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Scott Atwell Star Trek Discussion thread (Series and Films)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ockeghem, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think part of the mechanism that helps thread the tape from the cassette to the playhead has gone out of alignment - it's sort of causing the tape to drag and get stuck. I've tried cleaning the area and seeing if I could force it back into alignment, but it's still just ever so slightly off but enough to cause problems. I'm honestly not inclined to go through the process of finding parts and trying to repair. That sort of thing used to be fun for me, but at this point, I was watching these old tapes on the VCR to relax and zone out and I don't want this end of the day, pre-bedtime low effort hobby to turn into any sort of project that takes effort at this point. There are just so many other things around my apartment that need my time, attention and effort (major spring cleaning and reorganization effort already underway!) that I can't really justify spending time on this when there's more urgent stuff that needs my attention. Watching VHS tapes in the background was what I was doing while I was doing more important things :) It looks like I can be back up and running with a used machine for $50 or less, which is probably closer to where I'm at on this.

    I agree an estimate doesn't seem worthwhile.

    Part of me is considering the thrift store route, but my time is worth money too... I'm tempted to go the eBay route, probably overspend a little, but have the convenience of having it delivered to my house. With eBay's purchase protection, if I buy a VCR from a seller who says it's in working order and then it doesn't work when it arrives, I know eBay would make that right so it seems low risk to go that way.
     
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  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Scott that’s a good point about the costs. It depends on how much you are attached to the device. I tend to get stuff that I really like, so it’s worth it if it’s a device I don’t want to replace is repairable.

    Josh, do you have friends or relatives with VCRs they are not using anymore?
     
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  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I wish! Everyone threw theirs out ten years ago, and I wasn't smart enough to ask them to stockpile them for me. I'm not heartbroken over this machine going - it performed well for many, many years, and I've actually used it to copy all of the unique VHS tapes friends and family had to DVD-R, so it's definitely put in its service time and has earned its retirement.
     
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  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I hope you find a good player. :)
     
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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Thanks! I had the Sony SLV-N700. I could get another one of those. Might upgrade to a used Sony SLV-799, which seems to be a slightly newer model with more buttons!
     
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  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    About a year ago, I got two VCRs at a thrift store (fortunately, my time isn't really worth money :) ). One worked and one didn't. The both of them probably didn't even cost $20 together so the price was right.
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I am prepared for the epic eye roll my wife will give me when she notices a new VCR arriving! :D
     
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  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I had people literally laugh at me when I told them I got a 'new' VCR. :laugh:
     
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  9. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Oh, I know that’s in my future!

    The funny thing is, I was only barely able to justify buying the TOS VHS tapes because I had a working VCR. Now I’m gonna use the tapes to justify getting the VCR. I may end up being put on a strict allowance when this is all done. I clearly can’t be trusted with money.
     
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  10. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Josh - I wish you lived in town and I could let you just use my vcr! It sounds like a worthy cause. I rarely use my vcr but I do have a few tapes around.
     
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  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    This seems very likely to have a happy ending. $30 for a supposedly good working VCR that’s the same model that died (so I can keep the old one for parts), and $5 for another VHS copy of City on the Edge Of Forever. Delivery window is between Friday and Monday. So here’s hoping that I’ll be back up and running this time next week.
     
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  12. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Great news!

    “And now our feature presentation...”
     
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  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    My copies of the VHS are so old that they don’t even have that stinger! Just the ancient Paramount Home Video logo and then the episode.
     
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  14. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Same! From the original release.
     
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  15. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Also, since it's the same model, if you can swap it out with the old one when your wife is out of the house, you might be able to get away without having to tell her about your embarrassing purchase!

    As far as VCRs go, I know some have suggested never repairing, just buying another one. I guess that depends on what one is doing. If you want to watch something with the best quality, you'll want one with a built-in Time Base Corrector (or have an external TBC plugged into the system). Can make a huge difference, especially with modern displays.

    If you're like me have have VCRs like this (where quality is important, such as in backing up to DVD), then one might want to repair such an item instead of buying 'new', as that narrows the available choices (and can inflate the prices).

    Only problem is, unless you live in a major city, it's getting more difficult to even find anyone who'll take a look at it! A lot of repair shops have gone out of business, since most people consider electronics as 'disposable' rather than 'durable' goods these days...
     
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  16. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    Like you guys, I have certain VHS programs I occasionally prefer watching over the BDs (many TOS episodes included). But I have long ago transferred those tapes, part and parcel, using a TBC, onto a DVD, so I don't have to monkey with those cassettes or machines anymore, allowing me to still view the programs just as I remember them on VHS. Problem is, I can't bear to get rid of the tapes....hahahah.
     
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  17. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I thought about it, but I went with honesty - the trouble I'd be in for hiding a purchase would far exceed any trouble for I'd be in for making a silly purchase. But at $30, it was a non-issue. I think she's just happy that I moved to deal with it quickly instead of leaving a broken VCR disassembled on the living room floor.

    All of the "important" VHS content I have (like old family movies) has long been transferred to better archival formats. This endeavor is strictly for fun. I don't think I'll keep the VCR or the VHS collection on display permanently, but it's fun while it's going on. At some point, I'll probably get one of those nice Rubbermaid bins, seal up the tapes, and put them into my mom's attic. Or, maybe I'll win the lottery and wind up with a bigger apartment. You never know.
     
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  18. John*Wells

    John*Wells Supporting Actor

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    I didn’t go through 700 pages to see if someone referenced it already. But, over the weekend, I saw William Shatner’s Documentary “Chaos on the Bridge “ I thought it was very informative. I knew that Gates McFadden was absent from season 2 of TNG. I know why now. I can’t say I was happy about the way Roddenberry was discussed.
     
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  19. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    The way he was discussed was congruent with my experiences with Roddenberry. I had a love/hate relationship with him, mostly hate.

    I'll just say that the story about the writer who had all his stuff dumped into the hallway was absolutely true, and leave it at that.
     
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  20. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I've not seen that documentary but have heard stories. I then read Solow and Justman's book "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story." It was a real eye opener about the goings on behind the series production. I can understand why people feel the way they do about Roddenberry - both sides of the equation. After that read my respect for him dropped considerably. I still appreciate what he was able to do, just not the manner in which he tended to get it done.
     
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