Sunday, April 26, 2009

Attrition

I don’t have too many VHS tapes left; nevertheless, I recently bought a new VCR. They are trés cheap these days, even with the de riguer DVD player in them. And the old one was making Suspicious Noises. So out it went, because, although I have very few tapes, the ones I have I want to keep. Same reason I bought a reconditioned laserdisc player -- because, as far as I can tell, a lot of movies never made it past tape or laserdisc. Like Hickey and Boggs. Or Bringing Up Baby. Or Island Of Lost Souls.

There’s an insidious attrition as we progress from medium to medium, have you noticed? When videotape was elbowed out by laserdisc, a lot of movies didn’t make the cut. Likewise when Laserdisc begat DVD. And now there’s a new format in town: Blu-ray. And once again, titles will fall by the wayside.

This sucks, because the eyestrain of watching an old videotape on a 50” plasma screen is like looking at Jackson Pollock’s Spring Period on acid. Laserdiscs are somewhat better, DVDs better still, and on Blu-ray you can count the nose hairs on 2nd Bad Guy in b.g. (If you are so inclined.) Still, each time we move up in quality we pay for it by losing a few classics. And it’s not like all that many were released to begin with ...

4 comments:

orclgrl said...

That was why I bought a VCR/DVD combo - but the nice thing is I can copy the tapes up to DVD! Of course this also helps to preserve all of the old family golden items like my uncle playing and singing out in the barn. It was his 'man den' and quite comfy with the inclusion of a wood burning stove for the winter. I have a lot of great memories and tapes of evenings spent listening while he play either the guitar or his old fiddle.

Michael said...

I bought a DVD recorder awhile back, with the idea of bumping my LD collection up. Considering how many laserdiscs I have, and at the rate I'm copying them, I figure I'll be done around the year 3455 ...

Chavo said...

Hi Michael- stumbled here from Perry's blog, and read a couple of post relating to your Parkinsons. You might google 'ketogenic diets and Parkinsons disease' if you haven't- something I know I would at least try.

Best-

Craig

orclgrl said...

And like my older brother, who still swears by his Laser Disk player and surround sound installation, I am gonna bet you have the primo setup for your own home theater also. On the occasions when I get to visit he will make me sit in the 'sweet spot' to watch and experience the completeness of his audio/visual installation. Oh the pain of having an acoustical engineer as a sibling!