It seems like a lifetime ago that people used to record their favourite programs onto their Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs). Although at first these machines were of limited use, they did solve the problem of programs coinciding; one could be taped whilst the other one was watched. A little later VCRs were developed and became programmable and this opened up a number of opportunities.
Without the need for someone to physically press record, VCRs could tape your favourite shows whilst you were out doing other things. People could get on with their social lives, safe in knowledge that all their viewing was waiting for them at home. Then in the early 1990s, new innovative technology emerged – the Digital Versatile Disc, better known as the DVD.
This new technology brought with it a number of benefits; primarily it allowed us to record and watch videos at a much higher standard of quality for both sound and video. Furthermore, these discs eliminated the tedious process of re-winding, something that lessened the quality of videos the more you watched them. DVD also came with menus, optional subtitles or languages and, of course, additional features.
The additional content was a huge selling point when DVDs first surfaced; it could include a ‘making of’ documentary or deleted scenes. Film lovers were now spoilt for choice. Naturally, single layer DVD discs progressed into dual layer ones, these allowed for extra content without compromising the picture or sound quality. Following this, High Definition (HD) became the new standard for the majority of programs; this level of quality had massive implications, especially when considering the potential of what could be seen in slow motion.
And finally, Bluray stormed the market, setting a new benchmark for everything to follow. The discs provide a staggering 27GB of storage space, allowing for higher quality audio and video. This new technology was quickly integrated with a number of products, including games consoles such as the Playstation 3 that were produced with Bluray capabilities, and PCs that saw Bluray Disc Drives enter the market along with Bluray Disc burning software.
Home video recording has certainly come along way since the 70s when VCRs ruled. Even now, technological advances are being made to further Bluray even more. Extra functions, such as being able to connect to the internet and download content are quickly being incorporated into new designs. Home entertainment systems are far closer to replicating the cinema experience than they ever have been before.