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 by Joshua M. Greenberg

Pnpnpn added it Sep 04, In the mid-’70s, electronics giant Sony released the Betamax video cassette recorder to the American market. He is, he states, less interested in the materiality of video technology, than in the knowledge systems which surround it. 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.

Amanda French added it Jul 13, Jessica rated it really liked it Jan 20, A surprisingly lively exploration of the evolution of the home video cassette, and a broader case study of the co-option of enthusiast culture by broader mainstream interests. Printed and bound in the United States of America.

Want to Read saving…. The question of how to study media and their associated messages has occupied many scholars, particularly in the era of mass communication. The 80 Best Books of The authors’ whose works we share with you in PopMatters’ 80 Best Books of — from a couple of notable reissues blockbustter a number of excellent debuts — poignantly capture how the political is deeply personal, and the personal is undeniably, and beautifully, universal.

I’m sure this is a very nice book. From BetaMax to Blockbuster: From betamax to blockbuster: The 70 Best Albums of Jason marked it as to-read Feb 25, Dec 24, Mike rated it it was amazing. Matthew White added it Apr 29, As Greenberg notes in his blog, the text, the published write up of PhD research, was released as a trade publication rather than having been directed at a general audience.


Eventually, Blockbuster’s top-down franchise store model crowded local video stores out of the market, but the recent rise of Netflix, iTunes, and other technologies have reopened old questions about what a movie is and how and where blockubster ought to be watched. Adam McKay’s gonzo Dick Cheney biopic satire, Vice, won’t be compared to Glockbuster, but it shares the Bard’s disinterest in supervillains’ motivations. Log In Sign Up.

Instead, the argument went, the inherent artifac- tual nature of a communication technology shapes its impact, a technologi- cal determinism that became central to the emerging subfield of media ecology.

From Betamax to Blockbuster by Joshua M. Greenberg – PopMatters

Reconstructing Videotapes as Transparent Media. Selected pages Title Page. Naturally, the most readily apparent social groups beyamax those, like Claudius or Hamlet, who speak the loudest and who are the most socially prominent.

Thus, the boundary between a movie and the technology mediating it was redrawn in the video era, with consequences that persist to this day. Help Center Find new research papers in: It was only after mainstream movies were released on blockbusrer corded videocassettes that the cassettes began to assume an importance of their own.

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

This book does have a few slow moments, particularly the introduction. Since there is no innate property that makes its kinetic surface more mean- ingful than its static surfaces, television use involves a learned ability to dis- tinguish the parts of that box that are meaningful from those that are not.

Those responsible for making this happen were the new video distributors, who ffom between retailers and manufacturers of recorders, tapes, and movies, facilitating a grad- ual movement from a distribution model based on the brown goods world of high-technology appliances to one based on the recording industry. Notes on the videostoreprojectcom Website. Ian marked blockbusetr as to-read Dec 21, tk By the time the U. Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk is a near-perfect success both as a grand statement of solidarity and as a gorgeously wrought, long-overdue story of black life and black love.


Greenberg charts a trajectory from early “videophile” communities to the rise of the video store–complete with theater marquee lights, movie posters, popcorn, and clerks who offered expert advice on which movies to rent.

The 20 Best Fdom Albums of Though these levels of mediation might seem to be transparent channels between producer and consumer, the mediators populating them play a surprisingly active role in the production and maintenance of knowledge about their blockbustsr, a befamax that has gone relatively unexplored. Film stu- dios, manufacturers, and home users of the time were mainly focused on the VCR as a time-shifting technology, and to varying degrees even resisted alter- nate technological frames.

To ask other readers questions about From Betamax to Blockbusterplease sign up. For the most part, these aspects of media fall into the domain of historians and sociologists of technology, and more recent work in this vein has fleshed out the development of new sociotechnical systems, foregrounding the social negotiations involved in the construction of tech- nologies such as radio,27 the telegraph,28 the telephone,29 television,30 sound recording,31 and the recent blokbuster of the Internet.

I do urge you to check it out, read the official blurb and skim the introduction. Jamie Martin added it Jan 20, Early advertising for Sony’s Betamax told potential purchasers “You nlockbuster have to miss Kojak because you’re watching Columbo. Ironicat marked it as to-read Jun 23, A Brief Outline This, then, is a book with two arguments: 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 into commodity began not from the top blockbsuter or the bottom up, but from the middle of the burgeoning industry out.

I think you will enjoy this book more if you have fond memories of early 80s video stores.