I cannot help it, but it is awkward feeling when something that was part of your life, was so omnipresent is announced to be dead and disappear shortly. Exactly this is happening to video tapes and format VHS specifically. The news has been all around the net day or two ago: studio’s stopped after 30 years production and distribution of the VHS media.
It does not seem to so many years ago when VHS was and new and struggling to survive against more technically advanced BetaMax (I still remember how great the BetaMax movies looked). Now the VHS is slowly disappearing and everything moves to digital format and DVD. One one side, it is better – higher quality, less compatibility issues (no more struggling with expensive VHS players that can play both NTSC and PAL tapes on NTSC TV (strangely enough, the other way is much easier and many players sold in Europe do play NTSC tapes OK, but require 220 Volt/ 50 Hz and PAL TV). Compared to this, the DVD “zones” create much smaller problem, especially since Linux folks gave us some very good tools :-). Even the DVD and medium seems to be approaching the beginning of the end of life – albeit it is very unclear who will win the BlueRay / HD-DVD war. Maybe nobody will prevail, consumers will wait until the live with live streaming and video on demand with PVR’s will be practical alternative to physical distribution.
So – as suggested in one of the blogs mentioned above – let’s pause the PVR’s for a minute of silence for VHS. And while doing that, let’s contemplate what are we going to do with all the tapes with many unforgettable moments ? Maybe it’s highest time to start converting them to something digital, before the VHS players become expensive collector’s items as vinyl record players did … Going digital is the only option ( at least you do not loose all your content as I did when I switched from reel tapes to CC or from CC to CD few years later – when MP3 came, I just ripped all my CD’s). But it still feels a little bit sad – same as few months ago, when Nikon announced that they end production of film cameras