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VHS format officially dead

Posted at 28 October 2008 10:43 CET by Timmie

Yesterday is officially marked as the day that the VHS format died. After years of production JVC is the last manufacturer to stop making standalone VCRs. The old-fashioned format turned thirty in 2005, and three years later it marks its official end.

At Engadget they describe yesterday as a day to remember, the end of an era. On the other hand we see that others are not as nostalgic and openly speak out their happiness.

"I feel nothing but quiet satisfaction at the news that this crummy format is headed for a dirt nap," says editor Victor Godinez at Godinez describes his hate for the format and speaks of "bulky tapes" that could easily tear and produced terrible images.

Whether Godinez is right or not, many still remember the format as a revolution. Worldwide a total of 900 million VCRs were produced and JVC accounted for 50 million units.

With nobody producing the format anymore we can officially announce its end. For those still owning a VCR we are curious for how long they think to continue to enjoy the format. Besides that it would be interesting to hear of those that might have bought a VCR this year.

Anyone here?

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There are 32 comments

MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 28 Oct 08 13:30
    I remember my first VCR that I bought at JC Penney back in 1982 for $479. It looked a lot like the one in the photo above, top-loading and with mechanical VHF and UHF tuners and a wired remote for pause/play. However, it *was* a revolution, like the article says, at least for me.
    MyCE Resident Commenter
    Posted on: 28 Oct 08 13:46
      I have a few VHS tapes and want to go through them before I throw them out. Then I'll give away my VCR to Goodwill. VHS tapes just take up too much room.
      No longer with us
      Posted on: 28 Oct 08 14:27
        Well, rest in peace, VHS.

        Actually it's not Ronald Reagan or Kissenger or anybody else crashed communism and made the USSR to be xUSSR. It was VHS. As soon as many russians closely wached cheap american movies about sweet west lifes.
        Optical Media Freak
        Posted on: 28 Oct 08 15:18
          Well actually JVC only stopped producing VCRs and still is producing HDD/DVD/VHS combinated recorders.
          MyCE Resident Commenter
          Posted on: 28 Oct 08 18:02
            C'mon, don't lie. You just made that up.
            MyCE Senior Member
            Posted on: 28 Oct 08 19:49
              Stop being so negativated.
              MyCE Resident Commenter
              Posted on: 28 Oct 08 20:07
                @ ferd

                Sorry. Won't happen again.
                No longer with us
                Posted on: 28 Oct 08 20:35
                  For a dead medium, I wonder why so many DVD recorders have come out recently with a companion VHS deck. If I'm not mistaken, aren't most commercial VHS tapes copy-guarded? Which would prevent someone from copying a tape directly to a DVD? I had one of the orginal GoVideo VHS to VHS copying VCR's that had a patented copy-guard removal system and Americhrome circuitry.
                  MyCE Senior Member
                  Posted on: 28 Oct 08 20:49
                    I think the main purpose of those VHS/DVD recorders is for people to copy their old VHS home movies onto DVD, not to copy old, macrovision-protected VHS movies.
                    CDR Sam
                    MyCE Member
                    Posted on: 28 Oct 08 22:14
                      No, no we use them to copy our DVDs to VHS so we can get that VHS look. Come on they do it with film
                      ..even cooler is copying from DVD to VHS to BD-R
                      (actually we use it to copy old tapes of TV shows (secret life of machines) to DVD.
                      No longer with us
                      Posted on: 28 Oct 08 23:01
                        Good thing my Beta VCR still works. Maybe I can use that to copy some of my old VHS tapes. Interesting that it (the Beta) can copy any DVD. There really was no reason to do that other than to see if it worked, which it did. I have not recorded any though as that would just be wrong...not to mention that the Beta is best left in a box with about 100 tapes in the basement given my affinity with DVD's.
                        CD Freaks Junior Member
                        Posted on: 29 Oct 08 05:59
                          VHS was great and Rest in Peace, VHS you gave us such great, and fun times.
                          No longer with us
                          Posted on: 29 Oct 08 14:06
                            VCR? Is that some new technology I'm missing out on and should buy into?
                            MyCE Resident
                            Posted on: 30 Oct 08 13:51
                              "VHS format officially dead"

                              I guess it's time for me to make the leap to DVDs then....
                              MyCE Resident
                              Posted on: 30 Oct 08 21:54
                                VCR = Video Cassette Recorder. Includes VHS, Beta(max), 8mm, and any other format that records video on a cassette.
                                No longer with us
                                Posted on: 30 Oct 08 22:36
                                  It must have been a very old, I mean very old VCR that had a patented copy-guard removal system and Americhrome circuitry.
                                  I just happened to have. and currently using at times, a GoVideo VHS to DVD and vice versa machine which I purchased over 15 years ago. When did GoVideo originally start manufacturing their product?
                                  New on Forum
                                  Posted on: 31 Oct 08 12:42
                                    In seventies VHS(Video Home System) was the best technological development for home movie entertainment which can play and record TV programs. For thirty years (almost one full generation) it gave us the luxury of watching movies at home in quality video. It is very sad to see it end.
                                    MyCE Resident Commenter
                                    Posted on: 31 Oct 08 13:38
                                      What I'd like to know is how we ever enjoyed watching VHS movies. They weren't 1920x1080p resolution and you had snow on the screen. You even had to rewind the tape when you were done. Imagine that, we enjoyed ourselves despite the non-existence of Blu-ray.
                                      CD Freaks Rookie
                                      Posted on: 01 Nov 08 23:40
                                        I can remember watching tv on my grandfathers black and white tv, which was in a large wood cabinet, and had a 6 inch round screen, and which took 2 people to move it.
                                        No longer with us
                                        Posted on: 02 Nov 08 03:42
                                          I remember we got our first VHS machine in 1981 - a top loading Panasonic PV1470K, one of the first units with a 'digital' (non-rotary) tuner. It cost $1200 and my parents bought it in Toronto because you could not find them where we lived (in a little town 10 hours north) - they shelled out the money because it was the only way they could watch Indian movies and stay in touch with their culture. VHS was quite the revolution - time shifting, renting movies, recording your own videos - amazing!
                                          The old Panasonic still works, but its packed away in a box. I don't use it, but I don't have the heart to toss it yet either. I have tons of tapes - will take years to copy them to DVD on my DVR if I ever get around to it. Still have an old VHS full-size camcorder to from 1982 with a Satcon tube image sensor - still works too.
                                          MyCE Resident Commenter
                                          Posted on: 02 Nov 08 04:04
                                            Man, it's starting to sound like a retirement home around here.

                                            "I remember when when we used to listen to Jack Benny on the radio. He sure was funny."

                                            Heh heh.
                                            CD Freaks Rookie
                                            Posted on: 02 Nov 08 06:34
                                              Retirement home??? Not me, not yet.......... I still have 20 years to go till (the current) retirement age..........

                                              And as for that old tv, my grandfather still had it when he died in 1990.
                                              MyCE Junior Member
                                              Posted on: 02 Nov 08 17:51
                                                We have a combo DVD/VCR, and a regular ol' VCR. Since we're "getting by" with basic cable and don't want to get a cable box/DVR with it's extra monthly charge, how else are we going to record our shows to watch at a more convenient time?

                                                RIP "Please be kind, rewind"
                                                No longer with us
                                                Posted on: 02 Nov 08 22:46
                                                  VHS was great, it lasted far over thirty years, yes the tape were a pound each for decent ones (how much are DVD-RW in a case, erm, about the same), they did wear out, (one heavy scratch or over exposure to light and a DVD-RW is worthless), but they still are enjoyable, if you are not able to enjoy a Full HD experience, which requires 20/20 vision, there's nothing wrong with it, VHS recorder would record straight out of the box, now whom here has had the same ease with a DVD recorder, I haven't, and I am quite technically minded, HD DVD and SD DVD have there peaks, quality being the key one, but you can't record over a standard disc if you don't like it, your stuck with it, you could with VHS.
                                                  How long, do you reckon, before they try and kill of normal DVD's, despite the fact they are good, the players are cheaps, most DVD's now are less than £10 for the latest titles, DVD's are so cheap to produce that they give old films away with weekend newspapers for pete's sake, I reckon in about ten years, when most people will have a HD telly by then!
                                                  No longer with us
                                                  Posted on: 03 Nov 08 14:20
                                                    I don't even think that 'negativated' is a word, it should be 'negative'.
                                                    No longer with us
                                                    Posted on: 03 Nov 08 23:15
                                                      Don't Copy That Floppy."
                                                      No longer with us
                                                      Posted on: 03 Nov 08 23:15
                                                        "Don't Copy That Floppy."
                                                        No longer with us
                                                        Posted on: 04 Nov 08 15:53
                                                          It's satisfying to see the end for an inferior technology. Beta was the market leader and innovator (first to market, skip scan, HI FI, Cam Corder etc.). VHS will be remembered for inferior quality and being a laggart (technology copying format). I also still use Beta and the best domestic VCR ever made is the Sony SLHF-950. VHS never came close because it was inherently inferior. Goodbye VHS I regret having to use this format for 7 long years and am now pleased to totally revert to superior technologies such as Beta, 8mm, DVD, Blue Ray, well almost every format ever widely used was better.
                                                          Thanks for nothing JVC.
                                                          No longer with us
                                                          Posted on: 15 Nov 08 14:51
                                                            VHS ended its mission with honor. Everyone has an individual and
                                                            exclusive experience with each technology which appears. I think that it's a great loss of time to discuss if the end of VHS format is good or not. Simply we like to enjoy the things which bring pleasure for us, like good books, sailing, traveling, and many other hobbies, including audio and video. I have four VCR units in my home, living together with newer formats like DVD, MP4, IPod and there are no problems with it.
                                                            PS: I live in a country which loves to discard "the yesterday" called Brazil.
                                                            No longer with us
                                                            Posted on: 04 Dec 08 02:37
                                                              And such a smart business move it was. Imagine how many units of "Bucket List" would have sold on VHS!
                                                              Instead , during a recession, the studios are trying to push $30 Blu-rays on college kids that have already downloaded new movies BEFORE they hit the theatres!
                                                              MyCE Junior Member
                                                              Posted on: 04 Dec 08 15:58
                                                                doug, you are right on with that "Bucket List" comment! What young person wants to watch a couple of old farts dieing on screen? So, the main audience is the older generation, many of whom will have, and possibly still not even fully understand, VCRs (I'm thinking about my Mom and my Mother-in-law here). To make things even more complicated, the DVD my Sister-in-law brought over on Thanksgiving had little tiny writing around the hub: "Full Screen other side"!

                                                                I just pulled out the Xmas boxes and discovered a lot of movies on VHS. I'm not rebuying all that crap on DVD, no matter how much my Daughter likes (shudder) "The Santa Clause".
                                                                No longer with us
                                                                Posted on: 05 Dec 08 04:27
                                                                  Before hollywood pulled the plug on a guaranteed revenue stream, VHS sales were 300 million a year. Is there a studio out there who wouldn't want that cash or more back now?

                                                                  Someone will smarten up at some point, and release selected films on VHS. We might be in the middle of "the Greater Depression" before it happens, but it will happen. Think Vinyl.

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