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“The VCR is dead.” Long live the PVR.

Freeview is said to be getting ready to air a new ad campaign proclaiming the death of the traditional video recorder.

Freeview is said to be getting ready to air a new ad campaign proclaiming the death of the traditional video recorder.

The campaign, “the VCR is dead”, is expected to break in coming months, says The Australian. Set to join its old buddy Betamax? Probably.

More than 45 per cent of all households now rely on set-top boxes to translate digital signals or act as personal video recorders. More than 100,000 devices a month are being sold around the country.

Robert Bonanno, marketing director of Topfield, which has been selling PVRs in Australia for seven years, said the penetration of devices such as PVRs was now heading over the 50 per cent mark.

Along with brands including Beyondwiz, Strong, Topfield, Tivo, Dgtec and Bush, there is the Foxtel IQ, which allows recording, pausing, rewinding and time-shifting of shows.

And they also help viewers to overcome the annoying network habit of late starts.

Some even allow us to skip the ads Freeview wants us to see. Freeview branded set-top boxes have limited ad-fast-forwarding features.

Meanwhile Catch-Up TV continues to take hold.

Plus7 attracted more than 500,000 unique visitors in its first four weeks while the ABC’s iVIEW topped 411,000 visitors last month.

But there are divisions between Seven Media group and Yahoo7’s plans to make about 20 of Seven’s TV shows available on a catch-up basis on Sony’s soon-to-launch Bravia TVs.

But executives are reluctant to make key programs available to be viewed on channels that are not counted in their television ratings.

Yahoo7 spokeswoman Amanda Millar said the Bravia used an internet browser to access Plus7 and no content leaves the Yahoo7 domain or is sub-licensed to Sony.

Source: The Australian

39 Responses

  1. My VCRs are looonnng gone now. Well, they’re still plugged up to our TVs, but they don’t do anything. We’ve got media centre PCs which record all our shows for us. 🙂 Haha, the TV networks must hate people like me – I use the timeshifting functionality on my media centres so that I can skip all the ads on live TV. I make sure I’m about 10-15 mins behind the broadcast and it means I can skip just about all the ads, and for shows like So You Think You Can Dance I’ll watch it on a 25-30 min delay and skip all the ads and buffering.

  2. @Craig it might just be the dvd/vcr that have the probelms i am glad to hear that you havent had to many probelms with your LG

    when i we bought our panasonic which was almost 2 years ago they were the only ones that had HD HDD twin tuner and dvd drive and about 4 months ago my parents got one and panasonic were still the only ones making them

    and as for freeview branded

    @ survivor fan i also would not buy a freeview box if you paid me

  3. No way is my VCR dead. I have two of them, one 5 yrs old, the other 15 yrs old, Both used every night. I tape shows, so I can spend time at the computer. Then watch later or next day, zapping out the commercials. Saves a lot of time.

  4. @tasmanian devil – you will still be able to use a VCR to record digital programs in the future, but a digital STB would need to be the first device on your incoming antenna.

    The STB tuner receives all the digital stations and then outputs an analogue signal for feeding into an analogue television set. That analogue line could just as easily be fed into a VCR’s line-in jacks.

    That’s what I meant about it being possible but more complicated for those using just a basic STB.

  5. @ Neon Kitten – that’s why I said LG, anyone who buys the Freeview brands will be limiting there options, just like TiVO.

    BTW I still have a VCR (with DVD player) but it’s still boxed up and packed away since I moved house. I’m only keeping it just in case I need it, besides I’d get bugger all for it today, even though it does actually have a SD digital tuner built-in unlike most VCRs.

    I was so pleased with my LG DVD/HDD that last year I bought my parents one, it’s only got a 80Gb HDD but that still enough for 40 hours of recording before you need to delete or record to DVD.

    Oh and as for recording Austar I decided to keep my aging digital box and not get MyStar for the precise reason that you can’t hook up you MyStar to en external PVR to record to DVD or HDD, the older digital boxes can.

  6. Craig, bear in mind that no “Freeview” PVR will allow copying of recordings to a PC. Only non-Freeview-crippled PVRs like the Beyonwiz P1 and P2 will let you do that.

  7. Anyone who says VCRs are far from dead are far from right. The process of turning off analogue signals is going to start soon, rendering half of a VCR useless. Of course they can still be used to play videos, but anyone who wants to record TV will have to use a DVR, on account of VCRs being analogue. So the VCR is “half-dead”, or soon will be anyway.

  8. @Dan – I don’t know about the vcr/dvd combo units but I’ve had a dvd/hdd for years and I’m pretty happy with it, even though I had to replace the DVD drive once when it stopped working but it’s still a great machine IMO.

    But I did feel kinda trapped as I had shows on the HDD which I wanted to keep and there is no way to transfer them off the HDD without the internal DVD. Maybe still a major problem with most PVRs.

    Although that said some are now releasing models with wireless networking that allows you PC to access the recordings so you can copy them off and do what you like with them.

    ETA – @ Goonies – no LG make a DVD/HDD unit but only in SD, they have a new HD PVR with twin HD tuners but it has now DVD or BluRay, instead you can put in a 2nd HDD in the front slot, yes it has a removable HDD! and wireless networking.

    ITA people still thinking they only need VCR have not used a PVR.

  9. pity they continue to ignore the deaf viewers by not recording any programs with closed captions. Or providing any closed captions programs on their co called catch up websites.

  10. I have the Panasonic DVD / HDD dvr as well and I love it, only problem is no twin tuners and no HD. I think panasonic are the only ones who make a combined DVD / HDD as well.

    Don’t know how I ever managed with just a VCR now! Most of the tapes I had can now be replaced with DVD’s (i.e I had the Ab Fab series on video).

    Anyone claiming their VCR is still the best way to go has obviously never had the luxury of a PVR!

  11. We have a VCR and have a PVR/set top box due to be delivered any day. Can’t remember the last time we used the VCR as there never seems to be anything on worth recording. The only reason we got the PVR now is we have an older Sony TV that needs a set top box and the price of the unit we are getting wasn’t too bad ($140) for both functions. Let’s hope we can find something worth recording.
    We could use the PVR for recording the old VHS tapes we have laying around too.

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