/ 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Joining my ‘music centre’, and DVD and MP3 players, is an indigo iMac, itself superseded by a previous laptop.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…


So you manage to watch TV etc online. Well bully for you. Spare a thought for the million + homes that don’t get a decent Broadband speed so we have to resort to actually buying said DVDs etc.
One day someone might actually give BT a kick up the backside and get them to roll out proper Broadband to the rest of the country. The first political party that puts in its manifesto that it will relieve BT of Openreach gets my vote. And to think that I live less than 30 miles from the centre of London – sigh.


Alec to put into practice what you want requires many 10,s of millions of £££ what private enterprise would want to land itself in a money pit ? What would happen is a big US conglomerate would buy it and then watch the repair charges etc soar through the roof as well as a new contract that gives them more profit at customers expense . The government would also have to cope with the millions of BT pensioners as their contract with the government in regards to stability of pension payouts is pretty ironclad . Many US companies compel uneconomical line provision customers to accept broadband over the air it saves them installing new fibre. Parts of New York have been forced to accept this . Be careful what you wish for , short term thinking always loses out financially in the end.


We won’t lose CD or DVD players I suspect because of the many collections of discs we will want to play. and turntables for vinyl are still popular. As far as a satellite dish goes I’ve no wish to subscribe to an online service, don’t see why I should clog up the internet when I can get freesat (although we still generally use frreeview via a conventional aerial).

I’ve a decent film camera that will never be used again, an old computer with windows 3.1 sitting in the garage, a modem, old printer no longer supported – but someone with an older pc may find a use for it.

Does a road atlas count as redundant technology now we have sat navs and apps? I still use mine to look at an overall journey before deciding whether the electronic guidance has chosen the route I want.


There is now only one DVD //Bu Ray rental service in the UK, whereas there were quite a few. The demand for DVDs and BDs has been plummeting. Manufacturers won’t continue to support them if no one buys them. Rather worrying.


I have two VHS recorders that were in working condition last time they were used. I’m planning to have a look at what is on about 30 or so cassettes before getting rid of most of them and wondering how to preserve anything that seems worth keeping in another format.

Next is a DVD-Recorder that does still work but is analogue. It would be easy to copy anything I want to keep onto DVD.

What’s next. A Kodak Carousel 35mm slide projector that was heading for the skip at work, but I rescued it. It’s handy for looking at historic slides prior to having them digitised. I’d better keep that one.

There’s a spare DVD-player and TV that used to live in the bedroom but I’m quite happy to give them away, since a laptop provides enough entertainment.

Finally, a small stereo that lived in my kitchen for years. Someone did say that they would like to have it because it has two cassette decks, but it was never collected.

Time for a clear out, though this may take some time.