Back in the early 1990's, our Chicago Real Estate Team did a beautiful Personal Video Brochure on VHS Tape, and distributed the video, along with periodic installments of our listings in the area, to our clients and prospective clients.
We placed the tape in a nice plastic case, with a custom label - and were considered Cutting Edge Marketers, back in the day.
Well, it's the end of an era now, for both business and personal users (i.e, thousands of movie viewers) of the VHS Video Tape Format. Without tears being shed, according to a story in last Saturday's Chicago Tribune by Geoff Boucher, the last U.S. Distributor, Ryan Kugler of Southern California, has shipped his last VHS tape, and plans to liquidate and discard remaining VHS Tape inventory early in the New Year.
If you come to think of it, the advent of video tape recorders, and the VHS Tapes (and, earlier, BetaMax Tapes) that ran on them, changed the entire entertainment industry.
Before movies-on-tape, the only way to see a feature film was to go to a movie theater - or, wait months until it came out on TV. Not available for the TV Replay - more waiting, until it was aired once again.
After video tapes became popular, mom-and-pop rental stores, followed by large chains such as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, competed for our entertainment dollars as much as large movie houses and dance clubs. Recent releases along with classic motion pictures were now available to view, in the privacy of your own home, on your own Analog TV Set, anytime - and, often, for far cheaper than admission to the theaters!
The proliferation of videos vastly expanded our personal entertainment options as never before.
Pioneering entrepreneurs and small business people used VHS Tapes in business. Training Videos were all on VHS! (BTW . . . our own Personal Video Brochures - I just found about 50 of the left over tapes down in the basement, and threw out 48 of them, saving the final two just to prove, years from now, the format actually once existed).
Today, even those mini-business-card-sized DVD's some Realtors and others are using are out of fashion. Live streaming video, via the Internet, is what agents use now for introductions. And, who knows - that might not even be around a few years from now!
Very soon, across the U.S., VHS will be virtually non existent - with the exception of those old wedding videos and home-recorded vintage TV shows of many years ago.
It's tough to even find a stand-alone VHS player these days!
Japanese electronics giant JVC, who introduced VHS (Video Home System) tapes back in 1977, and one of the largest manufacturer of video tape recorders, stopped making the units last October. The company, along with other manufacturers, still manufactures hybrid VHS/DVD players, but how long these products will be available is unknown.
In a post from Chad Berndtson on The Channel Wire Blog, he reminds us the last major motion picture to be released on video tape was "A History of Violence," and that came out over two years ago. Larger retailers, including Target, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy, began phasing out video tape sales in their stores several years before that.
DVD Movie Rentals surpassed VHS rentals for the first time in 2003. By 2005, only a dwindling fraction of movie rentals were made available on the analog tape format.
At the end of 2008, the discount racks in convenience and grocery stores are filled with older, non-blockbuster movies as before - but all are DVD's, there's not a large, boxy VHS tape to be found anywhere!
And Real Estate Practitioners and other small business people - Social Networking Sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Active Rain Blogging, and Twitterhave replaced the need for most types of pre-packaged video introductions anymore.
See our post via BlogChicagoHomes.com for more.
And - have a Happy - and SAFE - New Year!
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO