It’s a shame how technology can render something that was so dear to me as obsolete - My first recorder was a Bush TV/VCR combo which was bought about 6 years ago (I’m still just a teen, but my goodness I do miss it ) but my dad gave the TV away to a friend of his and bought me a replacement, a sh*tty TV brand with in built DVD player in 2006
I still needed a VCR though. My first recorder installed in my room was a Sony (Stereo?) VCR deck that came with a TV bundle that my parents bought in the mid to late 80s - Very state of the art for it’s time - My dad bought nothing but the best (Didn’t believe in this cheap crap )
They had it laying about as, when their Sony TV was sold by some shyster repair man who said it didn’t work anymore, they saved up and bought another high end television produced by Toshiba in 1990 - This one we still have downstairs!
So, as we had hooked up to Sky Television in November 2004, I needed a recorder to… Er, record programmes. They said that I could have the recorder because they weren’t using it as they had the Toshiba deck (Which died just a few years ago, I think, we never used it again )
But my god, it was a noisy recorder! Rewinding and fast forwarding took an eternity to do. and how it recorded video was a nightmare, because the digits on the recorder used to go forward a few seconds, then a orange light used to flash (Which I think was the OPC - Optimum Picture Control) then the digits would go back a few seconds, before it would start recording normally. (Obviously Sony had not understood the concept of instant recording )
If the tape had ended, it would rewind itself, but when it’s 3am in the morning and it sounds like someone is using a hairdryer, you just want it to throw it out of the window! When it had finished, it would make a massive clank. I remember it had a funky cover infront of the tape flap - This was more a nuscience than anything else, so I ripped it off
So that was hooked up to the Sky box and I got a few good years out of it. On some mad VCR binge, I pleaded my mum to get me another, which seemed very professional with the increased buttons and a much better circular dial to work with and FAST REWIND! HALLELUJAH! This one was a prosumer Sony Mono deck produced in 1991. I got this bad boy for just Â£10, and still remains my deck for VCR rips
Where my original Sony deck went I’m not sure, On those two recorders I must have used over 90 tapes, some feat. Less than two years later however I invested in a cheap Visitron DVD recorder - Brand new from eBay for Â£40
I realised that my aging VCR deck(s) were becoming hugely uneconomical. (Used) Tapes, which I had to buy from charity shops to keep recording prices low, were expensive compared to the DVD, which could be got for pennies. Slowly, over the past two years, my humble VCR decks were being phased out, used very infrequently every now and again if I want to transfer a tape across.
It was an emotional goodbye for me. DVD recorders are now throwaway price, like VCR recorders because they too are being phased out in favour, possibly of archives? You can pick up a decent DVD recorder for about Â£30 now.
Size didn’t concern me, I had more than adequet room to store the tapes. The main reason why I switched are two reasons. It’s digital, so there will be no drop outs or other problems like that - and it’s cloneable. So I could just as easily make copies for friends if they wanted copies of whatever I had. You can get a 50 pack of DVD-R for about Â£5 now, which instantly made it much cheaper transition from expensive cassettes.
Downloading from the internet was much easier as well. I could have hours of XVID rips onto a single DVD. Since I started my own pseudo television archive of hours of recorded television, (ignoring everything which can be bought commercially, like films) I want to expend it to at least over hundred hours in the not too distant future.
I feel that since I am using adequte media that I’ve got to keep an eye on it every few weeks to ensure that is alright, that paranoia didn’t stem for VHS tapes which could literally be slung in a box and forgot about
It is a shame I got so attached to my VCR, there is no satisfaction in just throwing video to a DVD and sticking it a player. Since I’m not a fool, I don’t throw away vital tapes I want to keep. I still have the television broadcast of Destination Docklands, and 2010 Election Coverage.
Despite all that, it really was my grandad that had got me into the whole massive recording fetish, could you call it? He had a massive box of tapes he recorded of films & shows like Rambo, Auf Weidersehen Pet… Stuff like that, and I’ve always liked the idea of when you record something, it’s there to watch over and over again…
How about those still with VCR recorders?