Traumatic end of an era - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-24-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Last week I finally did something that has been coming for a long time. It was traumatic, but I bit the bullet and did it. I gathered up all the VCRs that I had carefully saved and stored as I transitioned to DVD recording and took them to electronic recycling. It amounted to fourteen or fifteen machines, some of which I really liked a lot, but they had been in storage for so long I doubt they would have worked. VCRs don't like being idle like that for a long time. The little rubber pinch rollers get hard and dry. I had kept each remote control with the appropriate recorder, so it would stay a complete set. Most of the machines were S-VHS. There were several newer JVC machines that were mostly plastic and weighed almost nothing, Some Panasonic recorders, and many Mitsubishi high end machines, including three Mitsubishi HS U82s, which had metal frames and cases, weighed a ton and were the best/nicest VCRs I ever owned. Sadly, I could no longer justify keeping them for just nostalgic reasons. I transferred all my tapes to disks some time ago, so they were just taking up space. The song "Puff the Magic Dragon" was going through my mind. biggrin.gifrolleyes.gif

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-24-2013, 10:41 AM
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I grieve with you, my friend: it is hard to let them go. Esp the ones you actually did pay full $500-$800 retail for way back when: there's something horrible in the fact these things are utterly valueless today. But they served you well, so may they finally rest in well-deserved peace.

Speaking of devalued VCRs, I'm sitting on a small mountain of second-hand Panasonic AG1980s I spent a fortune on a few years ago. Each has succumbed to the notorious AG1980 " some of my caps need to be replaced, but I'm not gonna tell you which ones, nyah nyah" syndrome, which I no longer have enthusiasm to repair. There's no way I'm discarding $1000 wiorth of AG1980s, however: thats too soon and too bitter a pill for me to swallow just yet. Guess I'll re-purpose the stack as a novelty end table in my living room.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-24-2013, 10:58 AM
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I should probably do the same(I know my wife would love it) I've got VCRs going back to 1980, my oldest being (3) JVC HR-6700U's. next in line would be a 1981 Sony Betamax SL-5400, 5600 and two 5800s(with matching beta stackers). Next would be (4) RCA VFT-650s and it's mate a Panasonic PV-1770 and Magnavox(can't remember its model number) those VCRs were my most heavily used(1000s of hours each) they were full micron 4 head non hifi machines. Next would probably be a variety of Samsung VCRs starting ~1995 up to 2005(I'd guess 6 total). Another heavily used machine was my first HiFi a Mitsubishi u82 I believe?? It was one step down from the S-VHS model and cost me ~$500 from a NY mail order company. I've also got (3) Panasonic industrial SP only VCRs that were quite heavily used at on point. Don't want to forget my (2) Aiwa PAL VCRs(505 something) I purchased in Germany to play the many PAL tapes I had purchased in Europe and was given from relatives(I used these VCRs with my 19" Sony multi-system tube TV(purchased from a NY mail order company).

So including several other "miscellaneous" cheap VCRs purchased over the years I'd guess I've probably got 28 :eek: of which probably only a half dozen I'd trust putting a tape in. As Luke said the rubber idlers and pulleys dry out and no longer grip, making the machine eat or crinkle the tapes. During my Large tape to DVD conversion project I mainly used my most recent Samsung VCRs and my Panasonic combos, which if I was counting towards my tape players I'd have to add 6 more VHS players :D Oh all my Beta machines were non functional and I had to repair a couple just to get though the dubbing project.

I should really pare down my VCR collection and get rid of all but a few of my most favorite or classic players, I really used to like those Sonys though and the RCAs were the first that had a wireless IR, then I'd hate to get rid of the newer Samsungs that still worked, and that Mitsubishi was a real gem.......maybe I'll wait for the paring down till next year :o 

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-24-2013, 11:12 AM
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I still have a few VHS machines, that I will hold onto along with all of my VHS tapes (mostly inherited from my dad). I have transferred many to DVD, but not fully knowing the longevity of DVD, I keep the original tapes, some over 30 years old now and still playable.

I own common 1990's Panasonic VHS players, where I hope parts will still be available for a while longer.

That which may be known of God is evident within man, for God has shown it to them, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-24-2013, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I should probably do the same(I know my wife would love it) I've got VCRs going back to 1980, my oldest being (3) JVC HR-6700U's. next in line would be a 1981 Sony Betamax SL-5400, 5600 and two 5800s(with matching beta stackers). Next would be (4) RCA VFT-650s and it's mate a Panasonic PV-1770 and Magnavox(can't remember its model number) those VCRs were my most heavily used(1000s of hours each) they were full micron 4 head non hifi machines.

As we previously discussed, you and I apparently went for the same VCRs back at the dawn of home video history. The RCA VFT-650 was my first VHS, although so expensive I had to rent it for $49.95/month from Granada TV Rental because I couldn't afford to buy it. Later when comparable units dropped in price by half, I bought the Panasonic PV-1770 (their first VHS HiFi model and arguably the most beautiful VCR ever sold: it glittered like a 1959 Cadillac and twinkled like a Christmas tree). My last rental VCR from Granada was the Magnavox version of the PV1770, which Matsushita cleverly did a totally different design on: where the 1770 was all chrome and flash and fluorescent displays, the Magnavox version was sleek and Bauhaus with all controls concealed in a flip-down membrane panel and a much more low-key LED display panel.

The Sony SL-5800 with BetaStack auto tape changer was my first Beta and still my favorite. Never before or since was there a consumer electronics device with a more luxurious feel: it felt like Rolex made it (as well it should, for what it cost). Someone really needs to post a hi-def video on youTube of the SL-5800 with the BetaStack in action: it was really wild to watch it change tapes for each timer recording, allowing you to make automatic collections of TV series on separate tapes.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-24-2013, 05:21 PM
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OK it’s that time of the year again, update our VCR tales.

-JVC SVHS HR-S5912U -
Well in the last 3 years I played over 450 tapes in this eleven year old JVC SVHS that I purchased used at the beginning of 2011. Mostly easy playback hours I like to call highway miles. “Insert – Play – Rewind – Eject.” The deck is performing just as well as the day I bought it, like a brand new machine.

- JVC SVHS HR-S3911U
Purchased new in 2002 this girl was used a lot for hard stop n go city miles ‘till I got my DVD/HDD recorder. What I mean by city miles is a lot of time shifting. Same small batch of tapes for “Insert – Record – Rewind – Quo out commercials – Play over and over again” The only repair I ever done was I had to gently push one of the guide pins once. Cost zero dollars for parts, ten-minute job. Still works like new.

Those above full size SP head VCRs are very light and plastic but they run very cool, even if run all day and as long as I don’t stack anything on top, let them breath and gently load tapes, I believe I will get another ten years out of them. God willing we will still be here and I will let you know in ten. tongue.giftongue.gif

- Sony Beta SLHF300
A working 1984 Sony Beta SLHF300 that I hardly use. Purchased used.

-Sony HFR70
A working 1985 Sony HFR70 beta but the Hi Fi processor will no longer power up. Purchased used.

I’m with tomwil. I will hold on to my working VCRs as long as I can.

Now for my broken VCRs.

- My built like a tank VHS Mitsubishi HS-U500 (1994) didn’t even last 3 yrs. Bought new.

- My -Sony VHS SLV-798HF (1999) was the worst VCR I ever owned. Got about a year out of it until it started having major problems. Bought new.

- My first VCR, a 1985 Sony beta SLHF400 got damaged by a power surge around 1997 I think. The surge also damaged my JVC cassette deck. I believe both of these decks would still be working today if not for the surge.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-25-2013, 05:17 PM
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I still buy many VHS tapes because there is so much stuff on VHS that has never been on any other format. So i still need to have some VCR's. A lot of people are still very attached to VHS. Not your average family recorders but may movie collectors who grew up with VHS still collect them. Believe it or not VHS is making a bit of a comeback and some movies are being released on tape i limited editions. An example here where there was a 250 limited tape as a free gift with the DVD/BD
http://www.severin-films.com/2013/08/22/video-nasty-house-on-straw-hill-will-contain-bonus-us-dvd-debut-of-documentary-ban-the-sadist-videos/
I got it but have left the tape sealed, no real need to open it up when i got the discs though
Quote:
-JVC SVHS HR-S5912U -
Well in the last 3 years I played over 450 tapes in this eleven year old JVC SVHS that I purchased used at the beginning of 2011. Mostly easy playback hours I like to call highway miles. “Insert – Play – Rewind – Eject.” The deck is performing just as well as the day I bought it, like a brand new machine.

I think that is the one i got from that seller who had heaps of low use ones on ebay earlier in the year and was selling them for $20. I still need to get a 240v to 110v transformer for it though.
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