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When did the VCR die?

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by nunew33, Jul 12, 2002.

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  1. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Where has all the VCR knowledge gone?

    I have just trekked around a few retailers and without exception they all told me I didnt need a VCR I needed a new digital format like Tivo, or if I have sky maybe I want skyplus, or even a DVD recorder. Since when did shop staff start to be clairvoyant and know what I need and dont need. They all got the curt answer that what was I supposed to play my VHS collection on then!

    Worse still no one can answer a few questions that I have regarding VCR technology. Web sites are the worst with every manufacturer bombarding you with acronyms, sorry abbreviations:), but not explaining what they are. I even phoned panasonic up to ask them about the features of their latest release and they told me there had never been a model with that number, to which I pointed out that I had just read it from their website. Magazines dont seem to review them anymore, what video and TV seem to have reviews that are 4 months old and no recent ones. I even tried a local TV specialist shop who put their "Chief engineer" on. I asked about SVHS ET and the ability to get 400 lines of resolution on a VHS tape and he told me there was no such format as SVHSET. I knew I was on to a loser when I asked if it was possible for them to demonstrate that JVC STB worked with a digibox and that panasonic could to the same without an STB controller. After me explaining what STB was he said that testing it would be up to me. I then asked what they would do if it didnt pass my tests, nothing unless it was faulty!!!! Some chief engineer!

    Where oh where am I supposed to go to get an informed review/opinion about VCRs? I would even pay MRP to buy from someone who knew what they were talking about

    Everyone has them, there are still more of them than DVD players. Considering they are the secondary source for movie enthusiasts to play their films/programs I would have thought there would have been a lot more focus on which machine was the best for an enthusiast.

    Rant over!
     
  2. MartinCo

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    I guess like a few other products, the markup on VCRs
    must be very very small now... most are selling between £70-180
    at most now.

    that might explain their resistance... no profit for them...
    plus its now cheaper to buy one for £70 than get it repaired for £50+.

    pre-recorded tapes at least in hmv, virgin etc seem to be
    an endangered species... think it was 5 for £30 last christmas,
    what price this xmas?... 5 for £15 or lower...

    looking at today's news on hcc, it says that Philips have released
    budget DVD recorders for £499-599... I'd guess these will be sub £300-400 by next year...

    I'll bet the shops will happily sell you one of these.. (decent profit for them...
    just like old vcr days when they used to be £300-400 for a decent nicam).

    give it a year and imagine what it will be like buying a VCR...
    will you be able to in most shops?


    in answer to your original question... do you have to demo it or just want to confirm features?

    one of the more informed mail order places may be a better choice..
    you could check if they will honour a swapout if the STB doesnt
    work for starters.
     
  3. nunew33

    nunew33
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    I do need a demo, not just to confirm features so that I can ask myself if they are worth the cost. Eg I dont intend buying SVHS tapes but if SVHS-ET is a significant step up (which theoretically it should be) I think its worth paying a bit extra for say £30. If the tape library function is easy to operate and useful then its worth an extra £10, if Digibox EPG is unreliable but STB is reliable then STB is worth £10, etc. Once demoed I can then list the requirements and make an appropriate purchase.

    As you say on a low margin good, no ones bothered about making an effort.

    But If you look at a VCR as an essential part of a Home cinema seperates system you would think that a manufacturer would use this to build a home cinema perfect VCR that is Sky, amp, dvd, TV and projector friendly, instead of giving the minimum of socketry. My old sony had composites in/out for video and in/out audio phono making ampo connection easy, just 6 direct leads. No VCR that I have seen has that meaning that if you are using an amp for video switching you have to use a scart and these are variable in terms of output (ie svideo, rgb or whatever).

    A dream VCR would:
    have loop through scarts for RGB, composite and SVideo
    would have all SVHS standards. Would have atleast 3 scarts
    Provide digital interpolation technology to make 400 lines 625
    Would have componant connection
    Would have in/out for audio, svideo and composite video for easy amp connection
    would "talk" to a digibox so that it could record channels even if you have customised the channel numbers
     
  4. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Vcrs died in 1990 approx
     
  5. gringottsdirect

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    VHS has left the building.
     
  6. Squirrel God

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    Well, I'm still all for VCRs for taping stuff off the TV to watch later. It's cheap and effective. But those of you who have read my other thread will know that I want one with a FTA DTV tuner :mad:

    When rewriteable DVD recorders come down to about £300 and the media themselves are £2-£3 each, then I'll switch to that - or use a hard-disk based recorder ;) I'll still want one with a FTA DTV tuner though :rolleyes:

    Let's not forget, however, that more people have a VCR than a DVD player. "We" are still in the minority. ;)
     
  7. Bone Daddy

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    Vcr`s are dead - fact - hard drive is much more acceptable as a recording format - no more twisted tapes/poor quality/etc,etc - just set a season pass and every show is recorded,and if you must archive it,then just dub it to tape if you must or more sensibly down to dvd,the price of these is toppling day by day.I have not used my video in over 6 months (tell a lie,we watched a tape of an old childrens show my wife had found for 30min`s) we still have the vcr for such occasions,but as a recording format I never touch it.If you need big space,just increase the hard drive on the Tivo or Sky+ to a 120gig hard drive and enjoy over 360 hours of recording time :eek: then you can archive all the stuff anyway without worrying about storage!!
     
  8. MartinCo

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    well the players arent that far off, according to the hcc news of this week.

    if philips already have a recorder below £500, then street price will be in the low £400s.. possibly £399.

    what price by Christmas, or next Xmas?... £300 is a pretty good bet.

    write once DVDs are pretty cheap already... just the rewriteables that need to drop in price.

    I think a Sky+ or Tivo for hd recording, with a DVD recorder for writing off the permanent stuff is looking like a pretty good setup for the future.
     
  9. Squirrel God

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    You have the subscriptions to pay with these things though, that's what puts many people off. They just want to pay a one-off price and that's it (myself included).
     
  10. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    true... good point... doesnt bother me to be honest.
    plus 5.1 on films on sky premier is a plus for me.

    re: the price of dvd recorders, letsbuyit send me another email
    today, 2nd of the week,.. philips dvd recorder for £399.

    I think you'll get one for £300 in the next 6 months... really do.

    the VCR is dead.

    you'll just buy a dvd player AND recorder instead.
     
  11. Squirrel God

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    ... with a built in FTA tuner ... eventually... :(
     
  12. pointon

    pointon
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    So pay a one off price. You don't have to pay a subscription.
     
  13. Squirrel God

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    How so? Does the subscription only cover the "intelligent programme recording" stuff on the Tivo? (which I don't want anyway)
     
  14. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    I think pointon just means either a FTA Sky (after a contract) or Digital Terrestrial stb (for £100)...

    ie.. with no contract.

    then just using the dvd recorder as the equivalent of a vcr.
     
  15. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Dear God,
    Make a leap of faith, go and order Skyplus+, it's the best £10 you will ever spend.
    Every month buy £10 less worth of chocolates, sweets, crisps, beer, Bacardi Breezers, cigarettes, wine, spirits.....
    If you don't have Skyplus+ it's only you that's losing out. Life's too short to mess with VCRs, although being a deity, perhaps that's not relevant in your case :)
     
  16. Squirrel God

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    I have a Pace FTA adapter for DTTV already. I have no need for Sky or cable as I don't watch that much television and the stuff that is on Sky and cable is rarely to my taste anyway. The subscription charge is not an issue in terms of funds, it's an issue in terms of paying for something I don't need or want. :)

    The best £10 I ever spent was in Amsterdam earlier this year ;)

    What I meant was, I would want the FTA DTTV tuner(s) built in to the DVD recorder so I can easily record while watching other channels, set the timer, etc etc (see my other thread where we have thrashed this one to death already :p http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39693).
     
  17. MartinCo

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    do you really need a recorder if you dont watch that much TV? :D

    honestly doesn't sound like it by your description.

    as an aside though Mr Sq God... I do have a question about your special deity subject.

    any hints and tips on splitting up and feeding the red and grey squirrels in my garden?:D :D

    assuming of course, that you aren't a fake god.
     
  18. Squirrel God

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    Of course I'm a fake god ;)

    I don't watch much, but what I do watch I really enjoy so, like most people, I need it for when I'm out or on holiday or when the programmes I want to watch are on at the same time on different channels (which is nearly always bloody true :mad:).... I also want it for time shifting of course, because I rarely want to watch programmes at the time the broadcaster wants me to watch them.
     
  19. Richard46

    Richard46
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    It’s only &10 if you are already or prepared to be a Sky subsciber in the first place. Whats the minimum you could get a Sky sub with Sky+? a lot more than £10. If that was not bad enough you have to pay for it up front as well. I have little interest in the myriad channels which is the main advantage of Sky so if I join up just for a Sky+ I will be paying £300 (I think) up front and then some £450 a year.

    Frankly I for one am not prepared to do what Sky themselves are not prepared to do. Under their new contract Sky are paying Pace (who make the Sky+ box) less than the cost of the box initially.

    What I cannot understand is that Pace (who are laying staff off) are prepared to sell + boxes to Sky at an initial loss but do not currently seem interested in selling them (with FTA tuners and a timer) to the public at a profit.

    Someone will probably point out that Thompson have a Hard Disk recorder on sale. Unfortunately this has no digital tuners at all so you would really need two Fta boxes or one box AND an iDTV for simultaneous digital watch and record ability. You would also need to set timers on 2 separate boxes.

    I mostly agree with God; although I think life is too short to be using any removable media like DVD for time shifting.
     
  20. pointon

    pointon
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    No I don't.

    Pay a one off price to TiVo and you have a lifetime subscription to the service.

    Without a subscription of some sort your TiVo is almost useless. So many people say they don't want all this 'intelligent programme recording', until they use it during the initial trial period and realise just how brilliant a service it really is.
     
  21. Squirrel God

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    I'm even more confused now mate! Can you buy a TiVo, not pay the subscription, and just use it as a hard disk recorder or not? :confused:
     
  22. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    No.
     
  23. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Is that a wink meaning you are really a God. Being sort of modest, perhaps?
    Or does it mean you are in reality not a God.:confused:
     
  24. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    It's not necessary to subscribe to Sky to benefit from having Skyplus+.
    FTA card with Skyplus+ will cost just the £10 per month.
    Obviously you have to buy the thing... :)
     
  25. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Isn't that Skyplus+ with a FTA card, but costing £10 monthly. How long did the Amsterdam £10 make you happy?
    :cool:
     
  26. Squirrel God

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    No. Sod Sky. I'm talking about digital terrestrial TV that I currently receive through my aerial rather than erecting a bloody great dish. :D But yes - why manufacturers don't make a DTTV FTA equivalent is beyond me.

    Far longer than I thought it would :rolleyes: The BA check in girl was suspicious me thinks :rolleyes:
     
  27. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    1. Nokia make a Mediamaster 40GB/FTA terrestrial but where is it? It seems to have vanished.
    2. Good stuff :cool:
     
  28. nunew33

    nunew33
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    getting back to the subject of VCRS. Surely there are deleted titles that will only ever be on VHS and as such, in the sameway people need record decks for their records, peple will still beinterested in a VCR and it follows that if you have a decent set up you are going to want a decent VCR, so why isnt there a clear VCR favourite. Why does every VCR feel like a compromise.
     
  29. gringottsdirect

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    VCRs are finished, except for £50 ASDA/Tesco specials.
    There is no meaningful profit to be had making, selling or repairing them.
    Fair point about playing VHS deletions, but ultimately, even obscure stuff should appear on DVD. Things can be copied onto DVD-R.
    It's the same for folks with large laserdisc collections, where will a replacement player be obtained from?
    If I had to buy a VCR my choice would be only a Panasonic or JVC.

    Posting this thread has resulted in no better advice on VCRs than what you already heard in the shops. In a nutshell, no-ones interested in selling them. Buy a Tivo/Skyplus+ isn't what you need to hear, but I'm the same as everyone else, sorry but that's how it is. :(
     
  30. gges

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    Anyone who sincerely believes that VCR's are dead are brain dead.

    Sure, 'enthusiasts'(!) may be prepared to pay £500+ for a DVD recorder but for the 99% of the population who want to record soaps and similar crap a VCR is the only choice. Are you going to throw away your VHS archive? Think not. Got kids? - gonna spend hundreds replacing Tweenies & Barney videos - ha! Gonna transfer it all on to DVD? - get a life!

    As for Sky+, look at the figures. Less than 40,000 units sold. 'Nuff said.
     

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