Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Life and Death of the VCR

The Videocassette recorder was a stroke of genius at the time.  Although these beastly machines became popular in the 70's they were still the most modern and efficeint way for people to record Married...With Children on a Tuesday night while at soccer practice and watch it Wednesday.

Some people would just record shows for the sake of recording them and then watch them right after they air.  Red Forman anyone?  That 70's Show?

My first memories of the VCR were thanks to my Aunt DeeDee.  She would record episodes of "America's Funniest Home Videos" for my sister and I.  The idea of being able to rewind and watch something all over again was new to me.  What better show to experience the joys of rewinding than watching one hilarious video over and over again? 

Also, just so everyone is aware:  Bog Saget's version of AFV is way better than Tom Bergeron.  There's no discussion...whatsoever.  I'd much rather record Bob's face than Tom's.

Other VCR memories I had as a child was recording the movie "Good Burger" off of Pay Per View.  I remember this was the first movie that my family had ever ordered off of Pay Per View.  (Remember those days when you had to wait for a certain time for it to air?  It wasn't instant back in the day)

We beat the system by throwing an old VCR in and taping the whole thing.  Would that be considered piracy??  I sure hope not.

In the early 2000's DVD came along.  I always thought DVD was pretty lucky.  You know, there was that chance that the world was going to end.  Y2K?  Anyone remember that?  Just think, if that happened DVD might have never been invented and we'd still be living in the days of VCR...I wouldn't mind though.

DVD took the world by storm.  At first it was a product for the elite (much like how BluRay is today), but as soon as it was affordable it was out with the old and in with the new.  I always liked DVDs, you never have to worry about rewinding, you can select scenes, fast forward super quickly.  The downside?  DVD get scartched WAY to easily.  I don't know how many DVD's I've had to lay to rest over the past years.

VCR will always hold a special place in my heart.  Downstairs at my Parent's home there is a bookshelf.  The bookshelf is lined with Disney cassettes. A few years ago I dusted off the old VCR and grabbed my favourite childhood movie, Toy Story.  I put the tape in the VCR and was filled with excitement.  I was going to be 7 years old all over again!

The tape made a funny noise.  Something was getting wound up in it.  I hit the eject button but it wasn't working.  The tape was getting wound up in the VCR with every second that passed.  Eventually I forced the cassette out.  All that was left was the empty black shell and yards of brown film tangled up on the floor.


Maybe there is a reason we don't use VCR anyone.


  1. The VCR is totally not dead. I still have a dual DVD/VHS player and watch VHS movies weekly. VHS movies are so cheap and hold all the classics. I walk out of flea markets with rows and rows of them.

    Plus then you get to see the really bad old trailers.

  2. hahaha yes! I do need to invest in one. My girlfriend had a ton of old VHS tapes. Some of them are classics as well. Plus I'd love to find a Toy Story VHS again.

  3. The VCR... I remember the 8-Track being a remarkable invention. I must be old....