Dixons says goodbye to the video recorder

Video recorders could soon become a thing of the past after electrical giant Dixons said it is to stop selling them.

The retailer said the move was due to the increased demand for DVD players and the better picture quality and convenience of the new technology.

It signals the beginning of the end of VHS (video home system), the technology which revolutionised viewing habits around the world when it allowed people to leave the house without missing their favourite programmes, as ITV News reported.

Accepting the inevitable, Britain's biggest high street electronics retailer Dixons announced over the weekend that it was taking VHS video players off its shelves for good.

"We are now entering the digital age and the new DVD technology available represents a step-change in picture quality and convenience," said marketing director John Mewett.

Dixons is not alone. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, offers only a handful of stand-alone VHS recorders on its website.

"VHS was pretty revolutionary," VHS player collector Andy Hain told Reuters on Monday. "The fact that people take them for granted so much today shows just how important they were."

For more than 25 years, VHS dominated the world home entertainment market after seeing off a challenge from Sony's Betamax in the early 1980s, informs Reuters.

According to the CNN News, the first VCR, made by JVC, went on sale at Dixons in 1978, costing almost £800, the equivalent of more than £3,000 today.

The early 1980s saw a battle between the VHS and Sony's Betamax. VHS eventually won because it was the format favored by video rental shops.

By 1990 more than 200 million VCRs a year were sold worldwide. But its days were numbered with the arrival of the DVD, which offers digital quality, space-saving discs and instant access to recordings instead of having to wind through a tape.

However, even the DVD is facing new competition from hard-disk drive recorders that can store more than 400 hours of TV.

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