Who still uses VCRs?

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
This is just a curiousity thread. Who here on MR still uses VCRs for recoding movies and watching old VHS Movies? I myself use VCRs for recoding AND movie watching. Although I have a DVD-Recorder, I never use it because I don't like the aspect that you cannot play recorded DVD-RWs in any DVD Player but the recorder it was recorded in. I use the VCR over a DVR because I am cheap I don't want to be the cable company's bitch by paying an extra $35 a month for the DVR box and service. Waste of money I have a VCR I have no need to waste money on a DVR.
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
4,916
596
Dallas, Texas
I have a combo DVD/VCR that we bought years ago with the intention of converting old VHS tapes to DVD and then possibly from DVD to computer. Alas, as they say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions...". I don't think we've ever goten around to actually getting a single video converted. It's on one of my to-do lists somewhere. Now, where did I put that list? :D
 
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bobr1952

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2008
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Melbourne, FL
One good reason to use a DVR is so you can watch the programs in HD something not possible with a VCR--if you don't care about the video quality, well then a VCR would work just fine.
 
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Foggydog

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2014
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Left Coast
VCR? Isn't that the red headed stepchild to the BETA?

I honestly haven't used one in about 20 years now. I don't even use DVD's anymore. I'm a trucker so I just rent movies from iTunes. Standard DEF, then watch out here on the road. I would rent HD, but my MBP doesn't have a retina screen.
 
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Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
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Always a day away
My father-in-law still uses VCR's (yes, plural) - four of them, all through the house. He records mostly sporting events, but he has a HUGE collection of movies, both purchased and recorded, on VHS. And yes, he still watches them.
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
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Behind the Lens, UK
I have an Apple TV, DVD player, xBox 360 and a Playstation 4. Most of them get very little use. We don't have cable but I do have hard drive we record to off the TV and catch up when we feel like.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
I have a combo DVD/VCR that we bought years ago with the intention of converting old VHS tapes to DVD and then possibly from DVD to computer. Alas, as they say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions...". I don't think we've ever goten around to actually getting a single video converted. It's on one of my to-do lists somewhere. Now, where did I put that list? :D
I have beta home movies, I converted to a digital tape format, spent a couple of days converting some of them into a single DVD movie. It's a lot of work and sadly I don't see myself converting the rest. :-/

To anyone- can VCRs tape high def or anything close to it? I have a couple of VCR movies, converted over to DVD, and they look terrible on a big screen TV. Even the original DVD release of Star Trek Next Generation looks poor. I think a digital tape could handle it better, but don't know what format that would be.
 
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Ulenspiegel

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Nov 8, 2014
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Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
I have a combo DVD/VCR that we bought years ago with the intention of converting old VHS tapes to DVD and then possibly from DVD to computer. Alas, as they say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions...". I don't think we've ever goten around to actually getting a single video converted. It's on one of my to-do lists somewhere. Now, where did I put that list? :D
Exactly the same situation here.
 
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bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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11,940
Exactly the same situation here.
Same here. However, the thing that actually has me keeping some of my tapes isn't the shows anymore, unless they are extremely rare and hard to find.. but sometimes, looking at the commercials from back then (25 - 30 years ago) gives you that 'remember when..' reminiscing feeling.

But for me, the biggest thing I still need a VCR for is converting a couple of tapes I have of music videos (you know.. back when MTV actually played music that wasn't (c)rap). I have 3 8-hour tapes of nothing but 80s music videos, that I would love to get converted; I don't have a comprehensive list of what I recorded, and some of those videos you can't find on youtube. So I'd love to get them recorded, but don't know how many DVDs it would take to get that converted.

Soon as I get an open moment, I have to go buy a VCR again!

BL.
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
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Kentucky
We have a combo DVD/VCR. It can record, but it's never been used for that. In fact, it rarely even gets used at all. We watch DVDs in the BlueRay player, as it's tied into a full sound system and even with DVDs the picture quality is better(HDMI vs. composition on the combo player).

I still have some tapes I enjoyed as a child that get played occasionally for my nephews and other kids when they come over(thinks like Thomas the Tank Engine). There are things like classic Disney movies that we haven't bothered to update with DVDs(I still love the Brave Little Toaster).

Honestly, though, you get used to the video quality of DVD and especially BlueRay and it's hard to go back to watching VHS tapes.
 
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Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
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Milwaukee, WI
I have a bunch of recorded cassettes that I can't watch. Moved the TV and VCR to another jack, didn't change any cabling, but the VCR tuner doesn't pull in a signal. I mean I literally did not unplug the VCR from the TV; just unplugged the cable from the jack and plugged it into another jack.
 
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juanm

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May 1, 2006
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Fury 161
I have a VCR, but I never really used it. I keep it in case i want to watch some family VCR down the road...
 
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Sythas

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2009
627
65
Québec, Canada
I still use a vcr to watch kid movies with my 8 yo kid, I would say mostly during vacation and long break. I tried converting them to a harddrive but the quality was not worth the effort.
 
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Mr. McMac

Suspended
Dec 21, 2009
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356
Far away from liberals
I have a JVC Super VHS Recorder I still use on occasion since I have several tapes I've recored over the years. One of these days I'll convert them to a digital format...
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,732
34,260
The Far Horizon
Still hook up the old vcr once in a while and am surprised at how awful the quality is. We accepted this?
Not only did we accept it, we thought that the convenience it gave us - you could record a program and watch it later, you were released from the tyranny of timetables and programme schedules! - was wonderful.

Now, I must admit that I write that as someone who never ever actually mastered how to programme one of those complicated machines - timers, and so on - so that it could record something while I was gainfully occupied elsewhere (a pub sort of gainfully occupied elsewhere) and the machine could get on with its work undisturbed.

Needless to say, I did master pressing the 'record' button, as long as I was around. This was a mutually supportive and symbiotic relationship with my brother. This meant that I would ask him - either before I left the house, or, sometimes, equally likely, a panicked call from the pay phone (remember those?) in the pub home would be made home to record STNG for me.

The favour would be returned; if I was home, I would be asked to record MOTD for him, so that he could watch it on his return from the pub…….
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,281
9,217
Vilano Beach, FL
I have a JVC Super VHS Recorder I still use on occasion since I have several tapes I've recored over the years. One of these days I'll convert them to a digital format...
Nice. I haven't seen a Super VHS machine in years. I still have a Pioneer LD player (and 20 or so discs), though it hasn't been hooked up in years (actually wanted to sell it, but it's heavy and low value).

I also have a Sony VHS deck (again, unused for 15+ years) that uses these magnetic spine labels, and you could mark the programming duration, and then scan it via a small nub on the front of the deck, and I believe do some simple alphanum coding. It was supposed to be able to to be read, then you could select the program and it would RW/FF to the proper location :D I even found about a dozen of the unused labels (they were not reusable).
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,932
2,532
St. Louis, MO
One good reason to use a DVR is so you can watch the programs in HD something not possible with a VCR--if you don't care about the video quality, well then a VCR would work just fine.
The OP drives a Daewoo, and uses a PowerMac G4 and eMac. He's clearly stuck in 2001, so I don't think he cares too much about HD ;)

He'll have moved on to a DVR when the rest of us have brain implants that let us watch any episode of any TV show ever in virtual reality, all streamed from the cloud :p
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,992
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Kentucky
Honestly, once you get use to a DVR, it's hard to imagine dealing with setting up the timer on a VCR.

On a VCR, you get about 5 buttons and a 2-line alpanumeric display(if you're lucky) to tell you what's going on. Be sure your VCR clock is set correctly, too!(anyone remember how common it used to be to see a VCR blinking 12:00?)

On a DVR, you just bring up the TV schedule on the TV screen, select the program you want to record, and hit the "record" button. On the Motorola boxes that are ubiquitous in the US, you can easily program it to record an entire season of a TV program through a few button presses so you don't even have to remember to do it daily(you can also set recordings at least a week in advance). I'm sure other boxes have similar features-I just know that all the cable companies around here use Motorolas.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,732
34,260
The Far Horizon
Honestly, once you get use to a DVR, it's hard to imagine dealing with setting up the timer on a VCR.

On a VCR, you get about 5 buttons and a 2-line alpanumeric display(if you're lucky) to tell you what's going on. Be sure your VCR clock is set correctly, too!(anyone remember how common it used to be to see a VCR blinking 12:00?)

On a DVR, you just bring up the TV schedule on the TV screen, select the program you want to record, and hit the "record" button. On the Motorola boxes that are ubiquitous in the US, you can easily program it to record an entire season of a TV program through a few button presses so you don't even have to remember to do it daily(you can also set recordings at least a week in advance). I'm sure other boxes have similar features-I just know that all the cable companies around here use Motorolas.
Very good post. And yes, agreed, that is exactly the reason why the one replaced the other.

In my house of adults, parents plus brother & self, in the early 1990s, I'll confess that this timing nonsense was a challenge. (And yes, agreed, remembering to set the clock of the VCR, especially if there had been an unexpected brief power cut for some reason - who can forget that winking, blinking 12:00?) No, it was not intuitive. Actually, I remember being advised to 'find a 10 year old' to do the needful. Problem was, in a houseful of adults, we none of us knew any ten year olds…...


I was watching House of Cards on Netflix, and the cat is named Millie, she does not miss a meal!
Ah, yes. Very enjoyable picture, all the same, - thanks for posting it - as I rather like cats (and , indeed, dogs)……and I have long been a fan of Kevin Spacey.
 
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