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THE MORNING BUZZ: Is the VHS Cassette Collectible Anymore?

7 Jan, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange

The January post-holiday period is always a time for cleaning up and throwing out, at least at our house. I was never so glad to toss a Christmas tree as I was this year. For some reason, the tree decided to start dropping handfuls of needles daily about a week after we got it and, by Christmas, the tree was bare and my 3-year-old was building little needle mountains on the carpet for her new toy dinosaurs to stomp over.

But this year for the first time I decided to toss something else along with the tree—my VHS collection. Even before I entered the business, my husband had gathered a sizable collection of cassettes on his own and, with my stockpile, the stuff threatened to take over our extra room.

Since her VCR broke and started eating tapes, my 3-year-old has been watching nothing but DVDs anyway. (In fact, she no longer asks for the video; she specifies that she wants the DVD.) Meanwhile, we bought a nice wall unit for the DVDs, with special drawers, giving them a hallowed place in the living room.

Clearly, the cassettes had to go.

Granted, we may be a little ahead of the curve in adopting new technology and chucking the old, but I wonder how many families are thinking of doing the same thing this month. After hooking up their first DVD players, or perhaps buying a second for the kids, many families may be looking at moving on. Likely, even families waiting to buy their first DVD player will hesitate before adding to their VHS collection.

DVDs are more compact and they don't disintegrate over time or break in the player like cassette tapes. Besides, like torn sweatshirts and legwarmers, cassettes just seem, well, passe. After all, how many people actually keep vinyl record albums around the house anymore?

Now, a few companies are offering the conversion of home movies to DVD. Announcements are already bubbling up from this weeks 2002 Consumer Electronics Show about hardware that comes enabled to view photos and home movies on DVD. My cousin, in fact, is putting our family films on DVD and we're considering transferring our hours of home movies to the digital format. I can't help but think how cool it would be to have all that stuff on little compact DVDs rather than unwieldy cassettes. When I'm able to record "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on DVD, the good old VCR may have to go.

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