My family? I got my OWN VCR in 1981. A Betamax, and I still have it!
1988. The same year I got a television.
1984. Me and my step-sister got off the school bus and were walking home and there was my former step-dad waiting for us on the porch. He began hollering, "Get in this house NOW!," like we were in BIG trouble (he was such a shit-for-brains fucker.) But the big surprise was that he'd bought a VCR.
We then went to Applause Video and rented "The Outsiders" and "Irreconcilable Differences."
I just last year bought an old VCR at a thrift store after a decade of not having one. Within a week I had 30 tapes. Now I have many, many more. Second hand VHS tapes usually cost about .40-$1. But you have to watch them on an old big box TV set otherwise they look weird. I play them in my studio and my clients get a real kick out of it, especially Chippendales "Tall, Dark, and Handsome"....stranger than strange, it is.
P.S. I saw a Betamax deck at an ANTIQUE store a while ago.
The tape slot popped up, you inserted your VHS tape, and then pushed the mechanism back down flush.
Weighed a fucking ton.
I gave it away to an ex when I bought another.
We are saving up for one and hope to purchase for Christmas 2013.
1983, and it actually worked until 2000, if you can believe it. My mother cites it as support for her theory that things used to be built to last, but that over the last couple of decades expectations have shifted to where we're now accustomed to the idea of things falling apart quickly and having to re-buy a new version of the same product every few years.
'82. My babysitter had gotten me addicted to ABC soaps (I was 10 at the time - I know, I know...), so I begged and begged and PLEADED for one for Xmas, never mind that we couldn't really afford it.
I taped AMC and OLTL daily for over 15 years after then, before dropping them when I developed, you know, a life. Not that I don't have fond memories of Erica and Viki et al...
My parents had one from 1979 and when they got a new one, I got their old one in 1984.
1978. It was a top-loader with a wired remote that had one button on it: STOP. Everything else had to be done on the machine itself. I think it was a Fisher.
My last VCR was a Sony I bought in 1989. I still have it; it still works, although the internal date calendar only went through 2006. Fortunately I don't need that feature any longer as I do all my recording with the DVR.
But I still remember the days of longing for ANY kind of recording device that would record TV programs.
Yes, I'm old.
I think around the same as you OP. 82/83 ish. I remember as a young kid watching X rated shit like Evil Dead and Death Wish 2.
I know my mother and my aunt chipped in and got my grandfather one back in the 1970s. I still remember how much videotapes were back in the 80s. Good christ!
1983 or 1984. I grew up in a small town, so the video selection was not great, and you would end up watching Beverly Hills Cop multiple times. You could also rent a VCR - and kids would do that and host video parties. One nice thing about getting the VCR is that you could use the remote to change channels on the TV. Remote controls were still not that common on the regular TVs. That would change shortly.
1985. Top loader.
Christmas 1992. My Dad was very anti-technology. No CD player or modern stereo system, only a record player. No computer, use a typewriter instead. No dishwasher, we had to wash every pot/plate by hand. No microwave, a regular oven would suffice. No cable, only reception on a TV with rabbit ears. He wanted to do away with the TV altogether, but my mom convinced him that we should keep the TV as a reward. Even then, we were only allowed to watch PBS for one hour each day.
Anyway, my parents separated in the summer of '92. For Christmas, she got us a new VCR as a big FUCK YOU to him! Later, we also got cable, a microwave, a dishwasher, a computer and eventually internet in the mid-'90s. We were late to the party, but we had at last arrived. When DVDs came out in '97/'98, we were one of the first families to have a player.
One funny thing when I look back, unless I'm totally remembering this wrong, is that when we first got our VCR one of the most miraculous-seeming things about it was that you could watch one show on TV but be simultaneously recording another one on another channel, because the channel the VCR recorded was set by the channel function on the VCR, not by what the TV set was tuned to. But then a couple of years after we got the VCR, we got cable for the first time, and suddenly because of the VCR having to be hooked up to the cable box, it no longer had the capability to record something on another channel, so that benefit went out the window.
Does anyone else remember this being part of a pre-cable VCR, or did I make this up?
'86 or '87
First video we rented was 'The Money Pit' with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.
Probably 1984, no later. The first one burnt out in a few months. I was doing a lot of dubbing though when it happened, and knew I was pushing its limits. No other VCR broke so fast like that.
r18 Your dad sounded like a nightmare.
I got my first VCR in 1982 because I didn't want to miss David Letterman - I was starting a new job and he came on at 12:30 am back then. It scared me to death the first time that the VCR came on and started recording the show.
You're remembering correctly R19, I loved that feature but cable messed everything up.
R21, The Money Pit is one of my guilty pleasures.
I remember that but we had a little box with a switch on it. If you wanted to record some thing on another channel while watching some thing else we would flip the switch on the little box to turn off the cable.
Yeah, I remember how frustrating it was that you couldn't program the VCR to record shows off 2 different channels during the day (or overnight, or whatever) because the machine could only record from whichever channel you left the cable box on.
Now DVRs can record 4 or 6 channels all at the same time. Shazam!
I bought a dvr in 2008, and after an exhaustive search could only find a standard definition recorder. Maybe there were a few HD recorders that were extremely expensive, I can't remember. Anyway, I am considering getting another dvr. Do they have affordable HD recorders now?
Family got its first VCR in 1978. It was a top loader. No remote came with it.
We got a second VCR in 1981. This one was also a top loader, but did have a wired remote that allowed you to stop, play or pause the tape. If you wanted to rewind or fast forward it, you had to walk over to the machine.
In 1983, my parents gave the original 1978 VCR to my brother in college and bought a new one for themselves. This one was a front loader with a full wireless remote. It was top of the line, but had been the floor model at the store, so my father got it for $1,000. No idea how much it would have cost if it had been in the box.
1992. Thanks for asking OP! I'll peruse the thread to see if I'm last :P
1978 I think, we got a Sony BetaMax. That means we were styling. Beta was supposed to be better quality then VHS. The price difference was like $1000 or Beta and $700 for VHS.
We figured it was worth the extra money since America would want the highest quality.
You can see how well THAT turned out.
Oh no, R18 beat me to it... Both my parents were very much anti-television as well. Spring of 1992 was when we got a television set as well, together with the VCR. All was paid for by my uncle, my father's brother who on a visit (I saw him twice in my life) couldn't believe we didn't own a TV.
The Internet I got hooked on.
[R19] Your memory is correct.
I rented my first VCR from a video store in 1987.
It was built into a carrying case. Later that year, I got a Magnavox for Christmas.
I first rented porn when I was 16. One day a new girl was working at the store and carded me. She smiled and told me that I could only rent two of them.
here is a commercial for the RCA Videodisc players and the discs under 20 bucks.
Those machines were around for a really brief time. I think laser disc players (had one of those) lasted a little longer. Right?
cheese puff anyone?
We never had one. And we never had cable. I kept hearing about MTV and watching Hollywood movies at home (anytime you wanted to). I even moved out and got a job in a video store- and still I didn't have one. But the store had these portable VCR's for rent so I'd take one home and I got hooked. I think my first one cost a whole week's salary (bought with a credit card, of course).
I don't remember when I bought one. I'm pretty sure I had one before my parents did. I remember taping some SNL and David Letteman anniversary shows and other than that, I didn't taoe anything except Seinfeld. My bf worked on Thursday nights and my building's launder room was empty every Thursday night at 9pm because everyone watched Seinfeld. So I would pop a tape in the VCR, go downstairs and wash a week's worth of laundry from 9p to 9:30. At 9:31, people would start pouring into the laundry room just as I was putting my freshly washed clothes into the industrial-sized dryer (which was NEVER available at any other time).
My bf would get home at 11. I'd order Chinese and we'd watch Seinfeld and LA Law. Those were the days.
Then one day, George W Bush stole the presidency and that whole world ended.
Ok -- 1987, we paid $220 for it. My bf and I were on our own in Manhattan paying a high rent and we could not afford to buy a VCR before then. (We went to the movies a few times a week and were happy to do that rather than spend the money in a VCR)
We never had a small video recorder. They cost about $500 and we just didn't have the money for one, someone gave us a big clunky one with a giant battery pack you had to lug around with you.
There were so many video stores! One opened in a small shop across the street and it was PACKED on Saturday nights. It had a lot of foreign films and artsy films. I saw my first yuppies in that shop.
A stationery store (anyone remember those?) across Third Avenue had a section with 99 cent video rentals. We rented every video in that section. It was a bargain. There was also a video shop in my bf's parents neighborhood that had 99 cent rentals. It was owned by orthodox Jews, so there was no pron or even R rated films. They had lots of classic films.
I remember Hollywood Video, Champagne Video, Vroom Room Video and RCA Video stores once chain video stores started. Then they were all put out of business by blockbuster. Wow. The rise and fall of the video store took place in about a 15 year period.
1978, the one that OP posted, the RCA, it had only been avaialable for six months. There were only two on the market. The RCA and the Sony BetaMax. That was it, and they were both $1000.00 The only reason I chose the RCA which was VHS(Huh? Whatever that meant at the time) or the BetaMax. The RCA recorded two hour or four hour and the Beta only taped for one hour or two hours maximum, that right you couldn't record anything longet than two hours. The four hour timing of the RCA sold it for me. Who knew Beta would never take off.
At the time there wasn't any Video Stores but you could buy pre-recorded tapes for $100 or more and blanks were about $20 each. The first thing I taped was "The Bad News Bears" on HBO and later that night "Saturday Night Live" with Steve Martin as host doing "King Tut".
1977 and it was the first generation Sony Betamax. It only recorded up to one hour at a time - not two. It operated much like an audio cassette recorder, with large plastic push buttons. It did have a timer and a wired remote.
My model was not a standalone VCR. It was built into a console with a 19 inch Sony TV. When the VCR needed service (which it frequently did) a serviceman had to come to my house to either try to fix it or remove it and take it into the shop.
I remember paying $18 for one blank tape. Pre-recordeded tapes did not work on it, because those were only introduced with the Beta 2.
I paid something like $1700 for it, on sale. I had to arrange for an installment plan with the store. I really wanted that thing! Now, it seems so primitive, but for 1977... it was high tech.
Late 70s. We had a beta. By the mid 80s we already had a camcorder - it weighed 100 pounds but it was portable And Took VHS tape cassettes. We were the first in the neighborhood to have a camcorder.
Do you mean the one I still own?
The last time I bought one (10 years ago?) it was a Curtis Mathes on sale at WalMart for about $40. I still have it, and occasionally watch my dubbed early-John Waters movies on it.
I bought myself my first VCR in early December 1986. It was a Sharp 4-head. It really wasn't all that well-built, and completely died about four years later.
I believe I paid $475 for mine around 1983 when I was around 18. I had won $400 at the casinos in Atlantic City (gambling age was younger back then). For taping purposes it was a pain with cable because you had to leave the channel on the box and if somebody fooled with the cable box it would record the wrong channel.
The best thing about vcr's in the early days was finally being able to see so many of the R rated horror movies I was too young to see when they were in theaters. It was so cool and such a treat to be able to see Texas Chainsaw, Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, I Spit on Your Grave, etc. I was like the proverbial kid in a candy store while perusing the shelves of the local mom and pop video and seeing all those formerly taboo titles available for taking!