Tracking, rewinding, ejecting, collecting - VHS broke ground in home entertainment like never before. The culture of VHS and its enormous best friend, the VCR, were kings of consumer media for decades. Despite the last VCR and VHS being manufactured just three years ago, videotapes are still consumed, collected, and in some cases, sold(!) across the country. But why?
With streaming service giants like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and (soon) Disney, giving us on-demand content with the push of a button and with Blu-ray and 4K players displaying movies and TV shows at crystal clear resolutions, videotapes offer a simpler, analog experience that will just not go away.
Today, a look inside the impact, history, and legacy of VHS.
Plus, video stores! It was the place to get your VHS rental and consume the content you couldn’t get anywhere else. A look at life owning and working at a video store.
Betsy Kaplan and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on May 16, 2019.
- Caetlin Benson-Allott - Distinguished Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at Georgetown University and author of Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens Video Spectatorship From VHS to File Sharing (@VideoPhD)
- Sam Hatch - Co-host of The Culture Dogs on Sunday nights on WWUH
- Hank Paper - The former owner of Best Video in Hamden, CT; and he is a professor of Film Television and Media Arts at Quinnipiac University