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