Eulogy for VHS

Remembering a Dead Medium

Eulogy for VHS

Remembering a Dead Medium

The last VHS player will be made this month, a few months shy of its fortieth birthday. The first VHS VCR was announced in Japan, on September 9, 1976. JVC designed the HR-3300 after [goals]

JVC HR-3300U VIDSTAR, the first VHS VCR.

First job was at a video rental store.


  • Linear: Couldn’t jump around
  • Degrading: It decayed with each watch. A medium became worn. Functions like a YouTube view count, but proof of consumption. Also conveyed precious quality of message. Everything dies.
  • Emphervesant: pause didn’t real freeze the frame. You couldn’t stop a moment
  • Self-Contained
  • Fragile
  • Imprecise: Try stopping after fast forwarding through a commerical.
  • Tangible

What replaced me, doing my homework at the desk while eating french fries? You gave me your box, I found your cassette, I took your money, and told you when to come back.

What we lose with intangible media is explicit exchange.