|July 2016||VHS: RIP (again) This time it looks like the actual end. Funai Electric in Japan has announced that it will stop making VHS VCRs by the end of the month. From a peak of 15 million units a year, last year's total sales were just 750,000. I notice that the BBC news site had to explain to younger readers what a VCR was...|
|March 2016||Beta: RIP Sony has finally stopped selling Betamax tapes. I'm fairly amazed they were still made, though I suppose the professional and high-def tapes were still in use long after normal Betamax had, well, "Done a Betamax".|
|October 2009||Electric Dreams I had a nice little featured appearance on BBC4's Electric Dreams program... coincidentally, the VCR the family used was also used in Son of Rambow|
|April 2008||Total Rewind at the Movies (2) Son of Rambow finally goes on general UK release on April 4th. Read all about it in the previous news entry, then go and see it!|
|October 2007|| Total Rewind at the Movies (1) This weekend was the UK premier of a new film from Hammer and Tongs, the team behind the film of The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and music videos for Blur and many other bands.|
Son of Rambow (A Home Movie) is a delightful comedy telling the story of two 10-year-old boys in the early 1980s, who are inspired by Rambo: First Blood to make their own movie - home video having just arrived, of course. And, all the equipment they use in the film came from Total Rewind!
Garth Jennings, the writer/director, contacted us to ensure that they were using the right equipment for the time, and ended up renting it from us! Unfortunately, the film won't be on general release until next year, but I can certainly recommend it when it does finally appear.
|August 2006||New additions to the museum: a PXL linear camcorder, and a Video8 VCR. I've been hunting for a PXL since 1994...|
|May 2006||Saving the world with Betamax On this week's Doctor Who, The Doctor captures an alien lifeform existing as a TV signal, by copying it onto a Betamax cassette - which he can then tape over! A few questions: Where did he get the tape, in 1953? Is the TARDIS Betamax? And, just when will the last reference to Betamax appear in popular culture, if we're still getting Beta jokes 30 years down the line?|
|April 2006||Video tape recording is 50 years old. The first Ampex Quad recorder was demo'd to a stunned audience at a trade fair on April 14th 1956.|
|April 2006|| More "Death of VHS" news -- new films are no longer being released on tape, and retailers expect VCRs to disappear from the shops in 2007.|
(In 1996 I wrote "Maybe in 10 years I'll be writing about the end of VHS"... It looks like that was a remarkably good prediction!)
|January 2006||A "virtual tour" of the Total Rewind storage vaults, in the Catalogue page, and a new format for the Collectors' Price Guide.|
|September 2005||More detailed exhibits for CartriVision and LVR.|
|April 2005||A whole new wing! The Disc room has been too full for some time, so I've split it into sub-rooms.|
|January 2005||A very rare aquisition - a working LaserVision player! Very few of the surviving VLP machines still work, so this is a bit of a coup for the collection.|
|November 2004|| VHS: RIP?|
Dixons, the largest electronic retailer in the UK, has announced that it will stop selling VCRs as soon as the current stocks run out - probably by Christmas. With DVD players out-selling by 40 to 1, they feel that, after 26 years, the VHS VCR is reaching the end of its life as a viable commercial product.
...which gave me my fifteen minutes of fame! Various TV and Radio companies contacted TOTAL REWIND for a quote or an interview, so if you were watching BBC News, listening to BBC radio, or reading practically any newspaper - yes, that was me.
|October 2004||A new addition to the museum: a VHD disk player. This is only the second one I've seen in 10 years!|
|September 2004||A new navigation aid, a whole new room, plus some new exhibits: an unusal VHS machine, an early CED player - and an entry in the Oddities section.|
|August 2004|| TOTAL REWIND was featured as the Website of the Week on the 24-Hour Museum -- the UK's National Virtual Museum. They gave us a very flattering write-up, which I'll shamelessly reproduce here: |
"In many ways this is what the Internet was invented for. Total Rewind is a brilliantly researched site dedicated to the history of the video recorder from early cassette tape technology through to the present day, taking in the Betamax Vs VHS format war of the 1980s and the effect VCRs had on our lives on the way. Based on an enormous collection compiled by the site's authors, this isn't just a site for the specialist, but also a fascinating trawl through the story of a piece of kit that is more often than not taken for granted."
|March 2004||TOTAL REWIND got me on TV! The crew at Johnny Vaughan's BBC3 show, "Live at Johnny's", saw this website and invited me to be a contestant on their "Mastermind" spoof. I was quizzed on VCR history by Magnus Magnusson: "I've started, so I'll finish"|
|February 2004||New addition to the museum: Pioneer's first disc player: a design anti-classic...|
|November 2003||New additions to the museum: the first V2000 machine, and the last.|
|October 2003||New additions to the museum: an unusual VHS-C camcorder cradle.|
|September 2003||New additions to the museum: the other Beta portable, and another CED disk player.|
|August 2003||New additions to the museum: two portables, an odd VHS machine and a classic Betamax. I've been trying to get the beta portables for years!|
|August 2003||The TOTAL REWIND project is ten years old -- I found my very first old video machine on August 2nd 1993...|
|July 2003||New additions to the museum: a VHS-C portable and a BetaMovie camcorder|
|May 2003||New additions to the museum: Betamax, VHS and Portable machines|
|April 2003||The Grundig company is no more. While always having a reputation for quality, their prices have been higher to match, and todays consumers are motivated mainly by price.|
|April 2003||The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reports that sales of VHS cassettes are down 42%, while DVDs are up 58%|
|February 2003||New additon to the museum: a TED disk player|
|January 2003||Total Rework - a complete site redesign!|
|December 2002|| Betamax: RIP|
Sony stopped all production of Betamax machines at the end of the year. They have only been produced in Japan since 1998, and in 2001 only 2800 machines were sold. Sony say that the arrival of digital formats such as DV and DVD have finally removed the niche market that the two remaining Super Beta and Beta HiFi machines were occupying.
|November 2002||New additions to the museum: SVR and VK format machines|
|September 2002||TOTAL REWIND was featured on BBC Radio 4! I was interviewed for an article about the DVD recorder format war, and the parallels with VHS/Betamax in the Eighties.|
|September 2002||According to the US Business journal Forbes, sales of DVD players are expected to overtake VCRs in 2003. US VCR sales peaked in 2000 at 23 Million, down to 16M in 2002. About 15.5M DVDs are expected to sell in 2003, with VCRs continuing to decline and becoming a "retail rarity" by 2005...|
|April 2002||New additions to the museum: BetaMovie and VHS-C first-generation camcorders|
|1999||Total Rewind featured in a government report on "new media"|