Monday, 15 March 2010

R.I.P. Video Cassette Recorder

vhs_1978 Freeview, the free-to-air networks’ digital platform, is to unveil a new advertising campaign declaring that “the VCR is dead” as new technologies such as personal video recorders (PVRs) are being adopted by households in growing numbers.

The Australian reports that around 100,000 digital tuners are being sold every month – as Australia converts from analogue to digital television – and that households are also upgrading their old VCRs to digital recorders such as PVRs to manage their viewing.

VCRs, while they were celebrated in the ‘70s (pictured) shortly after the advent of colour TV, have limited functionality and compatibility in recording digital signals, as they generally only have analogue tuners installed and rely on a digital tuner being plugged in via AV input.  Sophisticated PVR devices such as Topfield, TiVo or Foxtel’s IQ are packed with features to allow complete flexibility in viewing habits, and often in high-definition formats.

It is estimated that as many as 50 per cent of households may already have PVR devices – a figure that’s on par with digital TV penetration, currently around 61 per cent nationally.

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