tracks just in case …

  6. I loved the comment about how British burglars are no longer stealing VCRs…heartless capitalism at work!

  7. Oh, and before I forget: tape is far from dead. OK, analog tape, maybe, but then it’s still handy for four-track work and such.

  8. VHS? Good riddance.

  9. I mostly prefer DVD for quality and such. However, one thing I like about VHS is that it doesn’t tell you that there is anything you can’t do. On DVD’s that I have, I can’t fast forward the stupid warnings. There is other stuff that the DVD can be programmed to not let you do. That irritates the shit out of me. It is my DVD, and I don’t want to sit there for 5 seconds and read the damned copy right crap.

  10. “There is other stuff that the DVD can be programmed to not let you do. That irritates the shit out of me.”

    I hate commericials on DVDs that don’t allow you to hit the “menu” button. It seems to be happening more and more and probably will become the standard (at least for rentals from BlockBastard). Same thing for commercials at movie theatres now.

    Hey, if you’re not going to give me a discount ($9 for a fucking theatre ticket and $4 for a rental), THEN DON’T FUCKING MAKE ME WATCH YOUR ADS!

    I’m a rabid capitalist, but it seems like things are becoming like Gibson’s Nueronmancer.. a dark future where people are forced to watch ads.

  11. I have hated VHS tapes since my father taped over my US TV debut (on CBS Sunday Morning) to record some crusty ole’ Western. I can remember hearing tales from many a mate about various “fave” things being taped over by parents, siblings or significant others. Good riddance…

  12. Everyone always used Beta as an example of a dead format, except that most broadcast stations still have Beta decks.

  13. Good riddance? The VHS allowed the movie rental (and thus porn rental) business to blossom. As a high schooler, I got caught with a super 8 projector in my locker, along with two video super 8 porn films. This was 1973.

    The principal asked what I was doing with them, and I replied that I rented them out. He asked incredulously, “Who would want to rent this filth?” Then he confiscated it all but said he wouldn’t tell my parents.

    VHS took my little locker business, added sound, and launched an industry. If only I capitalized on it…

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