Over the last few decades technology has developed rapidly. Nowadays it feels as if we only cling to the latest model of phone or laptop for mere months before the newest version gets released and makes ours feel obsolete. However, whilst your version of the iPhone from over a year ago might feel like an outdated piece of tech compared to the newest model, it’s nothing compared to the advancements made in the 20th century.
Taking a trip down memory lane, it’s hard to imagine that, at one time, VHS was the only convenient way to own and watch cinematic releases at home. Video rental shops like Blockbuster completely dominated the high street in the 80s and 90s before the DVD and streaming market ground their success to a halt.
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The tables have turned and turntables are spinning once again in the bedrooms of thousands of people across the country after years of silence. The medium was dead in the dust for mainstream use; digital had taken over, it held a pillow over vinyl’s face as it slept and watched as it took its final breath. But perhaps that pillow should have been held a little longer, vinyl wasn’t dead, it was very much alive and kicking.
If you’re still clinging on to a pile of old VHS tapes that you haven’t backed up, you should be aware of how long those tapes will still be useable. Even if you take incredibly good care of them, VHS tapes will eventually deteriorate. By the very nature of their components, VHS just wasn’t built to stand the test of time.
So, just how do tapes deteriorate even when left alone in storage? And approximately how long can you expect them to remain intact?
When it comes to technology, there is no denying that digital has analogue beat every time. Analogue and digital are both signals used to transmit information, such as audio and/or video, that is transformed into electric signals. The main difference is that analogue information is translated into electric pulses of varying amplitude, whereas digital translates information into binary format. Analogue voltages continuously change, whereas digital voltage has defined levels.
Once you’ve converted those old home videos to a more convenient format such as DVD or MP4, you may be wondering what to do with those old tapes. Maybe you’ve finally gotten around to buying your favourite films on DVD, so you no longer need those VHS versions you bought decades ago. Whatever the case, VHS tapes take up a lot of space, and once the footage has been preserved and upgraded, there really isn’t any need to keep this old format lying around.
In today’s technological age with DVDs, Blu-Rays, online streaming and catch-up TV, it’s no wonder that the likes of the VHS tape just couldn’t compete. However, when these plucky tapes first cropped up, it was revolutionary. Coupled with the VHS recorder, which allowed people to record live broadcasts to watch whenever they liked, this technology truly paved the way for the incredible achievements made in the realm of home cinema entertainment.
VHS was once the pinnacle of home entertainment technology. In fact, there was a time when no household was complete without an extensive collection of videotapes. From the latest cinema releases that could be your very own, to your very own family films taken on a video recorder, VHS tapes were commonplace in the average British household.
Is it really any coincidence that Christmas comes at the end of the year? It is the pinnacle holiday that most of us look forward to, above all others, throughout every year. Perhaps that’s because it’s inextricably linked in most of our minds with warm and fuzzy feelings of family togetherness, giving and cosy, happy childhood memories. There’s no better time of the year to be nostalgic than Christmas time. Continue reading