The humble VCR - An emotional goodbye or good riddance?

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 :sad: ) 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 :sad:

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 :clap: )

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! :clap: :bow: :bigsmile:

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 :frowning: )

But my god, it was a noisy recorder! :eek: 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 :doh: )

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 :rolleyes:

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! :bow: This one was a prosumer Sony Mono deck produced in 1991. I got this bad boy for just £10, and still remains my deck for VCR rips :slight_smile:

Where my original Sony deck went I’m not sure, On those two recorders I must have used over 90 tapes, some feat. :slight_smile: Less than two years later however I invested in a cheap Visitron DVD recorder - Brand new from eBay for £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 £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 £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 :eek:

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?

I got rid of mind the last two had the same addiction the tape would get stuck in the player and would wreck the tape. I do have stuff on 3in floppy that I still have to find someone to copy for me other wise their lost.One good think we have more home now with out all though tapes.

It’s interesting that you mentioned 3in floppy disks - It’s one of those formats which should have been thrown out years ago. Keeping storages of floppy disks, certainly not now, doesn’t seem to make sense to me - I had two boxes of floppy disks that my parents produced in 1996 - 2003 (Not many floppies though, only had about 50) so I copied all of the good disks (Only had a bout 3 or 4 failures, nothing majorly important was on these floppies anyway) and burnt them onto a CD and binned the boxes.

Why do people still keep them? Back up to a better format - No click of death, no slow reading times, no paltry storage space. (One DVD could probably easily store over 3000 - Who the hell keeps that many floppies!?

CD-R / DVD-R all the way, until at least hard disks / SSD becomes pennies like optical media :slight_smile:

Well in my case I went years a go and bought a new computer and didn’t notice it didn’t have a floppy drive AND GAVE MY STEP DAUGHTER THE OLD ONE WELL IT JUST KEPT being put on the back burner and never anything done to copy the old floppys. and hate to sound like a old dude which I am you know what it means being but on the back burner?

I admit I didn’t know what that means - I had to ask my nannan :o

However, now I do know, I understand :slight_smile:

Why not ask for the floppy disk drive back? Or equally, buy a new one? I bought a floppy drive to transfer one over (because the one I had built into a eMachines computer in 2003 broke) for about £4 and that was including delivery on eBay.

Might be just only used once and then never used again, but at least you can be assured that your precious data will be backed up.

Chad you sound like a smart intelligent guy well read and a great guy, keep asking questions ,and I like the stuff you ask -I’m one of the old farts here and enjoy talkin to younger blood when it arises.This site needs more younger people to stir things up .I’ve got parkinson disease and figure if I can still pouch a computer and still make sense that it will be a good day.And if we sound like we’ve not there ,we problely aren’t :bigsmile:

I do apologise but what exactly have I said that brought all of this praise? I don’t understand :confused:

I’m flattered non the less, but the main point is I believe is to back up recordings / data / music whatever it maybe when that new tech is about to become obsolete. That may seem like an anti-climax for a lot of people, but it does make sense.

If you would have asked me if I wanted a DVD recorder three years ago I probably would have laughed, I had no interest in the digital age. But now they have become bargain bin items, for the folks still caught in the analogue days of VHS and cassettes, now is the perfect time to make the transition.

I have VHS tapes dating back from 1985, and cassettes dating from the mid 70s, the earliest video tape being Phil Collins performing at Live Aid, and the cassette was a recording of some Beatles songs. The video tape looks as good as when it was first recorded, granted the odd colour bleed / fade.

The cassettes are much worse for wear, very difficult to hear complete with dropouts and clicking noises.

DVD-Rs are going so cheap now that they are practically throwaway. Maxell, a very reputable brand who I will always stick by from their VHS and cassette days (Which, IMO, are the best brand going for quality vs price) are selling at the moment £1.50 for a pack of ten at Wilkinsons :smiley:

It’s best to get them before the next gen formats overrules the market. Blu-Ray won’t benefit me since I am still running on Standard Defination equipment, nor will their recorders, and I don’t plan to move to HD for some time to come.

Stuff rekitting my house it for High Defination! :a

I can’t even give away my old VHS tapes now. To bad they did not make quality DVD recorders, they would have sold very well.

Shame - Best just throwing them out and to join the digital age like we muppets :frowning:

Although I’ve moved on the DVD & have one TV that I can use an external Hard drive with . I’m moving in the hard drive for archive storage direction. Unless I have use it at some point I’m skipping bluray.
Back to the VCR discussion. I have 4 currently connected to some TV in the house.
Three of those are combo units with DVD on one of those the DVD side is only a player.
One of the combos is a tape destroyer (built too cheap). One VCR is an ancient RCA that has mono Audio.
I also have some just stored to use as a last resort. Four of those. One is a very old Panasonic Top loader .with mono Audio & a wired remote control for anyone that remembers those.
I still have a working older computer that has the 3" floppy . It is a multi boot with Windows 98SE & Windows XP on it.
I still have a working Commodore64 with its’ own brand external 5.25 floppy drive that I still play some computer games on. Now that’s a real dinosaur. A friend of mine that was more into computers very early has a dual 5.25 Commodore drive I believe he said the original cost of this drive was $1200.00 when he bought it.

I agree with marloyd - I love these threads on “old” tech, and the stories told to go along with them :clap:

I’d mostly say “good riddance” - but there is a small part of me that’s a bit nostalgic when it comes to VCRs (the machines, not the media that goes with them!).

We got our first one in about 1987, and it was a clunky thing! All chunky and angular to look at, with a “remote” that was connected to the unit by a cable :rolleyes:

Can’t recall the make, but I still had it at 16 when I moved out. Think it crapped out around that time. :wink:

Then my mum got an Mitsubishi one, with the jog wheel on the remote that you mention in the OP. That unit was AWESOME. :cool:

I’ve had a few VCRs myself, nothing worthy of mention though. Still wish I had one sometimes - I have some video footage of me, my ex, and couple of mates all messing about at about 3-4am outside Bristol Council House, very sentimental stuff. Must get it converted to DVD…one day. :slight_smile:

It seems that I’ve just cured cancer, why am I getting so much praise for this thread :eek:

If I remember right, my granddad had a cheap Matsui VX1100 (or VX1000, but I think it was the former) before we cleared it out before he died. I only remember that because my ex girlfriend had exactly the same model as he did, shoved away in a cupboard.


*Oops, sent the message too early :stuck_out_tongue:

Can anyone tell me when this model of Matsui was produced? Matsui had heavy ties with Comet, so I assume he bought it from there, (Same reason why ALBA / Mikomi have ties with Argos, although I think Mikomi was bought by Argos and now markets under the brand “Argos Value”) and an intelligent guess suggests he bought / it was manufacturered between 1995 and 2003.

Yeah I rememeber the huge chunky ‘top loaders’ in the early days too. :slight_smile:

My VCR is in the attic and has been for the last five years or so ever since I bought a DVD Recorder.

TBH even the DVD recorder is kind of redundant now as use the Sky+HD box more than anything else.


It sure is nice to see such a well written post without run on sentences and words spelled out. It was a pleasure to read.

I have a usb 3.5in floppy drive I would be happy to ship it to you to use and you could ship it back when finished. Sorry I don’t have anything that will read 5.25 floppies though.

Thanks Ivan but a buddy just told me he would do the deed for me ,he over heard me talking about having to do something with the floppy and he said he still had one,thanks again .And I agree, I don’t know your age Chad but you seem to write very well and I think everyone agrees in this generation that is a rarity.

I still don’t follow why I’m getting praise for what I wrote, it’s quite maddening I don’t comprehend :sad:

Marloyd, I strongly recommend when you get your floppy drive you dump all of your data onto a computer, and then promptly onto a CD or some other type of media. It was game over even by 2005, Windows only kept onto the paltry floppy drive because of the pointless boot disk it needed, (I say pointless because of all of my computers I’ve used at home, from a Windows 95 box in '97 to my current XP box, built last year, I’ve never needed to use it.

As times go by, it was dropped by Vista. No need for a bootdisk, nor do I know any Vista boxes with it on. By all means keep the floppy disks, but I must ask - Why?

They aren’t in good for anyone, and a recent bargain means I could store… What, 400 floppies on a CD-R for 8p? I have a feeling CDs will be around for much longer than the floppy disk, granted how many people actually BUY. I read of a user who wanted like 400 discs - What in the name of all that is holy for!? And at once!?

CD-R is the best archiving format for me because it’s so cheap, and it can be slung in a box and not to worry about readability issues in a few years - All of my discs are holding up pretty nicely :slight_smile:

Chad you got me wrong I got plenty of storage being a old fart I seam to hang on to stuff to long-I collect blues music and have collected over 3500 cds and have half of my NAS 2tb storage unit full.Not all my music is blues but a third is.On the 3in. floppys I have are old pictures which I didn’t save to disk for some reason or another .which a buddy is now doing for me.You may think us old guys are a little strange and we may be but we appreciate things more in our old age like good writing skill which I don’t have and wish I did. Well enough said on this subject. I hope I didn’t disrupt your post I have a nack for messing up stuff.

Hope to see more post that you start

No worries Marloyd! You didn’t naff up my post at all, infact, it’s been rather interesting to talk to you. Please, don’t be apologetic, let alone for having an opinion!

Ditto, I tend to collect things myself, I’ve just, for example, thrown out a bag of computer “spares” that I must have had for about a year - Why did I keep it, nobody knows :rolleyes:

Not in the slightest do I think the old folk are strange - Infact, it does make a good change being surrounded by young adults alike - Some of them are so friendly, infact, they can treat you like a good friend, which, and forgive me if I get this wrong, is what you seem to be doing now :flower:

Just saying, by all mean keep the floppies if you want them. For me, they were just a pointless thing to have, that’s all my point was :stuck_out_tongue:

And ditto, I wish I had a penmanship, I’ve tried many times to alter my handwriting, but it still looks like :Z