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The birth of the hobby

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Neil Brock, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    Neil, in all your years of recording TV shows, have you ever used professional formats to do so? It appears D-5 (introduced in 1993) is by far the best to use. Before, it used to be U-Matic.
    How exactly would you record TV shows many years ago? Would you record one episode per tape, like in most master tapes of shows?
     
  2. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    I have a tape in my possession of a show that ran in 1961 and probably never ran again ever. How did I get it? A colleague who had worked at the network that produced it had a copy of it on 3/4" U-matic tape and made me a copy on VHS back in 1986. It's a great documentary with incredible archival footage and it has no presence anywhere on the web and no official (or unofficial) availability anywhere. So I put it up on YouTube where everyone can see it now. You'll recognize the host and narrator. Check it out:



    I also have plenty of stuff that I taped in the 1980s and '90s--TV talk shows, documentaries and news footage--that are impossible to find anywhere else now, so I've put some of those up on my YouTube channels as well and am working on going through my collection and putting up more as time permits. My efforts center on those items that won't get "tagged" for music or film copyright.
     
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  3. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The only episodes of "The 20th Century" that ever got seen again were World War II oriented shows that were re-edited into the 1980s CBS home video series "World War II With Walter Cronkite" which in turn was released on DVD by Timeless (in separate sets devoted to Europe and The Pacific). So it's a quite rare to see an episode with a non-WW2 subject! Thanks for generously sharing.

    Cronkite's series before that was "You Are There" which did have a syndication afterlife well into the early 1980s, and we had the much too small release of two sets of 12 episodes each.
     
  4. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Until I saw this, I didn't realize until now that the theme music for the Cronkite version is the same theme that would be used on the same-named "20th Century" program that Mike Wallace hosted for A+E and the History Channel in the late 90s. So that was a true revival in more ways than one!
     
  5. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    I did this too, albeit briefly.

    I was recording the audio from first-run episodes of Battlestar Galactica, using a crappy tape recorder. Back then, I use to like listening to these audio-only episodes over and over again.

    (Dunno what happened to these old tapes).
     
  6. Lee Smith

    Lee Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a VHS machine in the late 70s so that I could record shows from an LA pay service called "The Z Channel".

    Unfortunately, all of the tapes were lost when I moved.

    But, that was my start at collecting movies and TV shows. But, I rarely bought any prerecorded tapes.

    I didn't get serious about collecting until I bought a CED player and then laser.
     
  7. SilverWook

    SilverWook Screenwriter

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    Cool! I did that too at the time. Still have the tapes in a box somewhere. They were still playable last time I checked several years ago. All I could afford were Kmart brand cassettes. I wonder who actually manufactured them.

    It's a good thing some Doctor Who fans did the same thing with episodes in the 60's that otherwise remain lost. The audio is better than nothing at all.

    I taped Mystery Science Theater 3000 onto Super VHS tapes religiously in the 90's. (And the blank tapes weren't exactly cheap, even buying in bulk.) As several episode masters have become damaged before they could be released on DVD by Rhino and later Shout Factory, I'm really glad I did now.
     
  8. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Supporting Actor

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    I did this as well. Wow! I didn't think anybody else did too. I used an old Dictaphone pushed up against the speaker. I kept my tapes for some reason. I found the whole bunch when I was searching for some old TV guide s a while back. Certron, TDK, Realistic, and a bunch more. I found audio recordings of Jeannie - How to be a Jeannie in 10 easy lessons, and Get Smart - Man Called Smart. I had stamped on them 3/78. I also found four 60 minute tapes full of TV Themes that I recorded off air from 78-82. Found some pretty rare stuff on there too.
     
  9. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    Is that different from "Project XX" (or was that NBC's?), that was released on Shanachie?

    As for early recording, the most historical mention I know of was the Bob Newhart episode where Bob counsels nice unassuming ex-con Henry Winkler, only to have him gratefully give Bob a proto-VCR as a present (which were way out of the mainstream in 1974), and Bob is...understandably doubtful as to where it came from. :unsure:
    Still, like most 70's folks who didn't know what to do with one, Emily finds him having fun playing with his new toy: "I'm taping the previous night's weather reports, to see if the weatherman got it right."

    I used to audio-tape The Flintstones, and realized it was scripted more for verbal gags than for animated ones--The scripts were so dialogue-heavy and had so many traces of Jack Benny radio influence, I used to listen to them on car trips as old-radio shows.
     
  10. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    My family got their first VCR in 84 I believe. I was a casual recorder back in the day, there were always blank tapes around to spare(those yellow Kodak tapes were most prominent in my household) as my dad loved to record things. I think 86-87 is when I began to record things. Alf, or Macguyver were the most recorded shows for me back then(Why was it just on Wednesday that I taped things? weird), but I was always into the more obscure shows, shows that even back then I knew wouldn't be rerun. My favorite shows as a kid were Son Of Svengoolie, and Creature Feature on Saturdays( Creature at 1:00 in the afternoon, Svengoolie at 11:30 at night) and I wish I could have taped them, but they were both gone a few years before I had access to record. Also USA's 'Night Flight' was a favorite of my brothers(and myself) and every Friday night we always tuned in.

    I started recording USA "Up All Night" with Gilbert Goittfried, and Rhonda Shear religiously in the late 80's, and stopped around 1993. I also taped very early FX in house shows like 'Personal FX' (similar to Antiques Roadshow). I taped 'The Oscars' in the late 80's, and 90's and many episodes of Siskel, and Ebert At The Movies. I guess specialty, and unique programming has always been my favorite thing when it comes to network tv.

    The thousands of hours of footage survives in my parents attic, or it's been destroyed. I'm not really sure.
     
  11. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Our first VCR was in 1985 I believe. I remember my dad caught it on sale at Montgomery Ward for $400. He bought quite a few of the Goodtimes Home Video movies-The Lucy Show, The Fugitive (the final two episodes) and a ton of westerns from them.

    Classic TV was still plentiful then in its unedited form. I suppose at 12-13 I thought those shows would be on forever. In the late 80's I begun to realize it might not be around forever. The Beverly Hillbillies was relegated to a 2AM slot with Andy Griffith, Gunsmoke and Green Acres relegated to third shift hours also. I had approximately 6 1/2 seasons of TBH on videotape in all its 16mm glory complete with scratches and black spots all over the prints. Sadly, I taped over those thinking they'd be around forever. I replaced them with Are You Being Served?

    I still have some Andy Griffith Show on videotape complete with the old b&w "V of Doom" logo at the end. A handful of Real McCoys that are sadly the edited versions. I have on MacGyver on VHS I taped back in the day on night of broadcast, a re-run of Benson (Clayton and Benson are kidnapped) and an unedited later Happy Days episode (the one where Al marries Chachi's mother).

    I have 4 VHS tapes full of Memphis Classic Wrestling. When live studio wrestling was cancelled on WMC in the early 2000's, Jerry Lawler, Lance Russell, Dave Brown, Corey Maclin and Jimmy Hart hosted an hour long memories show every week. I really need to get those off to DVD.
     
  12. Jeff Job

    Jeff Job Agent

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    Wow, I thought that I was one of the few people that audio recorded TV shows and movies in the 70's. I had recordings of Our Gang, Spiderman, The Flintstones, and Batman (which were all shows that were on after school). I also memorized all the dialogue from "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" from listening to it so many times.

    I graduated from a reel to reel machine to a small cassette deck in the late 70's, which also became my early "walkman". As much as I like to relive the "good ole days", I am thankful for the fabulous technology that allows me to carry (most of) the same shows/movies in my pocket and enjoy them whenever I want.
     
  13. Richard V

    Richard V Screenwriter

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    Wow Vic, never thought I'd get to see "The Twentieth Century" again. I have very fond memories of the show and esp the theme music. I also have vague memories of a show called "Omnibus" I think that showed on Sundays when i was a very young lad. Thanks especially for The Twentieth Century..
     
  14. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The Project XX series was NBC. It wasn't a regular weekly series like "20th Century" was, but rather an occasional series of documentaries usually several per year. The first wave of programs from that series was actually released on VHS by NBC and Time-Life in the 90s under the umbrella title "America: A Look Back" with new intros by Tom Brokaw.
     
  15. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    "Twentieth Century" came on at 5:30 PM on Sunday. There were no cartoons or movies on at that time so if we wanted to watch TV, this was it. My father used to watch it and encouraged us kids to watch with him. So we got exposed to a half-hour of history every week that kids today don't get exposed to because they can watch cartoons and children's shows all day every day!
     
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  16. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    You'd think some of those old shows would make it to at least DVD. At one point there were DVD sets of the old "You Are There" series from CBS.
     
  17. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    First VCR was in Dec of 1983. I recorded lots of things I liked, one being the (almost) complete run of Oh Madeline, which I'm glad to have, and Dynasty/The Colbys. And people thought I was mad, taping things to KEEP. They simply couldn't understand why I'd save TV shows....
     
  18. Rodney

    Rodney Premium
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    Put me down as another one of those who recorded television shows on cassette. I remember recording "The 2000 Year Old Man" back in 1975, and listening over and over again, either in my bedroom or on long car rides. Hilarious.

    I should see if I have any of those old tapes squirreled away somewhere. But then I will need to find a cassette player to listen to them.
     
  19. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Interesting - what many of us have in common is a desire to archive programs of interest to us. And DVD (and blu-ray) serve that function extremely well. The biggest difference between the basics of the 70s recording and the VHS days of the 80s is that DVD is done by the studios and done more professionally that we could have hoped with videotape.
     
  20. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    Various ways over the years but mostly VHS and then Super VHS. However, friends of mine used Umatic, Beta, Super Beta and even Sony 1/2 reel to reel. In addition, very early on we were buying film prints of shows and chaining them to tape. Trading with people all over the country was fun not to mention that I was able to make long lasting friendships with many people I dealt with. It was 10 times more work than now and a thousand times more fun.
     

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