Food For Thought – Could analog video ever be like analog sound?

Posted Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 09:30 AM PDT by Mike Attebery

You’ve never seen Ghostbusters until you’ve seen it on VHS!

In the last forty years we’ve come a long way. We’ve witnessed the mass market success of the VCR, and the concept of a home theater. We’ve seen the introduction of Laserdisc, quickly followed by the advent and success of DVD. Our television now comes in high def and our Blu-ray discs provide us with unsurpassed video quality. But what of the old technology?

It’s near impossible to talk audio formats without the analog vs. digital argument coming up. Tube receivers still have quite the following, and specialty stores around the globe make a killing scooping these up from garage sales and pawn shops. But perhaps the biggest hold out of them all is the vinyl disc. The cracks and pops seem to add to the charm, and audiophiles can’t get enough of that warm, soulful analog sound.

It seems strange that vinyl should be such a sticking point; even modern bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead still release vinyl records to this day. VHS on the other hand, is officially dead. Why, when it comes to video, do we jump to the next greatest thing without holding on to what came before? Are we less willing to accept the visual ‘cracks and pops’ or is it simply, as David Hutchinson of Times Online ponders, that we’ve lost our sentimentality. “Vinyl was never convenient,” he says, “but love is exactly what is missing from media now. The convenience of digital music and films has also made the formats impersonal.”

See what people are saying about this story in our forums area, or check out other recent discussions.

Tags: Industry Trends, HD vs. Analog (all tags)