Tuesday, November 4, 2008

D-V-Don't and V-H-Yes

The evolution of technology is similar to the evoloution of organisms. Either the new species flourishes and the old one dies off, the new one dies off and the old one remains, or the two live side by side in a new balance and harmony. CDs have definitely taken the place of cassette tapes but MDs failed to take the place of CDs. Pianos replaced harpsichords but live alongside keyboards. It is nature's way.

But we humans just can't seem to keep our itchy fingers out of the way. We choose one species over another, and sometimes, one technology over another. And the results aren't necessarily for the best.

Such is the case with DVDs and VHSs. Yes, DVDs are the more advanced form of media distribution, but a niche remains for VHSs, yet they have been forceably removed from the technological gene pool.

It's no secret that my children are hard on things, and movies are no different. I have a pile of DVDs that are no longer in working condition because of sticky fingers and crumby floors, yet I had to pay more for them. On the other hand, I've had VHS cases crack and lose pieces and once I even scotch taped a pulled out and broken reel and they still work! Durability is way more important to me than seeing SpongeBob in high-def clarity.

Distributors like Costco and Walmart switched to exclusively selling DVDs not because of decreased demand for VHSs, but to minimize inventory and increase profit margins since DVDs are cheaper to make and more can be charged for them. Meanwhile, with the death of my VCR (does anyone even know what that is anymore?) I'm left in this peculiar paradox of having working movies and nothing to play them on and scratched and broken movie discs with working DVD players.

I guess we'll have to read, go outside and play, or talk to eachother for entertainment.


Happy The Man said...

Best to rip you DVDs to electronic format and then ebay them for half their value. Of course you need to store that on large hard drives and back them up. Or just go with BlockBuster/Netflix...

I'm pretty much where you are though, haven't converted over with anything but it is all definitely a scam to get our money.

Ambie said...

Death to cd's! and their creator !

Cheryl said...

I heartily agree! I love my VHS movies. I played one the other night with the flip up things totally broken off! When we moved and realized the extent of our enormous VHS collection, Scott decided to buy a VHS / DVD player so that we can eventually have all of our movies on DVD but I can't seem to part with them.

I don't know what the problem is. Just because all of our DVD's are in a zipper case by the TV stand and our VHS tapes are in multiple containers and boxes.

ray said...

htm, my sister gave me the same advice. Make copies for the kids to watch and keep the originals in a glass case under lock and key. It's just a little high maintenance for me. I could have my children eat off china every night and get shock proof flooring and tie the kids to their chairs as they eat, but it's easier just to use plastic bowls.

cheryl, the storage thing is truly a big issue and probably a big reason why distributors were so eager to dump the VHSs. I recall Ambie's VHS collection making a veritable mountain in her crawl space. or was that the books, or shoes, or clothes, or picture frames, or flower pots, or dead power tools, or...