The first video cassette recorders were promoted in the s as an extension of broadcast television technology–a time-shifting device, a way to tape TV shows. From Betamax to Blockbuster: video stores and the invention of movies on video, by Joshua M. Greenberg, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, Early advertising for Sony’s Betamax told potential purchasers “You don’t have to miss In From Betamax to Blockbuster, Joshua Greenberg explains how the.

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From Betamax to Blockbuster: Video Stores and the Invention of Movies on Video

In most accounts of the history of the VCR, these most prominent actors have been the Hollywood blockbuater, the technology manufacturers, the government, and the users themselves. Philippe rated it really liked it Sep 15, Oct 09, Andrew rated it liked it Shelves: A surprisingly lively exploration of the evolution of blockbusger home video cassette, and a broader case study of the co-option of enthusiast culture by broader mainstream interests.

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Chandler rated it it was amazing Apr 16, Justin rated it really liked it Feb 23, Mike rated it it was amazing Feb 17, Those responsible for making this happen were the new video distributors, who mediated between retailers and manufacturers of recorders, tapes, and movies, facilitating a grad- ual movement from a distribution model based on the betamac goods world of high-technology appliances to one based on the recording industry. As such, its style and format is likely to be off-putting to a wide readership.

These top- down institutions served as closure mechanisms, bllckbuster and mandat- ing a particular understanding of exactly what movies on video were, and thus how the video store should function.

Arguing that the retail space is a physical manifestation of a technological frame, chapter 4 analyzes the spatial layout of the newly established video store. Analytically, therefore, he benefits, evading the need to frame his arguments with the disclaimer that future form might throw a spanner into his theoretical works.


From Betamax to Blockbuster by Joshua M. Greenberg

From Betamax to Blockbuster: Secondly, users have combined VCRs with video cameras to author their own movies, most traditionally of family events. Log In Sign Up. This leads to an interesting point with regard to the nature of media—a particular sort of use distinguishes media from other technologies, nothing more.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. First, the story of the VCR has often been couched as the triumph of David over Goliath, with Hollywood playing the part of the giant and home users wielding the metaphorical slingshot.

Ed added it Jul 04, The first video cassette recorders were promoted in the s as an extension of broadcast television technology–a time-shifting device, a way to tape TV shows. Greg added it Aug 20, Christofer added it May 23, Daniel Carson marked it as blocjbuster Jan 13, With the found- ing of the Moral Majority inissues of morality and decency were thrust to the foreground of American culture, and video stores were no exception.

Rather than the manufacturer having dictated the correct use to which their product be put, amalgams of users linked in loose social networks had revolutionised the meaning invested in the technological artefact known as the VCR. There are no discussion topics on ro book yet.

From Betamax to Blockbuster by Joshua M. Greenberg – PopMatters

Ironicat marked it as to-read Jun 23, In some cases, video store workers managed to parlay this expertise into a broader expert identity and, in a few rare cases, fame and fortune. I hate abandoning a book — it bloxkbuster something that took someone considerable time, energy, and knowledge to put together. Selected pages Title Page.

At points it seemed like he was purposely trying to make the material more complicated than it was. By focusing on the “spaces in between” manufacturers and consumers, Greenberg’s account offers a fresh perspective on consumer technology, illustrating how the initial transformation of movies from experience frlm commodity began not from the top down or the bottom up, betamas from the middle of the burgeoning industry out.


In short, this is the story about how the VCR was remade into a medium for movies, and who was responsible for doing so. Which is a shame, because in both narrative and content From Betamax to Blockbuster is well worth a read.

Thus, the spools of magnetic tape encased in plastic, and the black box which sits beneath the TV, are shown to be more than simple vectors of cultural distribution and instead are entities worthy of analysis in their own right.

Trivia About From Betamax to B The result was more than a new industry; by placing movies on cassette in the hands and control of consumers, video rental and sale led to a renegotiation of the boundary between medium and message, and ultimately a new relationship between audiences and movies. Having moved away from a view of the history of technology that is about the production of artifacts to one focusing on the production of knowledge about the nature and use bloc,buster those artifacts essentially studying ideas about things rather than things per sethe question of who should figure as protagonists becomes problematic.

The Best Metal of And so the story opens. Oedipa marked it as to-read Blockbuser 04, The consumer VCR was initially conceived as a time-shifting device, a storage technology allowing users to record broadcast television for later bkockbuster.

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Printed and bound in the United States of America. I do urge you to check it out, read the official blurb and skim the introduction. Be the first to ask a question about From Betamax to Blockbuster.