Remember videos? Those things in black boxes which sat in their cardboard holders and which spooled from left to right, giving what in their day seemed to be great resolution, but now looks horribly grainy.
Check your house and the chances are that you might have some videos left, quite possibly stacked in piles in the spare room or stuck away on bookshelves taking up space.
Of course it is possible to have videos converted to DVD format – but it hardly seems worthwhile for something that you might only want to play once more (if that) just to see what it was like.
Some people have decided to put their videos onto YouTube. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube – that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year. What’s more, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
So put all this together and you might well think that apart from the dozen or so cartridges that you have on the top of the bookshelf or sitting under the TV, the video is dead.
But it turns out this is not the case, because many people find that they have a significant number of videos, all taking up a lot of space, and all of which they would rather like to keep – if not for themselves then for their children and grandchildren. “Just to show them what we used to watch,” as one gentleman put it to me recently.
And when parents find that they no longer need their fairly large house, because their children have upped and left and because they get few weekend guests these days, they tend to move into smaller residencies – and that invariably means it is time to throw things away.
But those videos don’t get thrown out. Where they go is into storage – and that is where we come in.
Once upon a time we saw very few items that were not paper based being put into storage. Now increasingly we are getting the boxes of videos. Not being watched, but being kept for the children.
So what’s on these videos? Of course that’s a private matter for our customers, but I have asked one or two, and the results were interesting. “Every episode of the Avengers” was one answer. “Match of the Day involving Arsenal,” was another. There were several weddings (“we’re divorced now, so I don’t want to watch, but this is the children’s parents, so they’ll be glad I saved it”), and of course all those other TV programmes which even the satellite stations that specialise in such matters won’t touch with a bargepole.
Every programme, it seems, has a fan somewhere. A fan who recorded the episodes, can’t bear to have them thrown out, but really doesn’t actually want to watch them again.
We are in fact, as a nation, saving our TV for the future even if we don’t want to watch it now.