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Forget Google Glass. Can you program my VCR?

You can't see it in this photo, but this baby's still flashing "12:00" every two seconds.
Getty Images
You can't see it in this photo, but this baby's still flashing "12:00" every two seconds.

This week the Consumer Electronics Show is all the rage. Tech-this, and smart-that—all the cool kids have converged on Las Vegas to find out what products will make our lives better in 2014.

Meantime, most of us haven't gotten rid of the old VCR.

According to a Gallup survey, 58 percent of Americans still have their VCRs. That's a larger percentage than those owning a desktop computer, an iPod or MP3 player, a videogame console, a tablet computer, satellite TV, or an e-reader. In fact, only a few more of us—62 percent—own a smartphone.

All just a bunch of old fogies? Uh, no. According to Gallup, 41 percent of people ages 18 to 29 still own a VCR.

Here's the most amazing part of that survey—people admit they have one.


So this is the 'year of wearable tech,' huh? So was 1990.
Getty Images
So this is the 'year of wearable tech,' huh? So was 1990.

Why own a piece of technology that is about as current as the Konami LaserScope headset from the 1990 CES?

I've come up with a list of potential reasons why we just can't part with the old tape machine:

  • If a polar vortex or some other apocalypse kills the grid, you can still run a VCR on a generator and watch the original "Star Wars" (before George Lucas cleaned it up and added that extra scene with Jabba the Hutt).
  • There's no porn like old porn.
  • P90x has nothing on Jane Fonda's workout videos ("hot crossed buns!").
  • You never had time to transfer all those wedding and baby videos to a DVD, which is a good thing because now it all needs to go into the cloud.
  • You (most likely a man) refuse to get rid of the thing until you can finally figure out how to program it.

So what old tapes do you still have hanging around, gathering dust? When I asked on Twitter, the replies were like a trip down memory lane.

"Madonna's 'Justify My Love' video"— @fields685

"'Life of the Party' and 'Denise Austin: Toneup 1-2-3'"— @MichaelJPajak

"Pink Floyd concerts"— @dfandrb

"The Thorn Birds, recorded over the air while watching live. Never been played."— @MBGBeth

"SNL Classic Years 1975-1980, Casablanca, & Schoolhouse Rock (no kids, just needed a reminder of how laws used to work)."— @Frankster1044

—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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