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Old 14-06-2013, 20:35
Philip Dalton
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Probably not many people know this, but there were some people who had a VCR as early as the sixties. Bob Monkhouse is known to have had a Sony VC-2000, which was first put on the market in the US in 1965 for $695, which would be 7,257.99 in today's money, more expensive than some of the cheaper cars.

Does anyone on here remember VCR's when they were still in their infancy?
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Old 14-06-2013, 22:29
Chris Frost
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You want this web page
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Old 15-06-2013, 08:41
noise747
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I remember we had a reel to reel type thing at School, but the earliest I can remember having a video in the house is when my brother got a top loader Fergi with the piano keys, must have have been about 1978ish.

I remember that I found some porn videos and I used to play them when the house was empty. It was new to me, never saw porn before. i have no idea where they came from

The next one we had was a Mitsubishi front loader with a wired remote.

A mate of mine got a video 2000 still working and I have a betamax up in the loft.
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Old 15-06-2013, 08:58
Nigel Goodwin
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Probably not many people know this, but there were some people who had a VCR as early as the sixties. Bob Monkhouse is known to have had a Sony VC-2000, which was first put on the market in the US in 1965 for $695, which would be 7,257.99 in today's money, more expensive than some of the cheaper cars.

Does anyone on here remember VCR's when they were still in their infancy?
The first commercially available VCR's were the Philips ones, with the horrible square tapes - essentially semi-professional units, but quite a lot were in public ownership though.

The VC-2000 wasn't a VCR (the C stands for 'cassette').
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Old 15-06-2013, 12:11
jcjeffe
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I always remember a early Columbo episode where a VCR was used to supply a false alibi as the person providing the alibi didn't know he was watching a delayed recording of a sporting event! It was some years before domestic VCRs were available and I think was a semi professional Sony machine with large cassettes almost 2 inches deep similar to ones used in our training school.
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Old 15-06-2013, 12:17
diablo
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The first commercially available VCR's were the Philips ones, with the horrible square tapes - essentially semi-professional units, but quite a lot were in public ownership though.

The VC-2000 wasn't a VCR (the C stands for 'cassette').
A friend of mine had the Philips 1500 machine as he sometimes worked nights and hated missing programmes. Sometimes the tracking just wouldn't work at all though. I think the tapes cost about a weeks wages.

We had the slightly earlier Sony U-matic where I worked.
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Old 15-06-2013, 17:08
JamesBsheppard
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My brother had a Philips NV 1500 he baught it second hand,he sold it on a few years later,still in good working order, I think it was the cost of the tapes which was high compared to vhs that promted him to sell it. At the same time(about 1981) at my school we had 2 Sony reel to reel machines & video camera all b&w.
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Old 15-06-2013, 19:13
ProDave
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Philips N1500 then N1700 for me.

I still have the service manual somewhere, and had the set up procedure down to a fine art having done it many times in the course of repairing them.

I'm old enough to remember open reel video recorders, but I never owned one myself.

There were LOTS of things about them that were complete carp, like the mechanical "cooker clock" for setting a recording, and the fact that as soon as you stopped it, the modulator output turned off. not to mention rubbish picture quality, appalling build quality etc (what twit designs something with a pull down hinged chassis for servicing, then uses solid single strand wire in the wiring loom? Broken wires at the hinge point were a common fault)
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Old 15-06-2013, 20:30
in_focus
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There were LOTS of things about them that were complete carp, like the mechanical "cooker clock" for setting a recording, and the fact that as soon as you stopped it, the modulator output turned off. not to mention rubbish picture quality, appalling build quality etc (what twit designs something with a pull down hinged chassis for servicing, then uses solid single strand wire in the wiring loom? Broken wires at the hinge point were a common fault)
Typical Philips, great ideas let down by hopeless mechanical design and construction culminating in the dreadful "Charley" deck, dubbed the "Coffee Grinder" by Phillips own staff. They never learned their lessons and were hated in the trade.

The earliest video recorder I owned was made by Shibaden which was a reel to reel machine made in the late 60's. No built in tuner and monochrome only, I modified a little Ferguson portable to be able to record from its tuner and playback on its screen.
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Old 15-06-2013, 20:43
bobcar
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The VC-2000 wasn't a VCR (the C stands for 'cassette').
Was it anything? The CV-2000 was a reel to reel based video recorder where the 'C' stood for consumer - I had to look that up.
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Old 17-06-2013, 12:58
56up
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I remember going into a HiFi shop in Tottenham Court Road in the mid 70s, probably around 73 -74 and the Philips recorders were being demonstrated. There was a reel to reel and a cassette version (not VHS if my memory serves me), both on sale at the same price- 792. My annual salary at that time would have been about 2500 gross and that was above the average!
Didn't buy one for years, then we rented but not until the mid 80s.
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Old 17-06-2013, 15:35
nvingo
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NIgel did of course mean the C in VCR - video cassette recorder, hence the thread stray into reel-to-reel recorders.
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Old 18-06-2013, 13:03
webbie
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I remember the Philips 1500/1700 systems back in the 70s at the local B&O dealer. Buttons that used to disappear into the unit and a little analogue clock on the front. Very expensive but then everything in the shop was very expensive!
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Old 18-06-2013, 15:13
Andy Birkenhead
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Were they ever called "VTR's" (Video TAPE recorders) ?
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Old 18-06-2013, 16:07
sancheeez
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I bought my first VCR in the early 80's.

Second hand, cost around 150 I think? Was a toploader with the remote control on a wire. It broke within 6 months and was replaced with an early model frontloader (also second hand) which weighed a ton. I struggled to lift it on my own and it took two of us to haul it up the ladders at my mates house when we wanted to copy videos ...
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Old 18-06-2013, 16:21
David (2)
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1990s Panasonic vhs used the VTR term.
Our first machine was a 1980s vhs top loader, 2nd hand. Weighed a ton but was new enough to have soft touch electronic buttons. I remember some people had.the older type machines with piano keys (mechanical). Stuff back then was very expensive indeed, hence 2nd hand and rental market.
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Old 18-06-2013, 16:32
davor
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Great website, cheers! I love vintage tech
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Old 18-06-2013, 16:32
TragicDoggie
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In the early 70's I had the video recorder and TV shown at the top of the page in your link.

The tapes cost over 10 for 1 hour recording in B&W.

Only 2 channels on the TV, BBC & ITV.

I seem to recall that the cable out of the TV to the recorder was about as thick as a garden hosepipe.

Had to sell it to buy the Wife to be a wedding ring.
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Old 19-06-2013, 17:18
battlezone
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My first VHS was a rental Fergi. The timer could only start the machine and would keep recording til the tape ended!

The second was another rental Fergi with wired remote. Same sort of timer.

The third was a JVC rental with infrared remote. My first HiFi VHS was another JVC. That one I bought, it cost 725! That one lasted years before it finally packed up. It's replacement was a Tosh with Video+ which cost about 300.

When Sky arrived the VHS was relegated to the black hole under the bed. I did eventually buy a Tosh VHS/DVD/HDD combo for archiving what was left of my VHS collection. That is still under the telly being used for watching DVDs now.
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Old 08-07-2013, 22:14
jasonjimbob
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The first Video Recorder I remember was back in school in Essex, must have been about 1982 and it was a Ferguson Videostar Deluxe top loader with the Piano keys, i tried to get my dad to rent one but he refused, we rented a front loader (VHS) in 1984 but it refused to play and kept handing back the cassettes, so the shop swapped it for a Hitachi model which was also a Front loader but it did an a amazing job, the shop returned our faulty rented unit but it refused to rewind the tapes, my dad complained about it, so we got a Ferguson Videostar top loader (not the Deluxe Model), it was a great performer until we moved to Wales in 1986, and had to return the VCR and the TV we were renting. We got another rented VCR in 1987, until my dad decided to buy a Hinari model in 1990 which was a great machine with dual speed recording, I had that until 2009.

Last edited by jasonjimbob : 08-07-2013 at 22:17. Reason: added info and spelling mistakes
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:18
alcockell
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We had a Sony C7E in 1978 and added a reconditioned JVC/Fergie VHS breezeblock job in 1987 from Strong and Rayner (Exmouth indie).
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Old 09-07-2013, 17:12
AidanLunn
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Typical Philips, great ideas let down by hopeless mechanical design and construction culminating in the dreadful "Charley" deck, dubbed the "Coffee Grinder" by Phillips own staff. They never learned their lessons and were hated in the trade.
They did. The second generation of Charley decks (much more metal and solid build quality than the plastic pigs that came before them) were much more reliable. IIRC, Charley II was introduced around 1989/1990 and lasted until about 1994.
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Old 09-07-2013, 17:14
AidanLunn
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In the early 70's I had the video recorder and TV shown at the top of the page in your link.

The tapes cost over 10 for 1 hour recording in B&W.

Only 2 channels on the TV, BBC & ITV.

I seem to recall that the cable out of the TV to the recorder was about as thick as a garden hosepipe.

Had to sell it to buy the Wife to be a wedding ring.
Three if you were watching in 625. And more if you could pick up more than one BBC1 or ITV region.
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Old 09-07-2013, 17:28
anthony david
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I remember going into a HiFi shop in Tottenham Court Road in the mid 70s, probably around 73 -74 and the Philips recorders were being demonstrated. There was a reel to reel and a cassette version (not VHS if my memory serves me), both on sale at the same price- 792. My annual salary at that time would have been about 2500 gross and that was above the average!
Didn't buy one for years, then we rented but not until the mid 80s.

According to the calculator on the This Is Money sight, if you convert 1974 prices to today's you get.

2500=22,000 (Which was a good salary then).

792=6995.

I remember Kendals (House of Fraser) selling early plasma TVs for around 9000 in I think the late 90's. They sold a few to to footballers I'm told. Electronic goods used to be extremely expensive. Mass production in cheap countries has made things cheap for us but the moral arguments are endless especially after what happened recently in Bangladesh.
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Old 10-07-2013, 20:05
in_focus
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They did. The second generation of Charley decks (much more metal and solid build quality than the plastic pigs that came before them) were much more reliable. IIRC, Charley II was introduced around 1989/1990 and lasted until about 1994.
You're having a laugh aren't you!!

The Charley deck went through many revisions and different names but soild, no.

In all of its versions the achilles heel was the quality of the plastic runners the carriage travelled along. After a few years the plastic would deteriorate and eventually crack rendering the deck beyond repair.
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