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Dixons says adieu to videos

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Good riddance!,00.html

Dixons says adieu to videos

Jackie Dent
Monday November 22, 2004
The Guardian

The technology that created the concept of staying in to watch a video
has had its day. RIP VCR.

Dixons announced yesterday that it will be phasing out video cassette
recorders in favour of the DVD player, which now sells for as little as
25. Britain's largest electrical retailer said demand for VCRs had been
falling dramatically since the middle of the 1990s and that DVDs were
now outselling VCRs by a ratio of 40 to one.

The company plans to sell the rest of its stock by Christmas.

John Mewett, marketing director at Dixons, paid tribute to the VCR. He
said: "We're saying goodbye to one of the most important products in the
history of consumer technology. The video recorder has been with us for
a generation and many of us have grown up with the joys and the
occasional frustrations of tape-based recording."

He added: "We are now entering the digital age and the new DVD
technology available represents a step change in picture quality and

The VCR was first developed by Philips in the early 1970s but was
expensive and never took off. A decade later, Sony's Betamax and JVC's
VHS were battling it out for market dominance, with VHS becoming the
market leader. VCR sales peaked in the Britain in 1993 and by 2002,
almost 90% of households owned at least one.

The VCR has had a good run for almost 25 years, compared with other
pieces of technology that never managed to capture the public's
imagination, such as laserdiscs (too big and difficult to record on) and
minidiscs (cool but quickly superseded by MP3 players).
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While the market for DVDs is estimated to be around 750m in Britain
alone, the technology, officially born in 1995, now also faces stiff
competition from hard-disk drive recorders, which can store more than
400 hours of television.
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