VHS is dead

I don’t know of a single person mourning VHS. VHS RIPEspecially all those college admissions people who used to order them, store them, and mail them back in the 80s and 90s. When DVD arrived in 1996, the world switched so fast it made everyone’s head spin. For 10 years in a row, DVD became the fastest growing consumer appliance in history.

There were three bad things about VHS. 1. Size 2. Poor quality picture 3. Linear — remember rewinders?

DVD and its new iteration, BluRay, represent the most perfect communications device ever created by mankind, in my view. Small — 2 ounces. Awesome picture and sound. And totally non-linear — so you can watch what you want, when you want to. Add the ability to play on most computers and most home systems, and you’ve got one amazing use of lasers and a little plastic. This Thanksgiving, the final demise of VHS and the ongoing triumph of DVD are among the everyday miracles I’m constantly thankful for.

I’ll punt till later on why college use of video waned… but I’m sure the VHS format itself was a small but significant part of the reason.

Thanks to PVR wire for the illustration.


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