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The Video Cassette Recorder

aka "VCR".

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by Anonymousreply 90January 26, 2023 3:58 PM

I remember when the networks thought it would kill their business.

by Anonymousreply 1January 21, 2023 3:14 AM

It was the first time I'd seen the marketing of the product successfully sell an inferior product and win a format war.

by Anonymousreply 2January 21, 2023 4:49 AM

I bought a Betamax, of course.

by Anonymousreply 3January 21, 2023 5:07 AM

Porn chose VHS over Betamax and that was the end of Betamax.

by Anonymousreply 4January 21, 2023 5:32 AM

I bought a Betamax in 1981. $800.

by Anonymousreply 5January 21, 2023 7:14 PM

I won a Betamax on $10,000 Pyramid in 1985.

by Anonymousreply 6January 21, 2023 7:21 PM

That video seems older than 1981. I was going to say 1978

by Anonymousreply 7January 21, 2023 8:52 PM

I'm superior and will make my comeback in 2024.

by Anonymousreply 8January 21, 2023 9:14 PM

I begged my mom for a VHS player right around 1981. Like the other poster said, it was $800.

by Anonymousreply 9January 21, 2023 10:39 PM

I begged my mom for a VHS player in 1980. I told her I needed porn to be happy. She told me to get a job or go turn some tricks. I was only 8 yrs old.

by Anonymousreply 10January 21, 2023 10:43 PM

We had a Betamax, as well. Yeah, I've heard that porn was the deciding factor in VHS winning the format war.

by Anonymousreply 11January 21, 2023 10:51 PM

Why was it called a recorder? I know it recorded but was that the main feature they were spotlighting, not buying and playing tapes?

by Anonymousreply 12January 22, 2023 12:49 AM

Wasn’t Betamax supposed to have better picture quality?

by Anonymousreply 13January 22, 2023 12:50 AM

[quote] I remember when the networks thought it would kill their business.

Film companies said that about television too.

by Anonymousreply 14January 22, 2023 12:50 AM

[quote] Why was it called a recorder? I know it recorded but was that the main feature they were spotlighting, not buying and playing tapes?

VCRs came out way before TiVo and DVR. When a show came on, you just had to be there, in front of your TV or you had missed it. So, recording (setting a timer to record Channel X at X:00 p.m.) allowed you to watch your show later, at your leisure.

I'll admit to recording The Young and the Restless (daytime soap opera).

Stuff like Blockbuster stores (renting movies for a week or so) came later.

by Anonymousreply 15January 22, 2023 1:05 AM

I remember removing the chip with velcro on the back from the shelf of the movie you wanted to rent and trading it in for the tape when you paid for the rental. Browsing the rental place was kind of soothing.

by Anonymousreply 16January 22, 2023 2:33 AM

Our little town got its first video rental shop and I went in with my friend (a girl) and her mother. There was a room in the back behind a curtain with X-rated videos. Her mom was a kooky Dutch-woman and asked us if we wanted to watch one. So I (age 15) and my girl friend and her mom all sat and watched "Behind the Green Door" in the middle of the afternoon.

by Anonymousreply 17January 22, 2023 4:59 PM

Betamax had better picture quality, but was doomed to fail because 1) Sony wouldn't license the technology to other companies like JVC did with VHS 2)VHS tapes had longer recording times that Beta tapes 3) Most video rental stores only stocked VHS tapes as the demand was greater than Beta. Dozens of companies produced VHS machines, while only Sony produced Beta and probably most important of all as previously pointed out 4) Porn tapes were only in VHS. Goodbye Beta. I owned a Betamax because in those days, Sony made the best electronics. Eventually I gave up trying to find tapes including porn and went the VHS route.

by Anonymousreply 18January 22, 2023 5:40 PM

and you betamax buyers probably also bought video discs, suckas!

by Anonymousreply 19January 22, 2023 6:14 PM

r18 It's somewhat analogous to Apple vs. Android (because Apple won't let other companies use its OS), but Apple seems to be thriving on that policy.

by Anonymousreply 20January 22, 2023 6:19 PM

Being a TV/Movie nut kid I took my savings ($1000) and bought mine back in 1978. Had a choice of two, the Betamax which recorded 1-2 hours and the RCA VHS which recorded 2-4 hours. I chose the RCA for the longer recording and luckily I chose right since the Betamax never took off. The first movie I taped was "The Bad News Bears" on HBO and that night SNL where host Steve Martin debuted "King Tut".

And being on Long Island our cable company Cablevision was a pioneer in the early industry and they had their own cable access channel and one night they showed "The Rocky Horror Picture Show' one time only and I had on it tape almost 10 years before 20th Century Fox released on VHS.

by Anonymousreply 21January 22, 2023 6:47 PM

I sold the early models of VCRs while working in “your Kmart Appliance Department” in 1978. They sold for about $2,400. Loud, clunky, cheap-looking….and that was just the customers!

I remember one guy had to use three different credit cards to pay for one because of his low credit limits.

And they produced recordings of poor quality and were a pain in the butt to program.

by Anonymousreply 22January 22, 2023 6:59 PM

They were called Laserdiscs, R19. VCDs were generally pirated movies stored on CDs.

by Anonymousreply 23January 22, 2023 6:59 PM

[quote] Stuff like Blockbuster stores (renting movies for a week or so) came later.

You could still by movies though. It was cost you over a hundred dollars though.

by Anonymousreply 24January 22, 2023 9:51 PM

Laserdisc took off in Japan. Other places, not so much.

by Anonymousreply 25January 22, 2023 9:51 PM

The first VHS movie I bought was "Another Country" with Rupert Everett in 1984 or 85. It cost $72.

by Anonymousreply 26January 22, 2023 10:00 PM

In 1982, very few pre-recorded movies were available on tape. And the ones that were out there were expensive.

As I recall, many of the tapes usually sold in the $79-$99 range.

There was one video rental store in my college town. It had a severely limited selection since so few movies were avaiable and tapes rented for something like $12 a day.

by Anonymousreply 27January 23, 2023 12:08 AM

My Mom bought a Beta in the early 80's. My brother and I "flexed" it to all our friends (we had cable too which was unusual, and at that time, HBO was 50% soft core porn after 8:00 P.M.). We were by no means rich. My Mom was a store manager at Safeway.

She paid around $1K.

by Anonymousreply 28January 23, 2023 12:12 AM

R23 In Asian countries outside of Japan, VCDs were a legitimate format, and you could in fact buy officially-released movies on them. I remember seeing them in the stores in the Philippines and the official releases had holograms on the covers. However, it was a shitty technology with awful picture quality, and was very easily pirated. Apparently the reason they weren’t a thing in Japan is because the picture quality was terrible and the Japanese were above that. Remember in the 90s when you would would download an mpeg video on your computer and then blow it up to full screen and it was all pixelated? That’s what VCD looked like.

by Anonymousreply 29January 23, 2023 12:13 AM

[quote]Wasn’t Betamax supposed to have better picture quality?

Yes, r13, and the cassettes were smaller.

by Anonymousreply 30January 23, 2023 12:14 AM

I will also NEVER forget that years ago, my parents bought me a TV/VHS combo TV for my room which was kind of extravagant for a teenager at the time.

I got a gay porn VHS tape stuck in it. I'm not sure how I got it as I was under 18. I don't know how it came up, but I had to tell my Dad (though not about the tape). We took it to a repair place, and they fixed it/removed the tape. Never said a thing to my Dad.

by Anonymousreply 31January 23, 2023 12:15 AM

I mean the repair place didn't say a word.

by Anonymousreply 32January 23, 2023 12:16 AM

We used to tape movies from HBO. I taped Coal Miner's Daughter and Repo Man. Out of any movie, I've probably seen that one (CMD) the most times.

by Anonymousreply 33January 23, 2023 12:30 AM

I got my first one for my 13th birthday so I could record All My Children! It was huge, top loading, and had a remote that was on a cord. I have no idea how much they paid for it, but since they were pretty cheap, it probably wasn’t super expensive. It would only record one thing a day.

by Anonymousreply 34January 23, 2023 12:34 AM

R31, someone else told me about getting a gay porn tape stuck in his machine. I'm sure those repair men have seen lots of that.

by Anonymousreply 35January 23, 2023 12:37 AM

R34 As far as I know, only store brand VCRs (like Montgomery Ward) had a wired remote. I don’t recall ever seeing a name brand VCR with one.

by Anonymousreply 36January 23, 2023 1:39 AM

I had a wired remote, too. I don’t remember the brand, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Montgomery Ward.

by Anonymousreply 37January 23, 2023 1:45 AM

We had the latest Hitachi VHS model with a wired remote in 1979 in the UK, it cost about £1,500 (probably double that for dollars then?)

Blank tapes cost about £20 each.

The timer was a bastard to set and it only had one tuner.

by Anonymousreply 38January 23, 2023 2:08 AM

R38 just out of curiosity, when did multisystem (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) VCR’s become standard in the UK? We never had them in the US (except for specialty imports).

by Anonymousreply 39January 23, 2023 2:15 AM

R39 It would have been when SCART sockets came in in the early/mid 1980's. Before that you connected via the aerial socket, which had to support the UK standard.

My parents were quite techie and they constantly bought the latest TV's a VCR's when I was a kid. I remember them paying £50 for a SCART cable while I was still at school.

by Anonymousreply 40January 23, 2023 2:26 AM

This brings to mind the past competition between Blu-Ray and HD DVD.

by Anonymousreply 41January 23, 2023 2:35 AM

Meant to add we had a local grocery store that used to rent pirated movies (you couldn't get real one's before about 1982). We all sat and watched Porky's one night as a family.

Nothing really mattered after that?

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by Anonymousreply 42January 23, 2023 2:38 AM

I bought a JVC VCR (with Hi-Fi, stereo) in 1988 at Sun TV in Columbus, Ohio. I was a poor graduate student at the time, but I wanted to record the Seoul Olympics, so I splurged $900 on it. That'd be more than $2000 today. Plus the S-VHS tapes. I opened a Sun TV credit account to pay for it, and I don't think I paid it off until 1991.

Chains of video rental stores still had not hit town, so I rented movies at the locally owned stores. They, too, had back rooms with saloon doors for the porn. The first porn I rented was The Other Side of Aspen.

by Anonymousreply 43January 23, 2023 2:39 AM

I remember seeing, briefly, an ad on tv about a VCR at a friend’s house around ‘81. In the commercial they highlighted how great it was to watch footballs games and rewind back to see missed plays. And to watch games later, skipping over commercials. Great, right? Well stupid me at age 8 or 9, who was poor, and who wasn’t allowed to watch tv very often, and didn’t know wtf this technology was or meant, was very confused. I didn’t catch the recording part (like a cassette) and thought you somehow just used a VCR to tap into the tv station to control what you watched and when. And there may have been some questioning of time travel involved in my confusion.

We eventually got a VCR. In 1989.

by Anonymousreply 44January 23, 2023 2:40 AM

"I won a Betamax on $10,000 Pyramid in 1985."

Never mind that, R6; who was your D-List teammate? This *is* Datalounge, you know!

by Anonymousreply 45January 23, 2023 2:52 AM

r45 - Richard Moll and Miss Lois Nettleton

by Anonymousreply 46January 23, 2023 2:54 AM

Wow, I didn't realize VCRs and pre-recorded movies (on VHS / Beta tape) were so damn expensive.

I do remember buying / having the small rewind-only device. So, you didn't need to wear down your VCR or risk getting tape stuck on the rewind.

by Anonymousreply 47January 23, 2023 2:56 AM

[quote]Wow, I didn't realize VCRs and pre-recorded movies (on VHS / Beta tape) were so damn expensive.

And video stores paid a lot for them too. When they stopped being popular, the store would sell them off as "pre-viewed" to make back some of the initial cost. Then years later studios decided to sell the tapes as "sell through" at affordable prices at stores like Walmart.

by Anonymousreply 48January 23, 2023 3:08 AM

Your mom was a bitch R10. I can respect that. You should give her the link to DL.

by Anonymousreply 49January 23, 2023 3:13 AM

Found the one I had! Definitely wasn’t a “Montgomery Ward” model.

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by Anonymousreply 50January 23, 2023 4:23 AM

I bought a VCR for $1200 when they first came out. I taped everything, even crap I didn't want.

by Anonymousreply 51January 23, 2023 4:56 AM

[quote] As far as I know, only store brand VCRs (like Montgomery Ward) had a wired remote. I don’t recall ever seeing a name brand VCR with one.

My $800 Sony Betamax (which I still have!) has a wired remote.

by Anonymousreply 52January 23, 2023 5:37 AM

When my family first got a VCR in 1979, the cost of blank tapes was about $20 each. And blank tapes were often hard to find in stores.

Needless to say, we taped over things routinely. We only had a handful of blank tapes. For most shows we recorded, the rule of thumb was if we hadn't watched it in 2-3 weeks, we'd tape over the show to record something else.

It had to be something really, really special to save a tape and not reuse it. So, we gradually built up a small library of favorite movies like Sound of Music, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, etc.

by Anonymousreply 53January 23, 2023 7:20 AM

I taped shit like Soul Train, Night Tracks (on TBS), Club MTV, Friday Night Videos (on NBC).

by Anonymousreply 54January 23, 2023 11:31 AM

I got my first VCR in 1983 as a college graduation present. Video rental stores were really proliferating by that time. Most were still local stand-alone stores, but in the DC area we had a big chain called Erol's. Erol's, like Blockbuster (to which it was later sold), did not carry porn, so for that you had to go to the corner video store.

It's kind of amazing to me how common porn was in regular video stores without much of a fuss about it. If the VCR were just invented today, I doubt porn would be included in most stores. It was a different world back then, and freer in many ways because people minded their own business, even if they disapproved. IIRC all the stores that carried porn had at least a few gay titles, which also seems remarkable in hindsight but was quite ordinary and unexceptional at the time.

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by Anonymousreply 55January 23, 2023 12:15 PM

[quote]Wasn’t Betamax supposed to have better picture quality?

Betamax was used in the television production industry well into the 2000s because of that better picture quality. But you had to have plenty of dedicated library space to house all your programs. With the advent of dvds, we transferred everything to DVD-Rs, then went completely digital streaming and storage, and that finally killed of the Betamax cassette business.

by Anonymousreply 56January 23, 2023 12:37 PM

Not only were VCRs expensive, but they were the #1 item that burglars were after. There was a huge upsurge, for years, in break and enters with people stealing color TVs and VCRs and selling them off outside some dive in a different suburb.

by Anonymousreply 57January 23, 2023 3:12 PM

I used the VCR for looking at TV commercials I produced in the late '70s and early '80s, and then quit advertising. I didn't even own a TV until 1987, when a friend convinced me that I needed one. I became addicted to the soap opera Another World one summer and when I went back to work in the fall, I bought a VCR to record it every day.

This machine, by Mitsubishi, cost $600 and was nothing like the one I'd used years earlier. It became an essential part of living. Eventually, I would record nighttime shows, e.g. thirtysomething, LA Law, Doogie Howser MD. I had five friends who also taped the soaps, especially Guiding Light, which I started taping and watching as well.

I saved everything I taped, but hardly ever looked at the tapes. It was as close to hoarding as I ever came. Hard to believe I hadn't felt the need to own a TV just a few years earlier. I moved and threw out all the tapes, and haven't looked back.

by Anonymousreply 58January 23, 2023 3:53 PM

VCR players/recorders are going up in price at goodwill, 2nd hand stores....

i saw a whole collection of vintage TCM type titles of vhs tapes for sale yesterday. to this elder gay they looked so much more preferable to sit and watch than trying to figure out which 12 episode series on netflix i might like streaming, than losing interest in the 3rd episode or so..

Nostalgia for a simpler time when home video wasn't such a chore LOL

by Anonymousreply 59January 23, 2023 5:20 PM

Be kind. Please rewind.

by Anonymousreply 60January 23, 2023 5:26 PM

r17 post 60s, there was a significant percent of the population that believed it was better to offer it up or allow a safe space at home for porn, sex and drugs than risk their kids getting in trouble elsewhere with it.

when X and older millennials tuned out and dropped out, however, bootcamps and hospitalization (or juvi; most of the boys/girls schools - not be confused with private boarding educational schools; they were essentially low to medium security supervised residential work camps and farms for troubled and at risk youth; those that didn't break any law except maybe truancy and often just runaways and fostercare kids aging out of system. ) for behavioral problems came into vogue instead... though most of those publicly funded programs had died out by the end of the 70s, even military schools reformed to become more akin to competitive private institutions. So, bootcamps became the alt.. and widely pushed by talkshow. We also saw the religious reckoning with purity pledges, rings and other moral contracts that would even make a scientologist cringe)

by Anonymousreply 61January 23, 2023 5:33 PM

^ the younger millennials got the full brunt of the bootcamp experience but parents felt guilty and gave them participation awards to compensate -- adopting it from special education practices for behavioral awards, so much so, they don't have enough spoons to function daily unless you promise them the opportunity to get a gold (sticker) star

by Anonymousreply 62January 23, 2023 5:36 PM

r59 they've gone up ages ago... now it's more the price of individual tapes that remained low for decades after laser disc & dvd because they were distributed far and wide (eventually; the machines were marketed as recorders because there wasn't a bloody market for tapes, dearies. Not even for stag films.) and with so many studios/netowrks banning or otherwise removing from circulation older works, there's a specialty market for rarities of versions you can't find elsewhere.

"found" tapes are popular too -- this area includes recordings of just commercials, standard tv, happenings of the era - be it home movies or whatever... it's the new anthropology, especially in an age where so many revise history or have their own "truth," narratives....

you have the game emulators too... software for older system operations, etc. HEck, the start of game emulation is decades older, so that stuff, which wasn't as widely produced, rose quickly in market value.. only hurt by the industry catching up to the demand (which it willfully ignored) until the last decade or so.

all of which has largely been helped by millennial hipsters for fueling that market trend... apparel is easy to track on that as well, especially as Z is embracing the vintage 70s/80s/90s. you can seriously bank if you understand your markets. But most sellers are too random. no patients.

by Anonymousreply 63January 23, 2023 5:50 PM

I recorded Fawlty Towers off of PBS and watched the series over and over.

I also remember the “video nasties” thing over in the UK where the government wanted to ban certain movies, mostly horror and slasher films.

Today it’s cool that so many home taped VHS cassettes turn up when people clean out grandma’s house. Not for the shows as much as the old station breaks and ads that they preserve that would be otherwise gone forever.

by Anonymousreply 64January 23, 2023 6:11 PM

My grandfather had a box full of old porn movies on VHS in his storage shed when he died. And I mean old. One video box said copyright 1980.

by Anonymousreply 65January 23, 2023 7:02 PM

R65 did you fap to em?

by Anonymousreply 66January 23, 2023 7:05 PM

I bought my first Betamax in 1977. It wasn't a standalone unit - it was in a console with a 19" Sony Triniton color TV. It had a small attached remote for stopping, starting, rewinding and fastforwarding tapes, but programming the VCR, required using the buttons on the console, which were exactly like the push buttons on an audio cassette player/recorder. Nothing digital about this thing.

The original price was $2,200. I got it on sale for $1,600. There was a recording limit of an hour, so recording anything longer than that required putting in a new tape. Tapes were hard to find, the only place I could find that sold them initially charged $18 for a blank tape. The TV always worked fine but the VCR crapped out a lot, and since it was inside the unit, it could only be serviced by someone coming to my house, or (more often) removed by the serviceman to take to the shop. That cost a fortune, too.

But still - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Being able to tape shows and movies from TV to watch again was so amazing.

by Anonymousreply 67January 23, 2023 7:37 PM

We had a VCR in the '80s. I really can't imagine my parents paying that much (anything over $500 would have been crazy). I wonder how much they paid for the VCR.

by Anonymousreply 68January 23, 2023 8:44 PM

I bought one in 1981 or ‘82 with money I made working over the summer and freshman year in college. It seemed like a ridiculous price at the time but I had to have one. Needless to say I was one of the most popular guys in the dorm. That was a video rental store within walking distance of campus and that was the first time I saw minifilms that never played on my local tv stations. Mixed it up with film classics , requests and occasionally porn. What was funny and interesting was the most popular film in the dorm was THE WIZARD OF OZ. I probably saw that once a week for about three semesters. It wasn’t uncommon to find a note on the door or someone dropping by waiting to watch. I lived in the dorm which housed the college soccer team, a lot frat boys and some theater majors. Needless to say I was in the last group. It was great to finally see films like A Clockwork Orange, Tommy but also MEET ME IN ST LOUIS for the first time. One of my friends was a huge Brando fan so endured we LAST TANGO and ONE EYED JACKS ( which no one liked). I would drag that thing home obviously our brakes and I was returned over the summer with things recording from cable. There was one other guy in the dorm who moved in the third semester who also had a VCR also, we would hook them up, and rent and copy films.Back then they were only a few and that had copyguard which became more and more of an issue mid to late 80s. There was also an underground a pirate videos. The holy grail at that point was Snow White. John Waters films also circulated via bootleg copies, as did videos from the UK which did not play on MTV. I turned a lot of people onto Kate Bush via 3rd and 4th generation copies. And this is a “Mary” moment! CINDERELLA with Lesley Ann Warren actually made a couple people cry. It was something we thought we would never see again.Actually rented it at video store at home,drove it and the VCR back to my college town and had a huge group viewing. That was also one that did have copy guard but luckily Disney picked it up a few years later and recorded from the Disney channel. A lot of fond memories from the early days of the VCR. Even with porn rentals, it still felt like a more innocent time . One of my friends did, that she felt these treasures from our childhood lost a little bit of their special quality once we have the ability of popping it into the VCR anytime we wanted to. I disagree because to this day there are certain times I will pop in a DVD or BlueRay. It’s comfort food.

by Anonymousreply 69January 23, 2023 8:44 PM

R69 I'm crying just thinking about your friends crying.....

by Anonymousreply 70January 23, 2023 9:12 PM

[R19] Yes, I bought a Betamax and later a laserdisc player. At the time, laserdiscs were the only digital medium available for home video, as video cassette tapes were analog. Laserdiscs being the granddad of DVD's offered special material imbedded in the disc in addition to the movie. Also only laserdiscs offered letterbox presentations of widescreen films which up until then were only available as "pan and scan" both on TV and on VHS/Beta. They were very popular in the US but both the player and discs were very expensive. Sadly when DVD's appeared at much lower price and more features, the laserdiscs became essentially worthless. I had quite a collection collecting dust and didn't have the heart to toss it as they had collectively cost several thousand dollars. But finally bit the bullet and gave them to a resale store who may have thrown them out. But laserdiscs were wonderful while they lasted

by Anonymousreply 71January 23, 2023 10:21 PM

I found a video rental store that actually rented beta tapes. Unfortunately, we learned later that they were renting illegal copies instead of originals and the Feds shut them down.

by Anonymousreply 72January 23, 2023 10:22 PM

Were there ever truly good ones? They always seemed like a crapshoot in terms of playback and the tape getting eaten, That said, I viewed plenty of movies successfully.

My uncle went with Sony Betamax which eventually lost the format wars. He also had laser discs at one point.

by Anonymousreply 73January 23, 2023 10:35 PM

Grandpa made videos of me showing off my asshole. He had 3-4 vhs tapes worth that he kept for his own private viewing at night.

by Anonymousreply 74January 23, 2023 10:41 PM

R68, it depends on what point in the '80s they bought it. Early in the decade, they were extremely expensive, as many have pointed out, the price dropped a lot by the mid '80s, and they were pretty cheap by the end of the decade. By that time, it seemed like nearly everyone had one.

R69, I loved your story. Did anyone in the dorm ask you to tape their favorite soap opera? Lots of college students watched soaps in those days, and you couldn't always organize your class schedule around All My Children or whatever.

by Anonymousreply 75January 24, 2023 11:36 AM

My best friends parents bought a Beta Max and one film. Hello Dolly. Which we'd watch over and over and over.

by Anonymousreply 76January 24, 2023 12:33 PM

R 76 which has turned you into the fine upstanding young Datalounger you are today .... welcome!

by Anonymousreply 77January 24, 2023 5:24 PM


by Anonymousreply 78January 24, 2023 8:16 PM

Jesus, r69, paragraphs are your friends!

by Anonymousreply 79January 24, 2023 9:10 PM

[quote]As far as I know, only store brand VCRs (like Montgomery Ward) had a wired remote. I don’t recall ever seeing a name brand VCR with one.

My parents had an RCA (the only brand my father would buy), and it, too, had a wired remote.

by Anonymousreply 80January 24, 2023 9:11 PM

I bought a Betamax in 1977 for $1000.

The reason Beta lost the war was because they only made TWO hour blank tapes (best quality time). VHS made three hour blank tapes. That mattered because the reason to buy a video recorder was so you could record a show when watching another or record your soaps while at work. Length MATTERED.

I finally got rid of my last Betamax this year. I had both Beta and VHS, still have one VHS player.

by Anonymousreply 81January 24, 2023 9:42 PM

We had a Zenith VCR and it used Beta tapes. As other have said, it was way too expensive at first to buy movies and even renting them wasn't cheap. You built up your library by recording movies from HBO. I think the tapes were six hours long so you could have two or even three movies on one cassette.

by Anonymousreply 82January 24, 2023 9:56 PM

R75 No one in my dorm watched soaps. Recording was difficult anyway due to the lack of an antenna except for rabbit ears. Reception was fuzzy. Also remember at the time it wasn’t real common to have a small or portable color TV. I always found a black-and-white TV ,for whatever reason, got better reception. I actually rented a color tv for about 3 semesters. It’s odd to reflect back how different things were. We didn’t have phones in the room. If you got a call, the dorm receptionist would page you over an intercom and you picked up a phone at the end of the hall. There were also a pay phone at the opposite end of the hall. There were a couple newer dorms which did have phone jacks. Hell, we didn’t even have air conditioning. I honestly don’t know how I survived (lol). Seems like the Dark Ages thinking back on it.

The only thing I remember anyone watching religiously were Dr. Who and later Dynasty. Of course the jocks watched sports. There was a very active Sci Fi club on campus which got together for Dr Who.Each dorm had a large color TV either in the basement or a common room. By the time Dynasty was a thing, the gay guys would watch it in their dorm rooms and then head out to the “club”. Dynasty wasn’t my thing although going out certainly was.

I didn’t really start watching any soaps until after I moved off campus and had a couple of female roommates. One of them was hooked on One Life to Live and General Hospital and got me sucked in. And yes, we I did record them but we also had cable. and air conditioning!. Actually I still have some episodes from both soaps on the end of some of my old videotapes. I have a lot of the video “mix” tapes which is my own video archive and have upload some of the one off features (ET, news etc) on YouTube or shared them with others for their channels.Digitizing them is one of those projects never completed. My second VCR was a hi-fi stereo recorder so I have things that were broadcast in stereo which circulate or are YouTube in mono. That was the next generation upgrade from my first VCR.

by Anonymousreply 83January 25, 2023 12:13 AM

R69 diarrhea mouth

by Anonymousreply 84January 25, 2023 12:27 AM

r83, see r79.

by Anonymousreply 85January 25, 2023 12:33 AM

[R77] I thought you'd be saying this about [R74] and his Grandpa.

by Anonymousreply 86January 25, 2023 1:22 AM

R84, Shouldn't that be diarrhea fingers? He's not speaking.

by Anonymousreply 87January 26, 2023 1:14 AM

Did anyone buy those illegal videos of classic television specials in 1978-79? They were advertised in After Dark (I believe), a place in Levittown NY sold them in Beta and VHS format - several Streisand and Sinatra specials, Fred Astaire specials from the late 1950s (color video), many had original commercials too. This was before movies were sold and rented in video tape. They were closed down after I bought a few.

by Anonymousreply 88January 26, 2023 3:50 PM
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by Anonymousreply 89January 26, 2023 3:56 PM


by Anonymousreply 90January 26, 2023 3:58 PM
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