On life support since 2006: R.I.P., VHS


The last U.S. source of pre-recorded VHS videos has pulled the plug.

VHS is dead, but for the twitches of life carrying on in schools and homes where people cling to the format Hollywood has not supported for the past two years.

Stories in ArsTechnica and The Los Angeles Times say Distribution Video Audio, the last U.S. supplier, will toss its inventory in early 2009.

After three decades of steady if unspectacular service, the spinning wheels of the home-entertainment stalwart are slowing to a halt at retail outlets. On a crisp Friday morning in October, the final truckload of VHS tapes rolled out of a Palm Harbor, Fla., warehouse run by Ryan J. Kugler, the last major supplier of the tapes.

“It’s dead, this is it, this is the last Christmas, without a doubt,” said Kugler, 34, a Burbank businessman. “I was the last one buying VHS and the last one selling it, and I’m done. Anything left in warehouse we’ll just give away or throw away.”

How much longer can DVD hold on?

Asked how the death of VHS might affect U.S. education, Mrs. Americanteacher said, “Hold on, I need to stoke the wood in the stove here, and clean the chalkboard.  Just a minute.  I’ll get back to you.”

VHS was about 30 years old.

Interment will be in thousands of landfills across North America, though some relics will be sent to small shrines in bars and bodegas around the world, mostly in second- and third-world countries.

One Response to On life support since 2006: R.I.P., VHS

  1. […] Dong, VHS is dead: Is your school ready for DVD? VHS can now be considered dead, really very truly dead.  New tapes are not being produced for almost all programs, and the last, die-hard distributor who […]

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