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The end of an era…

Written By: Gary on October 16, 2005 6 Comments

Vcr tivo tombstoneSo everyone everywhere has been saying the VCR is dead. TiVo sent out an e-mail last week, I’m sure you got it (you do have TiVo don’t you?). It said:

Did you know…?
• Many manufacturers have halted production on VCRs forever!
• 2006 will be the last year for VHS movie releases.

But here’s the thing, so many people still have VHS tapes, they won’t be going anywhere soon. Who has ditched their cassette players if you still have cassettes? CDs were clearly better and more convenient. But the problem was that you couldn’t record CD (way back when, we could only play CDS, not record) and it’s still pretty hard for many people to make mix CDs. And most people can’t record anything to CD for something casual (off the radio, a recital, etc). The same goes for DVDs.

So they did a mock funeral in New York and if you brought a VHS tape you could trade it for a TiVo (as long as sign up for at least a year’s worth of service).


There are a lot of CD and DVD recorders but they’re just not that for the normal consumer yet. Actually, it might be easier for most people to make DVDs of home videos than CDs of home audio. The software is out there for that and it’s semi-easy to use, the TiVo recorders (and I’m sure the competitors) will do that quite easily.

Once TiVo and the other DVR companies get out there with more DVD recorders I think it’ll really end it. People will still have those old 8 track tapes, I mean VHS tapes, and need to play them but I can see them not making any more.

95% of my VHS recording was generally TV shows that I taped over later or lent to friends who missed the show. Now I can just save a copy to DVD for me or them but it’s slightly pricier and I generally don’t get the DVD back or I can save a copy to watch at friends or on my laptop. I’ve been renting movies on DVD for years so that’s not an issue. I’m not even sure what the other 5% was: Duplicating home movies/parties/weddings? Taping friends/me/family on TV? Both of those were pretty rare.

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6 Responses to “The end of an era…”

  1. franci says on: 16 October 2005 at 9:15 pm

    DVRs (ie, TiVo) are evil! EEEVIL i say! we had one for a couple of years, a service offered by a local cable comapny. it was wonderful, it was fantastic. but…we discovered we were watching way too much television. couldn’t see that episode of robot-home-lost-wars? record it! we’ll watch it later. it’s an addiction and needs to be stopped. we have since cancelled all of our cable and now live with our netflix subscription, radio and books…like cavemen, heh. oh an dthe internet connection. can’t live without that. now excuse me whilst i go back to cracking out on this internet game…

  2. voxul says on: 17 October 2005 at 7:28 pm

    I just ran out and bought a VCR for the horder in me.

  3. Red Baron says on: 23 October 2005 at 4:37 am

    We don’t have so many TiVos over here they stopped making them a while back (and I have to correct Franci being the pendant that I am, TiVo is a Hard Disk recorder rather than a DVDr- or at least the TiVo we have here is!)

    Still, remember how long the Audio cassette took to die, and Betamax video which is still thought of by its fans as better than VHS. As you say loads of people still have videos they’ve recorded off the TV and whilst those tapes survive there will always be a limited market, not to mention the old less than classic films and TV series’ which may never have the market to be ported to DVD.

  4. Gary says on: 23 October 2005 at 11:24 am

    Franci called them DVRs to stand for Digital Video Recorders (some call them PVRs for Personal Video Recorders).

    It’s true, Beta is better! :)

    I definitely agree with your thoughts on the death process. I guess we’ll see how long this takes to transpire. It was a long time that I held on to a record player even thought I haven’t played an album in a long time (I still might have one somewhere but it’s not hooked up and I’m sure the needle is bad). I just bought a new cassette player a few years ago (the belts dried out on the old one), I’ve only used it once but I needed a certain cassette to play.

  5. Red Baron says on: 23 October 2005 at 8:33 pm

    ::feels like the complete pillock that he is and grovels unconditionally to franci:: Teach me to be a smart arse! PVRs I would have recognised tho’.

    Ah records, I love records, LPs, 45s, 12″ singles, vinyl will never die, at least not over here, I still buy new releases on vinyl, then you can burn them to CD and have the LP as a master. I haven’t used a tape in God knows how long tho’

  6. Gary Said... says on: 28 December 2005 at 3:56 pm

    TiVo Deluxe!!!

    So in another step forward into the future, TiVo rolled out their new features that I think will pave the way for what you have to look forward to from your home entertainment center. They now have movie listings, traffic, weather, web photos, streaming Internet audio (Live 365), games (yes, I said games) and you can listen to podcasts…

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