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October 13, 2015

Once upon a time, people missed their favorite shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 22nd 2009 7:05PM
VCR adDo you remember a long time ago when you had no options to watch a TV show if you didn't see it when it aired (you had to wait for a repeat)? Of course you don't, you people with your Twitters and your iPhones and your space-age Saran Wrap. But there was a time when if you wanted to watch, say, The Magician, you had to stay home and watch it. No iTunes, no Hulu, no YouTube, no DVDs.

Then came the VCR, and everything changed. Only $1000! (Full-sized ad here.) Notice the fine print at the bottom: "Caution: The unauthorized recording of television programs and other materials may infringe the rights of others."

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And brand name (3M, Memorex, TDK) blank video tapes were 12.99 EACH at the cheapest discount electronics store in L.A.

June 23 2009 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The first VCR we had...

- The tuner only handled six stations at a time.

- It had six little white dials at the top that you had to rotate to
set it to receive the channel you wanted.

- Had a pause button that got you a jumpy, distorted picture most
of the time unless you got it just right. There was no "slo-mo". We
thought it was fantastic.

- Setting the timer was like setting an alarm clock. And naturally you could only set it to record one program at a time.

The only reason we actually got one when they were still that expensive was my dad had a few friends who tended to just happened to have a knack for being around when things "fell off the back of the truck". Be kind to your local longshoreman. ;-)

June 23 2009 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Records one show while you watch another? PATENT INFRINGEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 23 2009 at 5:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Due to a recent break up, I moved, and no longer have TIVO. I miss the TIVO more than my ex, lol. No more pausing, no more rewind. No more copying shows/films on DVDs. Sigh. No more scheduling to record. I stil have a VCR to record on, but, well...I remember how excited I was when I first bought a VCR in 1982.

June 23 2009 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"The Magician", wow, that's a blast from the past. I really enjoyed watching it when it first aired, and haven't thought about it in years. Thanks for the reminder.

June 22 2009 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

WOW! And I paid less than 50 bucks for my last VCR three years ago. The other thing i hated pre-VCR technology was having two or even three shows on at the same time and having to choose only one to watch.

June 22 2009 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Joyce N.'s comment

I have an LP inner sleeve from the early 1980s that says "Home taping is killing music... and it's illegal."

They had NO idea what was ahead, did they? They'd go back to the age of cassettes in a heartbeat.

June 22 2009 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I only paid 60 for a DVD player four years ago. You got ripped off.

June 23 2009 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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