If you watched either of the recent series’ about the decade of  “The Eighties,” you were reminded how groundbreaking the VCR was.  Video Cassette Recorders allowed us to record our favorite shows and play them back at our convenience.  There were no DVRs back then so this concept of watching something after it aired was really revolutionary.  And you could rewind to your favorite parts and fast forward through commercials as well.  Unbelievable!

Technology has advanced so much that now it seems everything is available “on demand.”  We can watch and re-watch our favorite YouTube videos or stream our favorite shows and movies at home or on the road, on a variety of device types.

But back to the VCR:  the last remaining manufacturer of the machines announced it is stopping production due to the lack of availability of parts.

I don’t think this is cause for alarm.  If you still enjoy watching your old VHS tapes, the players can still be found at yard sales and on eBay.  But hearing of the end of the videotape era made me think about all the tapes that are sitting in my house.  Some are movies, like “Grease,”  that I’ve replaced with DVD.  The ones that I’m concerned about are the ones that have sentimental value: my young niece and nephew enjoying the rides in Seaside?  My mother and father doting on their grandkids in their Holiday City yard.  Even footage of my days as a news anchor at the college TV station.

I know videotape was not meant to last forever; I’m sure time and temperature and humidity deteriorate it.  But until now I never really felt the need to “save” the footage.  Do you still watch your old videotapes?  Have you converted any of them to digital (saved on a DVD or to a computer file?)  If you have converted, did you do it yourself or pay to have it done?

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