VHS Tapes… So Long Old Friend.

Town Crier IconAfter 3 decades of servicing all those looking to record their favorite TV show, family memories or dirty bits… We’ve finally reached the end of the line for those formerly ubiquitous pop culture objects… the VHS tape. Back in the early days, much was written about the competition between the battling VHS and Betamax formats… very similar to the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD battle that was recently won by Blu-Ray… Many a videophile thought Betamax was the superior format, but VHS won the battle anyway… Why? Well check this out to get the gist…

Stack 'o TapesI can tell you that I was hopelessly addicted to the VHS tape back in the day for sure. The picture to the right pretty much sums up what the top of my television looked like for many years… I was the undisputed king, the go-to guy amongst my set for knowing how to program a VTR… my machines were definitely never found with a blinking 12:00… I even had three TV’s all with their own VTR’s for a while so that I could record multiple stations simultaneously (an early version of TIVO). The only thing I failed to accomplish was to train cats to swap out full tapes for blanks when I wasn’t home… but I learned ways around it… I was determined back then…

Anyway, on a crisp Friday morning in October, the final truckload of VHS tapes rolled out of a warehouse in Palm Harbor, Florida… a warehouse run by a guy named Ryan Kugler, the last major supplier of VHS tapes.

“It’s dead, this is it, this is the last Christmas, without a doubt,” said Kugler, 34, a Southern California businessman. “I was the last one buying VHS and the last one selling it, and I’m done. Anything left in warehouse we’ll just give away or throw away.”

Kugler has sold more than 4 million VHS tapes over the last couple of years. In the end, mostly to discount outlets and dollar stores… he estimates that there are still a couple million tapes sitting on shelves around the world… but they’re the last analog soldiers in the lost battle against the digital invasion. “I’m not sure a lot of people are going to miss VHS,” he said, “but it’s been good to us.”

Well… I can’t say that I’ll miss ’em… at least not as much as I’d mourn the loss of the two dual-channel TIVO’s that I have now… but I’ll certainly maintain a bit of nostalgia, considering the massive amount of archival footage I have, I’ll have a VTR wired up in my studio for years to come…

So, my sweet VHS tape, with 2008 you will be retired to the great trash heap of technological progress… We all know you’re not going to biodegrade gracefully, but rest in peace anyway… you’ve served us well old friend…

(Ed.note; portions of this post were blatantly plagiarized from a story by Geoff Boucher in the Saturday online edition of the Chicago Tribune)


One Response to “VHS Tapes… So Long Old Friend.”

  1. Dolores Berggren Says:

    I too, have about 100 VHS tapes. I don’t record as much as I used to but my great love is playing X-mas tapes as old as 1996. Bing Crosby and Andy Williams family shows are wonderful. They have not deteriorated yet!
    Also I have Chicago Symphony concerts from the early 90’s! They don’t broadcast much of that anymore. AND..since they took the crafts portion off HGTV, I go back often to my collection, looking for beading, stained glass, and printing ideas. I have about 50 of those.

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