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  • #46
    First Video recorder?

    Originally posted by CrystalBall View Post
    Ferguson Videostars were rebadged JVC VCRs. JVC were the market leaders in VHS and couldn't supply enough VCRs to European markets due to import restrictions. A joint venture called J2T (JVC, Thorn, Telefunken) was set up to assemble JVC machines by Ferguson (part of Thorn EMI) in the UK and Telefunken in Germany. Thomson in France were later involved as well. VHS won the format battle because Thorn EMI also controlled most of the home TV/VCR rental market (e.g. DER) so, surprise surprise, used VHS machines built by J2T. At the end of their rental lives most VCRs were refurbished and sold on the used market, so by the mid-1980s there was limited demand for anything else. If you had a Ferguson Videostar it could have been made in the UK, Germany or Japan (depending on the model), but the components used would be 90% JVC.
    Weren't there THREE units on the shelves with all the same insides ??

    Baird or Thorn or some other I seem to recall ... Ferguson / JVC / ?
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Zincubus; 29-01-2017, 18:30.

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    • #47
      Re: First Video recorder?

      I really wasn't sure whether to get a VHS or Beta machine when I bought my first VCR in the summer of 1980. What made up my mind was price. All the VHS machines were substantially more than the cheapest I could find--a Sanyo Beta at Dixons for 399.99. It served me well, though, and I got 20+ years out of it.

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      • #48
        Re: First Video recorder?

        [QUO TE=staffslad;212810]I really wasn't sure whether to get a VHS or Beta machine when I bought my first VCR in the summer of 1980. What made up my mind was price. All the VHS machines were substantially more than the cheapest I could find--a Sanyo Beta at Dixons for 399.99. It served me well, though, and I got 20+ years out of it.[/QUOTE]
        Ah. . .. Pretty sure we rented ours so the purchase price is more or less irrelevant ..

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        • #49
          Re: First Video recorder?

          There was a Granada and Radio Rentals in a town close to me, but to be honest it never occured to me to rent a VCR as my parents never rented anything like that. Consequently, we were always a few years behind when it came to technology . I have been trying to recall how much the VHS machines cost at the time and I keep getting a figure of 549 for a Ferguson, but can't be sure how accurate that is. The VHS machines were, however, a fair bit more than that Sanyo VTC9300P.

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          • #50
            Re: First Video recorder?

            I remember a few people who had videos before my parents rented them.

            One of my friends parents rented a quite basic Panasonic (with wired remote!) before getting a more up to date one.

            My parents waited until late 1987 when prices had gone down enough to buy outright.
            Last edited by Richard1978; 30-01-2017, 18:54.
            The Trickster On The Roof

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            • #51
              Re: First Video recorder?

              Originally posted by Zincubus View Post
              Weren't there THREE units on the shelves with all the same insides ??

              Baird or Thorn or some other I seem to recall ... Ferguson / JVC / ?
              Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
              Yes, Baird was another Thorn EMI brand which was usually reserved for rental VCRs. Thorn was sometimes used as well and other machines just carried the badge of the rental company, e.g. DER. They would all be J2T machines so identical to JVC and Ferguson. I don't think Telefunken was sold in the UK. Same with Philips and Pye. Pye were rebadged Philips VCRs as Philips owned them and also made machines for other manufacturers (e.g. Finlux) as well. Most of them were made in Austria.

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              • #52
                Re: First Video recorder?

                Some of the Philips V2000 machines were made by Grundig & re-badged, when this format started to fade away.
                The Trickster On The Roof

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                • #53
                  First Video recorder?

                  Originally posted by staffslad View Post
                  There was a Granada and Radio Rentals in a town close to me, but to be honest it never occured to me to rent a VCR as my parents never rented anything like that. Consequently, we were always a few years behind when it came to technology . I have been trying to recall how much the VHS machines cost at the time and I keep getting a figure of 549 for a Ferguson, but can't be sure how accurate that is. The VHS machines were, however, a fair bit more than that Sanyo VTC9300P.
                  Crazy how expensive electrical gadgets were were considering how low wages were back then ... You can get a brand new DVD player for about 15 now for example ...

                  I even recall having a PC built for me about 15 years ago ( maybe longer ) and we paid 2,200 !! ... How times have changed .


                  Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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                  • #54
                    Re: First Video recorder?

                    Technology prices always seem to start high & come down as development costs are paid off.
                    The Trickster On The Roof

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                    • #55
                      Re: First Video recorder?

                      Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                      Some of the Philips V2000 machines were made by Grundig & re-badged, when this format started to fade away.
                      I have to admit I don't know much about V2000. Philips held the controlling stake in Grundig for some time (also Marantz) so there would be crossovers in their product lines. Philips pulled out of Grundig in the early 1990s (I think) due to their poor performance and what was once such a respected name continued to wither away.

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                      • #56
                        Re: First Video recorder?

                        I remember the Video 2000 machines being around, but they were dwarfed by the number of VHS machines available, and by that time VHS's dominance was unassailable.

                        Grundig was a very respected brand that was at the upper end of the market. I bought a Grundig VCR and portable TV from Comet around 1997 and still have the VCR. The prices I paid were, by that time, placing them more in the middle of the market.

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                        • #57
                          Re: First Video recorder?

                          Originally posted by staffslad View Post
                          There was a Granada and Radio Rentals in a town close to me, but to be honest it never occured to me to rent a VCR as my parents never rented anything like that. Consequently, we were always a few years behind when it came to technology . I have been trying to recall how much the VHS machines cost at the time and I keep getting a figure of 549 for a Ferguson, but can't be sure how accurate that is. The VHS machines were, however, a fair bit more than that Sanyo VTC9300P.

                          That would have been a very accurate price. I well remember being in school c.1982, and talking about VCRs. One boy said to me, "Are you one of those rich posh one's that actually own a video (VCR)?". I didn't, most people rented them at the time. Video film cassettes cost around 70+. In fact, I remember some films costing around 95 if you bought the cassette. It was towards the late 1980s that prices seemed to reduce hugely. Films bought around 1987, cost about 15-25.
                          Who cared about rules when you were young?

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                          • #58
                            Re: First Video recorder?

                            Originally posted by marc View Post
                            That would have been a very accurate price. I well remember being in school c.1982, and talking about VCRs. One boy said to me, "Are you one of those rich posh one's that actually own a video (VCR)?". I didn't, most people rented them at the time. Video film cassettes cost around 70+. In fact, I remember some films costing around 95 if you bought the cassette. It was towards the late 1980s that prices seemed to reduce hugely. Films bought around 1987, cost about 15-25.
                            The pre-recorded tape were very expensive, which was why the rental shops were everywhere, & pirating was a "nice little earner" for a few years.

                            Eventually the cost of duplication came down, & the TV & films companies realised the could make money from it, rather than worry being run out of business.
                            The Trickster On The Roof

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                            • #59
                              Re: First Video recorder?

                              Yes, I remember films on video cassette in the early to mid 80s were so expensive as to render them almost out of reach for anyone wanting to build up a collection. Video World and Video Today were good places to check out prices and in 1986 I recall seeing prices between 50 and 80 for recent releases.

                              The VCR I bought for 399.99--the absolute cheapest I could find--took practically all of my savings at the time. It is the main reason why I chose Beta over VHS, as I simply couldn't afford a Ferguson or similar. I was so desperate for a VCR at that time that I just couldn't wait. My older, and hopefully wiser, head now tells me to wait for technology and markets to mature to get the best value for money. At that time the video format wars were just hotting up and it wasn't clear which format would win or if they would coexist in the long run.

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                              • #60
                                Re: First Video recorder?

                                Originally posted by staffslad View Post
                                I remember the Video 2000 machines being around, but they were dwarfed by the number of VHS machines available, and by that time VHS's dominance was unassailable.

                                Grundig was a very respected brand that was at the upper end of the market. I bought a Grundig VCR and portable TV from Comet around 1997 and still have the VCR. The prices I paid were, by that time, placing them more in the middle of the market.
                                I think that by the mid-1980s Grundig had been outclassed by the likes of Sony and Panasonic - their quality declined noticeably during the 1980s. Most production was moved out of Germany during this period and they were also into rebadging. Grundig was an 'old time' upmarket brand but the big Japanese manufacturers that took over in the 1980s changed the landscape and Grundig had no option but to go downmarket. Their older products are very nice though and have stood the test of time.

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