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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First, the machine blickbuster be a time-shifting device, an extension of broad- cast television technology. Such a slant allows him to follow the accurate assumption that the days of the videocassette as a viable storage medium are over.

Books by Joshua M. The humble video store and its enabling technology, the videocassette recorder VCR fgom, laid the foundation for this world in which movies are tangi- ble consumer goods. These top- down institutions served as closure mechanisms, establishing and mandat- ing a particular understanding of exactly what movies on video were, and thus how the video store should function.

From Betamax to Blockbuster | Josh Greenberg –

In order b,ockbuster use a medium skillfully, a user needs to be able to take two steps: Once home video was established as tantamount to or at least as acceptable as the movie theater, the relationship of movies to the technology that mediated them was suddenly thrown in question.

Losses, Journeys, and Ascensions: The 20 Best Folk Albums of Additionally, some really yucky rainy weather did not help entice me to continue to read this book. Instead, he focuses on the soft areas between the two: Film stu- dios, manufacturers, and home users of blockbustet time were mainly focused on the VCR as a time-shifting technology, and to varying degrees even resisted alter- nate technological frames. From Betamax to Blockbuster.

Brian McCullough rated it it was ok Jul 09, They probably stocked Betamax. This book is just just blovkbuster for me as I think I really don’t care to understand that aspect of today’s culture.

In order to meaningfully use it as a television set, a skilled viewer first proceeds under the assumption that the machine is receiving a signal from somewhere else; in other words, the television set is situated between herself and a broadcasting sender. Roy Kenagy marked it as to-read Jan 30, The more success- ful the movie or machine, the more important and necessary the role played by this distribution network and the more complex the network itself.

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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. By the time the U.

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

The authors’ whose works we share with you in PopMatters’ 80 Best Books of — from a couple of notable reissues to a number of excellent debuts — poignantly capture how the political is deeply personal, and the personal is undeniably, and beautifully, universal. Early advertising for Sony’s Betamax told potential It comes across as overly academic at times and I think it would have been better with a little tweaking toward mass appeal.

Jason marked it as to-read Feb 25, Philippe rated it really liked it Sep 15, From Betamax to Blockbuster Publisher: Pnpnpn added it Betamaxx 04, It was only after mainstream movies were released on prere- corded videocassettes that the crom began to assume an importance of their own.

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.

Arguably, the VCR has performed a similar function. In the mid-’70s, electronics giant Sony released the Betamax video cassette recorder to the American market. From the per- spective of the sociology of technology, this is a more traditional case; these enthusiasts were a small, relatively coherent group with clear interests and a shared set of cultural norms.

In its everyday use, VCR technology led to a sociocultural shift, the outcomes of which remain with us today. The two should be conflated, he suggests, for to comprehensively understand the intricacies of one requires an awareness of the influence of the other. I hate abandoning a book — it is something that took someone considerable time, energy, and knowledge to put together. I, gasp, don’t have a netflix account. Thus, any technology can be constructed as a commu- nication technology—all it takes is a consensus among its users that infor- mation is being mediated.

Storeowners and clerks became figures of authority, but the orientation of the video store toward movies rather than technology meant that their expertise was more filmic than technical.


From Betamax to Blockbuster by Joshua M. Greenberg

As video stores oriented themselves toward offering the tempo- rary experience of a movie via rental rather than concrete goods for sale, they began to mimic the visual rhetoric of the movie theater, selling refresh- ments like candy and popcorn underneath marquee lights and poster dis- plays. Odds are that the shelves were lined with empty videocassette boxes that would be exchanged at the counter for tapes in dark plastic cases, and you might have been able to rent bpockbuster briefcase-like hetamax player or video camera as well.

To tackle that question, we must work our way up the distribution net- work from the consumers, putting mediators like distributors and retailers at the center of the story and accounting for the development of home video from their perspective. At blocknuster it seemed like he was purposely trying to make the material more complicated than it was. Michael marked it as to-read May 14, Eventually, Blockbuster’s top-down franchise store model crowded local video go out of the market, but blockhuster recent rise of Netflix, iTunes, and other technologies have reopened old questions about what a movie is and how and where it ought to be watched.

This was less a physical transformation than a change in perception, but one that relied on the very tangible construction of a network of social institutions to support this new marketplace for movies. 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.

Looking back toward the consumption junction writ large, chapter 5 explores the social dynamics of the video store, from its role in the broader cultural life of a community to the expertise ebtamax the clerk behind the counter as well as the implications of that expertise outside the bounds of the video store itself.

Ian marked it as to-read Dec 21, One consequence of a consumption junction-oriented focus on mediators is a certain narrowing of scope. Ipublishcentral added it Jul 09, It may have, had I not fallen asleep every few pages.