Sunday, May 08, 2005

video days

Continuing my big Spring clean up, I tackled the living room yesterday. I unplugged the video recorder and put it into a cupboard. I hardly ever use it nowadays, I always watch DVDs and don’t really record any programmes off the TV anymore. I plan to get a DVD recorder later on this year, but I have reached the point of finally realizing that copying and storing programmes that I may never watch is a huge waste of time.
Still, unplugging the video was a big moment. Like the unplugged fax machine it had a short interesting life. I bought my first video recorder in the 1980s, it was actually stolen from my house – videos were expensive machines back then. We bought tapes and collected programmes like we were going to have them forever, the wonder of being able to go out for the night and have the video recorder tape the programme was the pinnacle of technology. It didn’t matter that you might never watch that taped programme, it was there – that was the thing. It demystified TV in some way and was the beginning of “lean forward” viewing and interactivity with mass media.

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