The death of VHS?

So, Dixons have decided to stop selling VCRs because DVD players are outselling them 40-1. Apparently, this means that VHS as a format is now dead, or so pretty much every major news outlet (and slashdot) would have you believe.

Er, no. What it means is that people are no longer buying VCRs. DVD is a new technology; VHS is not. Most homes already have a VCR, and have no reason to buy a new one; whereas until two or three years ago, most homes did not have a DVD player. So of course DVD player sales are going to outstrip VCR sales; everyone’s already got a VCR.

But that doesn’t mean no-one’s using VCRs any more – far from it. Recordable DVD players and PVRs are not commodity items yet; your average householder will still pop in a tape and hit record when they want to save something to watch later. According to Blockbuster, 15% of their rentals are still VHS tapes. People still use their VCRs.

Dixons haven’t stopped selling them because the format is no longer viable; they’ve stopped selling them because every bugger in the universe already has one.

3 Responses to “The death of VHS?”

  1. Rob Kendrick says:

    I don’t have a VCR. Or a PVR. Or a DVD recorder.

  2. Lori says:

    I stumbled across an articl on the BBC website today (from Jan 2004), proclaiming Kodak’s ceasing production of 35mm cameras to be the death of film. Why is everyone so quick to proclaim something dead, these days? Like vinyl… that’s really dead. They don’t have a section devoted to it in HMV any more at all.

    Sorry… ranting.

  3. Lori says:

    Can I just add an e to the first bit of that comment and some sarcasm to the end? Thanks.