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Looking for a replacement VCR

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Josh Steinberg, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Now here's something I hadn't anticipated writing in 2019...

    My VCR just died an unceremonious death and I'm not ready to be out of the VHS world just yet. Obviously they're not making any new ones. Any opinions on how to proceed from here?

    I'm thinking that I may just head over to eBay and buy from there. There are some sellers who are listing the exact same model I had, which worked well for me for many years - I'm already super familiar with it's operations, can do very minor repairs on it, and would have the added bonus of allowing me to keep my machine that just died around for parts if necessary. I figure with eBay's guarantees on purchases not being lemons, at the least, it shouldn't be a big deal if something I order ends up not working.

    However, if there's a resource I'm unaware of for picking up VCRs in good working condition, I'm all ears!
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I think heading into 2020, if you're relying on VHS, it's time to get the tapes digitized and moved onto a digital playback system. Or re-buy on disc / streaming.

    Otherwise...you're in NYC. Do any of the myriad random stores there sell old electronics?
     
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  3. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    I have nothing but good luck with my hardware purchases on E-Bay (purchases based on feedback, and pictures of item).

    I only do higher end VCR/DVD combo players (Panasonic made great units) as most have S-Video, and Component cable connections.
    And they are quite a bit newer than the older VCR stand alone players so if gently used they might last a lot longer.
    It is amazing how S-Video,or Component can bring a Video cassette tape to life.

    Of course I'm only running on CRT, where I can really notice a difference over composite cables. I can't speak about how it would be upconverted on a new LCD TV.
     
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  4. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    You could check Goodwill or similar thrift stores. May not always be best condition, but also very cheap. And sometimes you can find something almost like new.
     
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  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    That'd be my choice for the reasons you state. That being said, if you're near a thrift store, it can't hurt to check and gamble the cost on one they have right there.
     
  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    If the goal was to merely preserve the content, I'd agree wholeheartedly. To that end, all of the family home movies and that kind of stuff have long been transferred to more modern formats.

    This is more about the fun that I derive from watching old VHS tapes every now and then. It's purely a non-practical, nostalgic offshoot to my home theater hobby.

    Sometimes you can get lucky. I think one of the issues here is that the rent is so high for stores, that the products often reflect that higher pricing. I was at a used electronics store the other day and they were selling used NES and SNES consoles there for more than you'd spend on one for eBay and I'm guessing a bit of that just has to do with what it costs them to make their overhead. So I'm definitely up for glancing but I'm not going to overpay just because of the ability to pick up something in-person.

    I just did a quick search on eBay and I can get the exact model that I had for $40 including shipping from multiple sellers who tested it and said it still works. Mine was one of the later models, from about 2003 or so, so it wasn't ancient, which gives me hope that a used one is probably more lightly used and likely to last a bit longer. And then I'd still have my older one for parts if something mechanical broke in the future. Also means that I can use my existing remote instead of having to look for a used VCR that still has one.

    I'll poke around for a little longer, but if the worst case scenario is that this is a $40 fix, I can totally live with that.
     
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  7. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    Just seeing this. If you're still looking I think I have one laying around. If I can find it I'll give it to you free
    [no nostalgic value for me :)] if you're willing to pay shipping. Let me know.
     
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Ended up getting a replacement on eBay for $30 - same model as the one I had previously, which lets me keep the old one around for parts just in case. But if disaster should strike again, I'd take you up on that :D
     
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  9. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    Glad to hear you were able to get the same model. I think it's cool you still watch VHS from time to time. I have several older tapes and thought I would do the same but, with all of the content out there, it just hasn't turned out that way.
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    My wife thinks it’s a bit silly and I don’t disagree. But that’s why this is a hobby :)
     
  11. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    If your wife doesn't think some of your hobbies are silly [or in my case, dangerous] you're probably doing something wrong. :)

    upload_2019-5-6_18-57-43.
     
  12. Message #12 of 15 May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Next time the VCR gets called silly, I'll print out a photo of that bike and say, "At least I'm not doing this!" :D
     
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  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I usually just remind mine that I don't hunt or fish (the two really big hobbies in this neck of the woods), both of which are generally more expensive than collecting movies and music.
     
  14. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    Just put over 800 miles on this magnificent machine. It never lets me down. My wife calls it "Jezebel."
     
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  15. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    This thread now has me thinking of shopping online for a DVD-VCR combo unit that would be considerably newer than my 2000 vintage VCR which is still active in my HT setup though it hasn’t been used since 2014. And that time it was acting a bit clunky.
    A newer unit would have component video and S video outputs.

    I have very few VHS tapes left. Some Three Stooges sets, a couple tapes made back in 1988-1989 and....well....um.... a couple of those “educational” tapes from Sinclair Institute (Single Again Days).

    Along these lines, there might be more of a market for working LaserDisc players (detailed in another thread here) being that LaserDiscs are much more of a collectors item.
     

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