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Advancements in technologies made obsolete before they were perfected IOTL

Thande

Chemical Christian Chaos Chelator
Published by SLP
#81
I've discovered the world of retro technology reviews on YouTube, send help already I'm thinking £250 to assemble your own component HiFi seems very reasonable.
You too, huh?

I think the problem with getting things like Laserdisc to catch on is that, for whatever reason, society in the 1950s-2000s included a fervent audiophile minority who (somehow) had sufficient disposable income to invest in more and more advanced hi-fi equipment, but the corresponding videophile group was much smaller. Nobody obsessed over setting up a home cinema and watching movies at home with the best quality setup possible and so on, or rather few people. My dad did know someone with a Laserdisc player and discs, but he got it when a department store in Doncaster had realised they weren't selling and sold off the players and discs very cheaply. At the time it was very technologically impressive, but not in a way that made people actually want to buy it.

Incidentally, those Youtube videos led to me discussing with another mate of my dad's about how he'd bought a home 8-track player (which didn't really catch on in the UK) but kept taking it back to the shop because it always worked in the showroom, but never at home. This is it (albeit his is in better condition) and don't the aesthetics strike you as having coming back around with modern Bluetooth speakers?

1547234950493.png
 

Artaxerxes

Putting down bread lines.
#82
You too, huh?

I think the problem with getting things like Laserdisc to catch on is that, for whatever reason, society in the 1950s-2000s included a fervent audiophile minority who (somehow) had sufficient disposable income to invest in more and more advanced hi-fi equipment, but the corresponding videophile group was much smaller. Nobody obsessed over setting up a home cinema and watching movies at home with the best quality setup possible and so on, or rather few people. My dad did know someone with a Laserdisc player and discs, but he got it when a department store in Doncaster had realised they weren't selling and sold off the players and discs very cheaply. At the time it was very technologically impressive, but not in a way that made people actually want to buy it.

Incidentally, those Youtube videos led to me discussing with another mate of my dad's about how he'd bought a home 8-track player (which didn't really catch on in the UK) but kept taking it back to the shop because it always worked in the showroom, but never at home. This is it (albeit his is in better condition) and don't the aesthetics strike you as having coming back around with modern Bluetooth speakers?

View attachment 7953
If you look at 2001 it is basically where Apple stole its aesthetic and a lot of 50s and 60s sci fi is like that as well.

All white, and smooth with curves, and it just works.

Though if your like me you grumble over the works part because your used to more control to do things your way.
 

RyanF

Wet January
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
#83
You too, huh?

I think the problem with getting things like Laserdisc to catch on is that, for whatever reason, society in the 1950s-2000s included a fervent audiophile minority who (somehow) had sufficient disposable income to invest in more and more advanced hi-fi equipment, but the corresponding videophile group was much smaller. Nobody obsessed over setting up a home cinema and watching movies at home with the best quality setup possible and so on, or rather few people. My dad did know someone with a Laserdisc player and discs, but he got it when a department store in Doncaster had realised they weren't selling and sold off the players and discs very cheaply. At the time it was very technologically impressive, but not in a way that made people actually want to buy it.
A good point, and unlike music where there was a culture of enjoying it at home with friends where there were attempts to make it the next best thing to hearing it live there wasn't the same number of people willing to do the same for films. Perhaps on the available technology in televisions there wasn't much of incentive to watch them on home video rather than television. And in the UK the potential for no adverts isn't much of an advertisement when there's two channels playing old films without adverts quite frequently.

Incidentally, those Youtube videos led to me discussing with another mate of my dad's about how he'd bought a home 8-track player (which didn't really catch on in the UK) but kept taking it back to the shop because it always worked in the showroom, but never at home. This is it (albeit his is in better condition) and don't the aesthetics strike you as having coming back around with modern Bluetooth speakers?
I see what you mean, need to chuck those switches of course. This has struck me as the biggest difference in appliances from decades gone past and the present. I know, I know touchscreens and such; but even where a device does have buttons they seem so much more flimsy. Just another aspect of planned obsolescence I suppose.
 

Thande

Chemical Christian Chaos Chelator
Published by SLP
#84
A good point, and unlike music where there was a culture of enjoying it at home with friends where there were attempts to make it the next best thing to hearing it live there wasn't the same number of people willing to do the same for films. Perhaps on the available technology in televisions there wasn't much of incentive to watch them on home video rather than television. And in the UK the potential for no adverts isn't much of an advertisement when there's two channels playing old films without adverts quite frequently.
An important point (as pointed out on another of those Youtube channels) is that nobody bought a VCR (VHS or Betamax) with the intention of buying home movies, which were prohibitively expensive (and never really stopped being so). It was marketed almost exclusively as a time-shift device so you didn't miss the sports or the evening film when you were out. Video rental changed that a bit later, but for something like the first decade(?) of VCR proliferation, it would be pretty rare for people to go out and buy or rent a tape and come home and play it (unless perhaps if it was illicit material).

I see what you mean, need to chuck those switches of course. This has struck me as the biggest difference in appliances from decades gone past and the present. I know, I know touchscreens and such; but even where a device does have buttons they seem so much more flimsy. Just another aspect of planned obsolescence I suppose.
This also started with the soft-touch buttons thing in the 80s - at the time I suppose the idea was it seemed more civilised to not have to press hard on a control physically connected to a mechanical part. (Though it's interesting that all combination CD and cassette players all seem to have a second set of physical buttons for the tape rather than trying to do both with the same soft touch controls).
 

RyanF

Wet January
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
#85
An important point (as pointed out on another of those Youtube channels) is that nobody bought a VCR (VHS or Betamax) with the intention of buying home movies, which were prohibitively expensive (and never really stopped being so). It was marketed almost exclusively as a time-shift device so you didn't miss the sports or the evening film when you were out. Video rental changed that a bit later, but for something like the first decade(?) of VCR proliferation, it would be pretty rare for people to go out and buy or rent a tape and come home and play it (unless perhaps if it was illicit material).
Yes, as mentioned I think the only way anything like LaserDisc could catch on is if they were somehow able to break into the rental market before videos. You'd need to format to be in a caddy though or something equally hardy, which goes back to it's initial development.

This also started with the soft-touch buttons thing in the 80s - at the time I suppose the idea was it seemed more civilised to not have to press hard on a control physically connected to a mechanical part. (Though it's interesting that all combination CD and cassette players all seem to have a second set of physical buttons for the tape rather than trying to do both with the same soft touch controls).
The decline of Western civilisation can be traced to the development of the soft touch button. What was perhaps seen as inconvenience might now be seen as offering more reliability and a tactile pleasure.

Amongst the many videos I have watched recently one described the Video High Density (or maybe it was CED) as having perhaps the most satisfying way of inserting and ejecting a home video format; the tactile and auditory sensation of inputting the large caddy and the beep to tell you it had extracted the disc. Then inserting the empty caddy afterwards to have it ejected. Another video from a different channel compared a VHS and Betamax VCR saying that the latter won out on the build of the device citing the button factor as well as the sprightly way the top loading machine offers it's loader - "It seems to say 'Good day, sir. May I take your video?' Whereas the VHS one pops up like a maniac screaming 'Just give me the video already!'"
 

Thande

Chemical Christian Chaos Chelator
Published by SLP
#86
This is kind of the opposite of what this thread is asking for, but one fascinating thing I was just finding out about was that RCA wanted to make an LED flatscreen television as early as the 1970s, but was always stymied by how hard it is to make blue LEDs (to the point that the people who perfected them won a Nobel Prize for it in 2014).