​So Long, VHS

6 reasons we'll miss the humble videotape


I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 82. According to reports, the last videocassette recorder will be produced in Japan this month and we're suddenly feeling quite nostalgic (we're not the only ones, eBay.co.uk has seen more than 28,000 VHS related items sold on site in the last three months). 

We're also feeling old because, let's face it, no one born in this century actually knows what a VHS is anyway.


Here are all the things we'll miss about those charming, clunky black videos that brought us such joy in simpler times.

1 – Setting The Video

God life used to be so complicated (though we didn't know it at the time). You used to have the find the TV guide (hard copy, not digital!), see what time Dawson's Creek started and ended and then perform some elaborate technical acrobatics to make sure your favourite show recorded while you were out. Am I misremembering or didn't you also have to leave the TV on the right channel too otherwise you'd tape the wrong thing? The olden days, hey?


2 – Vintage Adverts

One of the greatest pleasures of watching Back To The Future that I once recorded on Christmas Day 1987 is the old adverts I inadvertently captured. Remember the old Gold Blend ads featuring the slow-burning romance between Tony and Sharon? 

Eat your hearts out Ross and Rachel. Oh and there was a sale on at DFS even then.

3 – The Video Shop

We've been Netflixed into oblivion now but once upon a time, you used to walk to the local video shop with a friend on a Saturday afternoon (mine was an independent called Jack Beanstalk, no fancy Blockbuster Video in south Manchester) and spend about two hours choosing a video (two if your mum was in a good mood) to watch on Saturday night. After much heated deliberation, you'd take the box to the counter where the actual tape would be retrieved, presumably from a locked vault. On a really good day, you'd leave the shop with some Maltesers and a grab bag of popcorn too.

4 – Be Kind, Rewind

There's a special place in hell for people who didn't rewind the video before they returned it. Popcorn ready, PJs on, you'd finally sit down to watch Now And Then, you'd switch the telly on only to see the credits roll. There was no x30 speed Sky Plus style rewinding. It would then take about an hour to rewind the video by which point, you'd be over it.

5 - VHS Games

Remember Girl Talk? Chatting to an imaginary boy on your TV through a fake phone felt groundbreaking.

6 – All The Sounds

That squiggly sound of fast forwarding and rewinding and the swallowing sound the machine made when you put the video in. Oh and having to wind the tape back in with your fingers when it came out. 

6 reasons we'll miss the humble videotape​​

We will miss it all. Goodbye VHS, we'll never forget the good times.

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