/ Technology

Do you have any old tech gathering dust at home?

old technology

An architectural feature on homes for the past 40 years, the satellite dish could soon become obsolete. It will join a long list of redundant technology such as VHS and DVD players and MP3s – but do you still use yours?

On Wednesday, Sky announced that its customers will soon be able to get all of its TV services online, spelling the beginning of the end of the satellite dish.

As more people choose to watch TV via internet streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and even Sky’s own service, Now TV, the need to watch traditional channels using a satellite dish is waning.

In theory, I could now take down the dish sitting atop my front bay window. It was left behind by the previous owners and I’ve always considered it an eyesore. I’ve never actually used it, but left it there in case the next occupiers wanted to. Trouble is, my neighbour recently told me that Sky connected said dish to her flat last year!

Tech graveyard

If I did have the option of removing the satellite dish, I’d probably only put it in my cellar. Here, it would collect dust, along with the other bits of gadgetry I’ve cast aside as technology has advanced.

Breaking through the cobwebs, the area is looking increasingly like a tech graveyard. Taking up most room is a Technics ‘hi-fi’ stacking system, complete with two speakers. It features a CD player, a double cassette deck and, drum roll… a graphic equaliser.

Up until about two years ago, it was still in use, chiefly as a means to listen to the extensive 1990s back catalogue loaded on my MP3 player at volume. Alas, when the room was redecorated, I decided to take it, the MP3 player (I never even got round to upgrading to an iPod) and the little-used DVD player downstairs.

Nowadays, I use the DVD player in my TV to play DVDs and CDs. Saying that, I’m far more likely to connect my phone to the Bluetooth speaker to access my music library or log in to Spotify on my laptop or iPad.

Holding on to redundant technology

Joining my ‘music centre’, and DVD and MP3 players, is an indigo iMac, itself superseded by a previous laptop. Neither of them work, but I keep them, just in case.

The same goes for the video player, although that’s because I’m not yet ready to part with a VHS tape cassette collection of Friends Seasons 1 & 2 and several John Hughes films. Give me a rainy day and a telly with a scart lead, and I’d happily plug it in to watch them.

Museum pieces

With more space to squander, my parents still keep most of their old tech out – and occasionally still use it. Their music centre, also Technics, features a record player. So, when the mood takes, my dad will get out his old vinyl and blast out the, er, tunes through some amazingly oversized 1980s Sony speakers.

Also still in use is a retro-looking printer, digital frame and, the weirdest bit of kit of all, a VHS/DVD combo – a cut-and-shut gadget if ever there was one.

In the attic, it’s even more like a museum. Besides the motley crew of old PCs, TVs, ghetto blasters and both old-school and digital cameras, is a camcorder. My favourite of all? My grandad’s old cine camera. If only I’d thought to ask him how to use it…

What redundant technology do you still use? Or are there gadgets that you have stashed away that you still wish you could use?


I still have a Sega Genesis – I’m not sure if that is redundant or retro 🤔I have all the parts and games, but I don’t play it. I keep it with the intentions of using it again (one day).

I also have an iPod, which was the first thing I bought after my first month at my first job. I don’t use it anymore, my phone carries all the music I want…and more!


Interestingly, my wife and I were discussing this about an hour ago. They’ve been forecasting the end of the DVD, the Blu Ray and Sat dish for some time, but people should be wary; it’s not necessarily in the consumers’ interests to see the end of DVDs or Blu Rays, for instance. Certainly, it suits the TV delivery companies to deliver everything via the internet but, even if we actually had decent internet speeds throughout the UK – which we don’t – there’s another reason they want to do it this way: profits.

The egregious DMCA makes it illegal for anyone to archive their DVDs or Blu Rays – unbelievably, and taking it one step further to internet – only delivery will seal the fate of those who prefer to keep physical copies of their own purchases.

It’s only through some Chinese companies that produce adaptors that decode the HDMI signals that we can actually copy programmes for which we pay; delivery through the internet will almost certainly make this even more difficult.

But in a surprisingly short time we’ve come from flat Wax discs, through to 45s, LPs, CDs, DVDs, Blu Rays, iPods and SSD storage; already most folk get their radio through the Satellite dish or the internet. I have several SVHS recorders, DVD recorders, CD recorders and more. Might even start my own museum.


I can’t remember the last time I bought a DVD, but I would hazard a guess that it was about 4 years ago. I tend to watch TV and films online, using either Netflix or specific channel streaming apps (such as BBC iPlayer etc) – I find it a lot more convenient and cheaper.

However, my parents often buy DVDs – as well as using Netflix – but I think the end of DVDs would be very disappointing for them.


We have just bought a new nearly all-singing, all-dancing Blu Ray/DVD/CD player/recorder as the old DVD player packed up!!!

Apart from having nothing to play our CD music or DVDs on, we missed the clock of the old player.
What it won’t do is record from Sky.

But it can get Netflix………..

John says:
3 February 2018

not forgetting the Edison wax cylinder, the shellac 78 rpm and the foray into Super 8, Quadrophenia and the Philips, Grundig and Sony Betamax attempts at VCR and the twelve inch Laser Disc


I have an Edison wax cylinder recorder with trumpet microphone.


We once had one of those but it took up too much room in the bed.


…and murder on the motorway…