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A neglected anniversary for TV and movie lovers . . .


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I posted a personal reminiscence on this subject in the Trivia folder, but thought I would move the discussion out here . . .

 

It was 30 years ago last week -- on June 7, 1975 -- that video cassette recorders (VCRs) first went on sale to the general public, changing the face of home entertainment forever.

 

How many out there remember their first one? How did it change your moviegoing and TV viewing habits? When did you first start collecting movies on VHS (or DVD, if that's more applicable)? Do you remember the first movie you ever taped? This could be fun!

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I remember paying $699.00 for my first VCR in 1979(now they're under $50.)I taped everything on AMC or movies from HBO,PBS. First were John Wayne movies,then Burt Lancaster's Crimson Pirate,The Flame and the Arrow,and Looney tune cartoons.I still have a few that I taped,but most of them I purchased over when they became available. I still will buy Vhs if they are not yet out on DVD.

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My wife and I received a VCR as a wedding gift in 86. Remember renting those bulky machines with your movies? That was us until 86. Along with the VRC we also got cable in our new place. Needless to say we recorded like mad. I'm not sure the life of tapes or VCR's but we are still watching the original tapes we recorded on the same VCR - and they still look great. We now have 2 more VCR's and DVD players. We have to keep the first VCR around to play some of those original tapings for they do not play well in our new VCR's. Fortunately I have been able to re-record/replace with DVD about 70%

of our original recordings. I hope our original VCR lasts until I get the other 30% replaced.

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I recall in the 1970s our first VCR was an RCA and cost close to a thousand dollars (of course we got it on time). I remember the first movie we recorded on it was "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" from HBO. I belonged to the Video Club of America and they didn't have that much of a selection to order from, although I recall we did order a Shirley Temple movie for the kids.

We did get good use out of the VCR over the years and recorded oodles of stuff, of which I still have.

 

Mongo

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:) Remember my first one? I have my first one, and it's still working. I have my second one and it's still working.

 

I remember when I went to buy my third and fourth and queried the salesman as to where the on-machine setup was...oh, you have to set up on the television screen now. Ah, the beginning of the end.

 

Me, get new technology? Nah, don't wanna.

 

And because I'm list oriented, my first movies taped were: Family Honeymoon, A Hard Day's Night, and Midnight.

 

1975, eh, coffeedan1927? Interesting, mine is from 1977. Maybe I'll give it another thirty years and then I'll buy a DVD player/recorder.

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Our family bought a Beta (a big machine) in the early 80's I think it was. I asked my mom she says it was about 7 or 800 dollars. Anyways, I remember my dad having these big bulky tapes for it. The two I remember were Flashdance and Private Benjamin. I remember going into the video store ( I think it was a Sound Odysey) with my parents and going to the Beta section. Wow talk about recalling memories LOL

 

 

Jalanna

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Actually, Beta tapes were much smaller than VHS. The first VCR's were neither Beta or VHS though. They were V-Cord and Ummatic format. There may have been another type that I have forgotten the name of? Those tapes were huge, much bigger than a VHS tape is! They didn't record as long either! The machines were probably in the neighborhood of $1500.00 or more when first introduced!

 

It's amazing I wasn't very old, but I remember one of the first commercials about some format of SONY VCR likely in late 1975. In it some guy with a mustache is with his follow workers on the night shift someplace, and he tells his work pals as he's ready to leave "I'm Going Home Now To Watch The Late Show!" Everyone just shakes their heads! Don't know why or how I recall this so vividly, but I do! Even stranger, since my memory is not normally my strong suit!

 

My dad bought the family's first VCR a Panasonic VHS, the in latter part of 1978 or early '79. I believe it cost over $900.00 bucks! I think the first thing we taped was a college football game? We had at least 7 more over the years 4 of them being Super VHS models.

 

Not counting two burners and a DVD-Rom drive, I have only had two DVD-players in my life so far, and I didn't buy the first one I had until December of 2001! I sold it about a year ago. My current DVD player is a Sony brand 5 disc changer.

 

I only bought a newer one, (now a couple years old) because the old one didn't read DVD-R's or DVD-RW's, just VCD?s. I still don't know if this one reads DVDR or DVDRW disc's yet? I hope it does, since I have a dual format burner now?

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I don't remember the very first VCR that my parents had, but I do remember this Panasonic one that we had for YEARS. We must've had it for about 15-20 years before it finally died. And I don't remember the first tape I bought, but I remember going to the video store with my dad as a kid, and he would rent me Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello movies, and that was the beginning of my love affair with classic movies.

 

And I remember there was this video store that was going out of business, and selling all of their tapes. I bought a few of the "Diamond Jubilee" MGM releases that came out in the mid 80's. I bought "Min and Bill," "Dinner at Eight," and "The Women." I still have them today, in those big, bulky plastic cases.

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Similarly, my first VCR was a Panasonic. Seems they all were. I'd sit in my chair with the remote--a switch you could flip on or off that was connected to the VCR by a cord--and gleefully edit the commericals from the films I was recording. Did that for years. And I wish I hadn't recorded over BIG BROWN EYES, HIS WOMAN or MADAME BUTTERFLY (at least I didn't tape over THE PHANTOM PRESIDENT, with George M. Cohan, since I still have it). Until 1985, most VHS and Beta tapes were very expensive. Then public domain films appeared and, in 1986, Warner Bros. put out the Studio Gold Collection, with THE BIG SLEEP, THE SEA HAWK and others in horrible grey boxes. The first tape I bought was WHITE HEAT and I can't remember the second, or the millions that have followed. The best thing about those early years (apart from inferior prints) were the range of titles available, particularly from the Nostalgia Merchant. Their 1981 release of TYCOON with John Wayne is still the only one I've found.

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