Showing posts with label JVC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JVC. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

End Of An Era

The website announced yesterday—October 28, 2008—that JVC, the final company producing standalone VCRs, has ceased manufacture of the venerable machines. Obviously yesterday was an historic day. Apparently, JVC will “continue to serve customers with a need to play back VHS tapes by offering up DVD/VHS combo units, but those looking for a shiny new slice of retro in 2008 will be out of luck after remaining inventories dry up.” Since the first VHS VCR was introduced in 1976—the JVC HR-3300, priced at $1,400 and weighing 30 pounds—that is, 32 years ago, over 900 million VCRs were manufactured worldwide, “with 50 million of those boasting a JVC label.”

I can't say that I'm "sad" about it; indeed, I have given away many dozens of VHS tapes to students and others—consisting of both pre-records as well as material taped off of television—the past year and a half or so, but I don’t see myself ever completely “VHS free.” I have too much rare material that simply can’t be found on DVD (at least at the moment), not movies so much as much as live TV and hard-to-find TV interviews--some of it from the late 1970s. And what's wrong with keeping some of those old tapes that have vintage television commercials on them? I simply can't motivate myself to transfer all of that old material to DVD-Rs. Ugh.

I thus anticipate the coexisting with the videocassette—both VHS and Beta (my Sony Betamax is alive and well)—for many more years. Perhaps these material artifacts of a déclassé technology will do nothing but collect dust, but the technology has been too much a part of my life to dispense with it so cavalierly.