The VCR: The DVD Player of the Early 1980’s

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The VCR: The DVD Player of the Early 1980’s

The rate at which technology advances, even by today’s standards, continues to amaze and astonish people. Even the simplest of daily tasks are influenced and molded by the increasingly original inventions that continue to explode into the public’s eye. One’s everyday life is constantly updated, reinvented, and (if you will) reprogrammed in order to adapt to the new ways of technology. Yet this phenomenon is not unique to this decade alone. As modern and as fast-paced as things may seem now, people in 1984 were going through very similar circumstances. The invention of the VCR was quickly becoming an obviously important product, while advertisers, media executives, and the average consumer were all trying to determine how to interpret this invention.

Although the VCR was first released to the public in 1974, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that the public began catching on to this new invention. Still, the VCR was the most quickly adopted device of its time. In just three years, the sales of VCR’s jumped from 1.3 million units in 1981 to nearly 8 million units in 1984. The popularity of the household device was quite obvious, but the success of the VCR did not come so easily. Three years earlier, in October of 1981, after some struggle, the US court finally ruled that the home taping of broadcast signals was not an infringement. After that, the VCR quickly became a popular household device across the country (Winston 126-129). “The most common use of the VCR’s is to record TV programs fro viewing at a later date” (“VCR’s” 42). This so called “time shifting” was the foundation for the VCR’s success. Aside from its obvious TV connection, the VCR also provided a whole n...

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...is not starting from scratch; consumers must now decide between two mediums. Whether or not one chooses VHS or DVD, it is clear that both industries have/will made/make an everlasting impression on society.

Works Cited

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VCR? (VCR).” ERT Weekly 23 May 2002. FindArticles.Com. 1-5. 23 Sept. 2003 <http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m0KZC/2002_May_23/87104800/print.jhtml>

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“VCR’s.” Broadcasting 20 Aug. 1984: 42-50.

Winston Brian. Media Technology and Society; A History: From the Telegraph to the

Internet. New York: Routledge, 1998.
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