VHS: The Video Home System Tape (VHS) was born in 1976 in Japan, changing the landscape of television watching forever. Edging out its competition-the Betamax-with lucrative marketing strategies, the VHS quickly grew to dominate the world of television recording, in addition to allowing people to construct their own home film libraries. By the late 1970′s, the VHS had made its way to the United States, and by the early 1980s an entire generation of Americans had their lives changed forever by their newfound ability to record episodes of Dallas and Hill Street Blues for viewing at a later time. Alas, a shift to digital rather than analog recording formats beginning in the mid 1990′s sealed the fate of the VHS, resulting in its eventual decline. With the rise of DVD culture, new films had stopped being released on VHS by 2006. Its final manufacture occurred in late 2008, in Florida, where many things and people go to die. However, it’ll live on forever in the creepy, curtained-off porn sections of many video stores.
Laser Disc: Born of the analog to digital shift that caused the demise of the VHS, the laser disc began manufacture in the mid 1980′s, enjoying a brief spike in sales in the early 1990′s. These large, shiny discs seemed the way of the future, in that retro 1980′s way where everything shiny and space-age looking did. Alas, much like slap bracelets, the promise of Hoverboards, and NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, laser discs were not the way of the future. People tired quickly of the large and cumbersome medium, which often required viewers to get up and flip the disc over just as Return of the Jedi was getting to the good part, completely ruining the Princess Leia experience. Laser Discs, which were large, expensive and difficult to store, were rapidly replaced by the more portable, and far more affordable DVD. Manufacture ceased entirely in the mid 1990′s.