Betamax was pioneered by Sony in the 1970s and utilized a magnetic tape to offer mainstream recording functionality. Initially, Sony tried to dominate the market and make Betamax the industry standard. However, JVC had other ideas and decided to make their own tape recorder called VHS. By 1980, the VHS format accounted for 60% of the North American market and signified the demise of Betamax.
Despite this, Sony’s failed format continued to sell reasonably well in Japan and can still be procured today. Although, Sony announced that Betamax sales will officially end in March 2016. It might surprise people in the west that old formats like Betamax are popular in Japan. Although, ancient electronics and retro games are often seen in various second-hand stores, and the “junk” section can contain broken Betamax players.
It’s important to remember how long the PlayStation 2 was in production throughout Japan. 40 years is a healthy lifespan given the format’s utter failure. I’m personally sad to see any piece of technology being retired, but it’s very niche in 2015. Modern media revolves around streaming which means dedicated players could become obsolete soon. Of course, 4K Blu-Rays could help prolong the lifespan of optical media, but its fate is sealed.
Are you still using VHS tapes? Perhaps, you’re a fan of the mighty LaserDisc format!
I do enjoy a Quentin Tarantino film, from the stylised Kill Bill volume 1 – 2 to From Dusk Till Dawn. Streaming may be the way forward for many consumers and industries, but not according to Mr Tarantino, who voices his disgruntlement for the format within a new book entitled “I lost it at the video store.”
Tarantino says: “I am not excited about streaming at all. I like something hard and tangible in my hand. And I can’t watch a movie on a laptop. I don’t use Netflix at all.” I agree with him to a point. My view is this, if you pay for Netflix you receive a vast array of content at a reasonable price, this is all well and good until one day you might decide to stop paying the subscription price, at which point all the content you enjoyed is gone and you’re left with nothing tangible
You could counter argue and state that Netflix is cheaper than buying a collection of DVDs, and that consumers have evolved to watch a particular film once before moving onto the next one. Hence the reason why there might not be any need to purchase the DVD in question; it might all depend on the tech generation which a person grew up with and therefore remember.
The next comments by Mr Tarantino are certainly interesting “I don’t have any sort of delivery system. I have the videos from Video Archives. They went out of business, and I bought their inventory. Probably close to eight thousand tapes and DVDs”. Imagine owning 8000 tapes and DVDs, the rewinding would drive many people crazy not to mention the lens cleaning equipment. Tarantino also states that he has “a bunch of DVDs and a bunch of videos, and I still tape movies off of television on video so I can keep my collection going.” I draw the line using a VHS tape, which never really liked me, considering I often receive a black bar which flickered across the top of the screen.
Quentin Tarantino is a purest in terms of producing film. Digital formats do not enter his realm and it depends on your point of view. Kids of today will only know music in terms of an MP3 download or even streaming only while others remember CD, tapes and Vinyl. Nostalgia brings back memories associated with an individual’s life which is intertwined with fond experiences they had, i.e. buying their first album. Streaming is the future and many people will love it, it just depends on the viewpoint of that individual.
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