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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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. Log In Sign Up. Remember me on this computer.

From Betamax to Blockbuster by Joshua M. Greenberg – PopMatters

Could have been an interesting read. Joshua Greenberg explains how the combination of neighbourhood video stores and the VCR created a world in which movies became tangible consumer goods, creating a new industry and affecting the dynamics of motion picture production and consumption.

Rob Jefferson rated it really liked it Nov 30, The narrative he traces provides a compelling, relevant, and often amusing precursor to technologies such as the DVD or harddisk enabled digital television, which are so central to the mediascape we currently inhabit. Open Preview See a Problem? The underlying theme running through both of these arguments, and the book as a whole, is the importance of mediation. Brian McCullough rated it it was ok Jul 09, Video Stores and the Invention of Movies on Video.

It may have, had I not fallen asleep every few pages.

From Betamax to Blockbuster by Joshua M. Greenberg

He is, he states, less interested in the materiality of video technology, than in bwtamax knowledge systems which surround it. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Early advertising for Sony’s Betamax told potential Printed and bound in the United States of America.

In this sense, this inherent property of media can be understood as a boundary object, another sort of in-between creature. As such, its style and format is likely to be off-putting to a wide readership. Chandler rated it it was amazing Apr 16, In the case of time shifting, the VCR was framed as an accessory that would help the viewer manage her end of the communication process, but one that was peripheral to the technological medium of television broadcasting.


Secondly, users blocknuster combined VCRs with video cameras to author their own movies, most traditionally of family events. Put simply, it was the philosophies and actions of, first, distributors and then retailers that really established how tp came to understand video and the VCR as technologies for watching movies rather than as time-shifting TV device Excellent STS approach to the evolution of “movies on video. 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.

This was for the most part not a physical transformation, since the technical aspects of VCRs facilitated both uses. Account Options Sign in.

Ipublishcentral added it Jul 09, Eddie marked it as to-read Apr 14, Billy Wiggins rated it really liked it Tl 28, In order for movies on video to be considered tanta- mount to movies in the theater, the differences between the two needed to be explained blockbustdr consequences of the differing media of film and video rather than fromm in the messages themselves by the individuals selling them. The general contours of this story can be summed up in two parables and a bit of folk wis- dom: Just as Bruno Latour describes the coproduction of nature and soci- ety when a boundary is drawn through human experience, we produce the yin and yang categories of message and medium through the practice of media use.

Blockbustee Baynes is currently reading it Dec 26, Greenberg’s writing is clear and easy to understand with only blocjbuster occasional foray into heavy theory. 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.


Dimitri rated it really liked it Jul 07, Jamie Martin added it Jan 20, Which is a shame, because in both narrative and content From Betamax to Blockbuster is well worth a read. Thanks for telling us about the problem. For most, however, the local video store was simply a place of friendly camaraderie and conversation. Losses, Journeys, and Ascensions: On one level, VCRs and movies on video literally moved through a network of mediators in order to get from producers to consumers. Arguing that the retail space is a physical manifestation of a technological frame, chapter 4 analyzes the spatial layout fron the newly established video store.

A Brief Outline This, then, is a book with two arguments: It looks to be well researched and written. One consequence of a consumption junction-oriented focus on mediators is a certain narrowing of scope. Before video, the fact that movies were meant to be seen in theaters was unquestioned, and ancillary media like television were little more than drom evils.

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. From Betamax to Blockbuster: In everyday use, though, the technology became reinscribed, leading to a sociocultural shift the outcomes of which remain with us today.

Michael marked it as to-read May 14, The author ruined that with an overly academic style of writing. 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 goods, a role that has gone relatively unexplored.

And so the story opens. To ask other readers questions about From Betamax to Blockbusterplease sign up.