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BillyH1,402 posts since 26 May 2001
London London
We had three video shops near me (maybe more) - first one closed at the end of the 1990s, the others were still open as late as 2002 but can’t recall them lasting much longer. Main draw in one was a modern games console where you’d put 50p in a machine that would make it work for a few minutes - initially a Nintendo 64, then a Sega Dreamcast, and I think a PlayStation 2 by the end.

Older videos were 50p to rent, up to about £2.50 for new movie releases. The first shop to close made a lot of money by selling off all the videos in the last few weeks - looking back he clearly knew the DVD revolution was arriving (this was about 1999) and was successfully selling the tapes while they were still profitable. A decade or so later and not even charity shops were accepting tapes anymore!
Member since 26 May 2001
Neil Jones6,467 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
There used to be a Blockbuster store by me, but they decided to sod off long before the company got into trouble. The site is now a Tesco petrol station.

There would probably have been others but can't remember any of them, probably safe to assume Blockbuster were in more prominent places than the outer reaches of supermarket retail parks though.
nwtv20038,614 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Granada North West Today
Did anyone on here ever buy ex rental VCRs or cassettes? How good, or bad, were they?


I bought a couple of ex-rental VHS tapes back in the day as it was the only way to get a top rated film before it’s official release. It’s easy to forget that there was a delay between the rental release and the retail release. The quality of the VHS was perfectly adequate. My one bugbear was that the rental cases were even bigger than the standard cases, which were big enough in their own right.

In the village where I lived we had two Video shops, a Ritz Video turned Blockbuster and an independent one called Visions Video. We knew the Visions staff quite well back in the day and they would often let us keep film posters. I knew people who were able to get the big cardboard cut outs when the store was going to get rid of them. Stuff like that is what I do miss about video shops and the like.
steve
steviegTVreturns
Riaz685 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Does anybody remember how high end video recorders had a facility to mark the start point of programmes by recording a bit of data to the tape, and could fast forward tapes to where the marks where placed?

Different manufacturers seemed to have a different standard when it came to start time marking and tapes marked by a machine from one manufacturer wouldn't always be recognised by a machine from another manufacturer.

How exactly did the tape remaining indicator work? Was it something to do with tension in the tape resulting from how full a reel is varying the current to the drive motor?
Neil Jones6,467 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
It couldn't have recorded it, surely? Its documented from posted videos how much of the tape gets pulled out to be wrapped around various things and the erase head comes long before anything can get recorded, plus you'd have that picture rolldown effect you get straight after a recording.

I'd be more inclined to argue its electronic marking - I can't realistically see how else it could have been done, especially on tapes when the erase protection tab had been removed...?

With regards to tape remaining indicator, probably simple physics, more of the tape on the right reel the less time remaining, so its slightly heavier. I'd have thought? After all the tapes were all the same length, E180 = 184 minutes or whatever it was so...
Mike W5,033 posts since 30 Apr 2006
London London
There used to be a Blockbuster store by me, but they decided to sod off long before the company got into trouble. The site is now a Tesco petrol station.

Interestingly near where my mum used to live, and where I grew up, there was a naff old shopping centre which had a Blockbuster in it until 2003/4. It's now a Tesco Petrol Station as well!

I remember buying loads of ex rental games and DVDs from there which were about 25p each - my pocket money went a long way in there - when it was closing down. Before that we used the Apollo and Choices rental stores, an exciting time for a young kid.

I remember my nan complaining about LoveFilm and how it would never take off as they'd never get the discs back (as if having a physical shop would stop people stealing or not returning the tapes/discs).
Inspector Sands14,813 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Does anybody remember how high end video recorders had a facility to mark the start point of programmes by recording a bit of data to the tape, and could fast forward tapes to where the marks where placed?

Different manufacturers seemed to have a different standard when it came to start time marking and tapes marked by a machine from one manufacturer wouldn't always be recognised by a machine from another manufacturer.

Yes, index marking it was called on my Panasonic. I think you could get them to fast forward to the next mark, play 10 seconds then fast forward to the next. Handy if none of your recordings started with a minute of adverts


That machine (which I still have in the loft) went one step further and would produce a library listing of each tape. It gave each tape a number the first time it recorded onto it. Every time it recorded a programme it would record the time, date, channel and cleverly the name of the programme from teletext (or some bit of VBI data). So you ended up with a catalogue of everything you'd recorded on it, which you could search on the machine and the contents of the tape were listed on screen every time you put the tape in. Select what you want to watch and it would cue and play it

A very clever system, although in later years as I only recorded from a set top box everything was listed as being from AV1, I don't think any non analogue channels carried the data (and for a lot of that time I had ondigital which definitely didn't)

The other feature it had was an IR sender so I could set it to record, for example, UK Gold and then something from Discovery and then something from BBC2 and it would change the set top box for each recording.

So it had the functionality of a PVR, just recording onto tape rather than a hard drive
1
mat76 gave kudos
davidhorman2,455 posts since 8 Mar 2005
Channel Channel Islands
It couldn't have recorded it , surely? Its documented from posted videos how much of the tape gets pulled out to be wrapped around various things and the erase head comes long before anything can get recorded, plus you'd have that picture rolldown effect you get straight after a recording.


I've been trying to work out what you mean by "it" - do you mean the marking to indicate the beginning of a new recording/program?

Quote:
I'd be more inclined to argue its electronic marking


I can't work out what you're arguing that would be an alternative to...

(Sometimes in preys on my mind when I can't work out what a post is saying. Probably worrying that I'm being thick!)
Last edited by davidhorman on 22 April 2020 12:14pm
Inspector Sands14,813 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Common fix for tapes that don't play properly - fast forward them to the end and back again.

I seem to remember that the BBC delivery spec for programmes on tape was that it should be a new tape but it should have been fast forwarded all the way to the end and back first before using it. Something to do with having the tape packed evenly