Friday, 5 August 2016

The end of an era...

Oh dear, this is a worrying development.  The last-ever VHS recorder is being produced in Japan.

OK, I appreciate that for people under 35 this means absolutely nothing.

But for those of us still own a library of videos - what was I supposed to do, replace them all with DVDs? I haven't won the lottery! - what on earth are we going to watch them on now?

Not that I often watch my graduation video, but it is on video cassette, somewhere, not sure where exactly at this precise moment.

We never taped our wedding ceremony, so that's not an issue.  Neither did we ever own a camcorder ourselves, so daughter's first steps etc are just committed to memory, not tape.

It's the end of an era, albeit an era that saw us having to fast forward through tapes to find the programmes we may or may not have recorded, and then rewind them while the machine whirred so violently you expected it to explode at any moment.

But at the time they came out they revolutionised our TV watching.  Because you could actually go out, and set the video, and then watch whatever vital programme you were going to miss (probably Neighbours in my case) on your return.

Programming it required a degree of skill, knowledge of the 24 hour clock, possibly some kind of scientific qualification, but still, you could, in theory, record something and keep it for posterity.

Or not, if you had sports mad Dad and brother like me who had a tendency to tape over things randomly with a vital football match, horse race, etc.

I had a video player until fairly recently when it decided to 'eat' Mrs Doubtfire.  As this is one of my favourite films, I invested in the DVD version.

VHS having a revival in the same way as vinyl seems fairly unlikely - although I did read that collectors are paying up to £1500 for rare horror films on this format.  Not sure my graduation video would qualify as that though!

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