Video Recorders—Use and Abuse
A newcomer to the world of TV is the videotape recorder. The electronics industry is moving into high gear to produce millions of such recorder units. Rival firms with differing recording systems are engaged in a fierce marketing battle in order to cash in on this new bonanza. What effect will this new gadget have on the good and bad aspects of television?
On the good side, a videotape recorder enables people to record a TV program (with the use of a timer) even when they are otherwise occupied, and thus they can see what they want when they want. They can also buy tape recordings of favorite movies and look at them over and over again, as many times as they wish. Or they can borrow films from videotape libraries.
On the negative side, if allowed to get out of hand, such recorders can bring out the worst in people, allowing them to see and resee films that would be better left unseen.
A recent headline in the French daily Le Figaro stated: “U.S.A.: TV AND PORNOVISION.” The article showed that the most sought-after videotapes in the United States are sex films. In France seven out of ten video cassettes sold in supermarkets are of pornographic films. Of course, such recorders can be used in a wholesome way. But they obviously compound what TV can do FOR you and TO you.