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VCR's in general

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  • #46
    Re: VCR's in general

    Originally posted by Tomo View Post
    I've got a Sanyo VTC 5000 Betacord - it's proper boss. Got a Duran Duran Beta tape as well, the qaulity is so much better than VHS. Not bad considering it came out 20 years ago, and the tape itself came out in '83!
    My uncle gave me one of those when he finally realised Beta was a mistake. Still got it, and it still works! Oddly enough I work in a school, and found a VTC5000 under a bench in the staffroom last year....got it going with a bit of TLC so they are reliable machines.

    I remember trying to persuade my dad to buy a VCR back in 1979 but he wanted to wait out the format war. By '84 it was clear VHS was the way to go and we got a Ferguson 3V35 from Rumbalows (first and ONLY purchase from them)...very nice machine, front loader with infrared remote...built like a tank and worked for around 10 years. I remember lugging it down the road to a mate's house to copy videos using his dad's Panasonic top loader.

    I remember the manager at Rumbalows trying to fob us off with Beta machines, because they just couldn't shift them. But we were set on VHS. Later that day we joined a video library and they had about 3/4 of their shelf space devoted to VHS, vindicating our decision.

    As for watching VHS now, in the DVD age...I do so as rarely as possible. From the late 80's onwards I was searching for something better, I got a Laserdisc machine for my 17th birthday (1990) and at least for playing films that was pretty good. The picture and even sound quality of VHS is pretty dire...Betamax was actually better....but it was more expensive, and when people were choosing their first ever video device, price mattered.

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    • #47
      Re: VCR's in general

      I distinctly remember the very first piece of video footage I ever saw. It was Tommy Smith's headed goal for Liverpool in the 1977 European Cup Final. I was 17 at the time.

      I went with my friend and his dad to buy a video recorder on that particular day. We lived in Chesterfield and the only place to buy one was in Sheffield - several miles away.

      The shop 'we' bought it from was several terraced houses knocked through to create one big store. Can't remember its name but it was a real Aladdin's Cave of electronics and attracted enthusiastics (geeks as they are known today) from miles around.

      I was astounded by this VCR - a Philips VR2020 (you could record on both sides of the tape) - and thought the concept of being able to record TV programmes was even better than sliced bread.

      Just over a year later I started my very first job - working a similar shop! A brilliant job for a 17 year old lad who loved TV and music!

      The first video recorder I sold was a Sony C7 (Betamax) for 998 (not sure why the price ended in 8). It was so heavy I could hardly lift it! It had big 'piano keys' for buttoms with a three-days one event timer. The tapes were called L250 and recorded for just an hour - for 9.95 each! Anybody wanting to buy one went on a waiting list! The picture quality was absolutely superb - much better than the subsequent VHS models we sold from Ferguson, Hitachi and JVC.

      VHS won the format war (in the UK at least) because most people rented video recorders in those days. Radio Rentals was the biggest 'renter' owned by Thorn. As Thorn also owned the Ferguson brand (which was the only one on offer) Sony's Betamax format lost out big time.

      It is interesting to note that professional broadcasters continued to use Betamax for many years and I firmly believe it was a far better format.

      Happy, happy days!


      Ian D
      Last edited by Heather74; 16-12-2008, 11:42.
      Ian D

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      • #48
        Re: VCR's in general

        What about laser discs?
        One mans trash is another mans treasure !

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        • #49
          Re: VCR's in general

          There seemed to be a load of 'urban myths' about gangs of robbers following video tape rental vans about and noting whose houses they went to --- a few days later you would go for a night out and come back to find your VCR had been stolen

          Anyone ever heard of anybody actually being targeted this way?

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          • #50
            Re: VCR's in general

            I got my first VCR in 1987 just after I had started work from leaving school. They were very expensive then as well and what I did I borrowed the money from my Dad who wasn't bothered about things like that, and I used to pay him back so much each week until it was paid off. I think it cost me about 370.00, because of course then they were still in their early days really, it was a front loader by Sanyo. From what I remember about it, there was some kind of fault and we had to keep taking it back to the shop for repair.

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            • #51
              Re: VCR's in general

              Originally posted by Snakeystew View Post
              Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see that much difference between video and dvd - and yes, I have a massive television. Of course my older videos are suffering from some wear and tear, but in general the quality doesn't really seem any worse than dvd.

              Guess I'm the only one
              i dont realy notice the difference also,some tapes can get worn a bit , but every dvd player ive had lets me down and that ruins the film, electrics in my town are very old and lights flicker as soon as the 1st drop of rain falls which may contribute to dvd,ps2 etc breaking down in my house
              "poor is the man who's pleasures depend on the permission of another"

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              • #52
                Re: VCR's in general

                Originally posted by Ian D View Post

                It is interesting to note that professional broadcasters continued to use Betamax for many years and I firmly believe it was a far better format.

                Ian D
                I remember when a folk-rock band called Home Service wanted to reissue one of their LPs on CD back in the 90s, they found that there was a fault on the audio master. One of the guys remembered that back in the day they'd made a Betamax copy of the audio track. They managed to find the Beta tape and used it to source a damn good audio recording for the CD.

                I know that the British Library has a lot of BBC radio recordings kept on Beta because it was practical- the best way at the time to snag several hours' worth of output.

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                • #53
                  Re: VCR's in general

                  I've still got loads of stuff on video that won't ever be repeated or released on DVD. Even the still that has been reissued is fairly expensive so I've only replaced stuff when there's a good reason to.

                  Certainly I've noticed a difference in quality when compairing even pre-recorded videos with DVDs. Last Xmas I got a recordable DVD player which records at a decent quality though the timer can still be a bit hit & miss.
                  The Trickster On The Roof

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                  • #54
                    Re: VCR's in general

                    My parents bought a Sony C5 betamax - our first video machine. We stuck to betamax after that and had several other machines even though VHS was a more popular system. I always thought Betamax was the better system as it used a 'M' loading system which didn't pull as much tape out of the cassette as the VHS system did. Also the Beta tapes were smaller and more compact. I always thought VHS tapes looked bulky and tacky.

                    Of course, we had to join the VHS brigade eventually when Betamax was phased out and I still own a JVC VHS system which I now only use to transfer old VHS tapes onto my DVD recorder.

                    I'm not really picky about the quality either, as long as I can see the picture then I'm happy. All of this new 'blu-ray' thing seems a lot of fuss over nothing to me.

                    I suppose everything will all be HDD eventually anyway.
                    Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time.

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                    • #55
                      Re: VCR's in general

                      We also opted for a Sony Betamax machine as our first video recorder because it was widely regarded as superior to VHS and it was.
                      Sadly though we had to buy VHS in the end when they won the battle.
                      Shame, I loved that old Sony. :cry:
                      sigpic
                      'Dreams come true if you want them to'

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                      • #56
                        Re: VCR's in general

                        In the early 80s when the video recorder became popular, my family didnt have one/couldnt afford one. We got our first video recorder in 1987.

                        But my friend's parents had a Ferguson Video Star. I can remember the first time I went in their house to watch Police Academy. I was amazed that we were all watching a film that we had only seen a short time before in the Cinema, because it used to take ages for the films to get put on the TV channels.

                        I agree, it was a big event renting a video and then sitting down to watch it. We have lost all that now I feel.
                        Oh to be a kid again with a can of Top Deck on a hot summer day, now that would be good.

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                        • #57
                          Re: VCR's in general

                          Here's a book for those interested in the video culture, See No Evil.
                          WELCOME TO HELL!!!

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                          • #58
                            Re: VCR's in general

                            Originally posted by the red max View Post
                            I remember when a folk-rock band called Home Service wanted to reissue one of their LPs on CD back in the 90s, they found that there was a fault on the audio master. One of the guys remembered that back in the day they'd made a Betamax copy of the audio track. They managed to find the Beta tape and used it to source a damn good audio recording for the CD.
                            Hope they made back ups.
                            WELCOME TO HELL!!!

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                            • #59
                              Re: VCR's in general

                              I think the two last films I bought on VHS were The New Barbarians (now come on, if an early '80s video library didn't have at least three Italian Mad Max rip offs/post apocalytpic society titles on the shelves than they weren't complete but thats another thread..) and Made In Britain.
                              WELCOME TO HELL!!!

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                              • #60
                                Re: VCR's in general

                                Originally posted by huggie74 View Post
                                I remember being about ten, mum let me buy a betamax from a car boot sale, it only cost a few pounds and came with a few tapes, we got it home set it all up, pressed play, and to mum and dads horror on came a porno, i remember me and my brother being told to get out while he and mum "sorted it" took a while.
                                Ah, yes. The proverbial video for a kids' party which turns out to be a porno/horror film.
                                WELCOME TO HELL!!!

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