Golden Days of The Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)


Remember those days of the ’80s and early ’90s when our favorite prevent inside the nearby marketplace was the “Video Library” that succeeded in delighting us every time we went there? The technology that changed into rule and rule with the aid of a device loved by one and all, old or young – the Video Cassette Recorder or, extra normally, the VCR.

Back ground

The 80s became a time when cable TV was far from reaching India in any shape. It was a time when just one tech came to polish – the Video Cassette Recorder. As it so occurred, the humans had no preference whatsoever in looking at programs on Television as the handiest channel became the Doordarshan (more popularly DD) and later the DD Metro, which in reality appeared to be a big bonus! It is considered an ideal setting for a Video Cassette Recorder to make its presence felt and counted. The Video Cassette Recorder spread a new world of enjoyment to Indian human beings that was unknown before. From looking simply at the news or documentaries sprinkled moderately with a pinch of weekly serials, the not-unusual man now had the posh of enjoying movies in the consolation of his bedroom – proper from the vintage classics to the latest flicks of Bollywood.

Video Cassette Recorders used detachable videocassettes (videotapes) that used magnetic tapes to record films. What this meant became that it was now not best to watch prerecorded cassettes for movies; however, they may also report shows and broadcasts from the TV that might be performed later! This turned into natural magic!!! Of course, there has been a cheaper version of the VCR, which we know as the VCP – Video Cassette Player – that can play back the cassette; however, it no longer files.

The introduction of VCRs in India gave the business a perfect opportunity to flourish in the form of “Video Libraries”! Every local marketplace had a minimal 2 to three libraries to boast of, all of whom may want to live to tell the tale despite the opposition because the demand much overdid the supply by a big margin. I nevertheless don’t forget our very own “Micky Video Library” and the “Lords” library, which had been such hot spots in those times, the primary one sarcastically being located in a small slim lane turned into just a tiny little room with a collection of a few hundred films. The latter became a more dignified area with a far larger series of Hindi and English movies and an air-conditioned keep to flaunt! But it rarely mattered, as getting that modern-day launch on the primary chance was critical – rattling if it becomes pirated or in case you had to shell out some more dollars!

The early VCRs have been top-loading models where you inserted the cassette in a slot that popped out from the VCR’s pinnacle on the urgent “Eject” button. It was later followed through the greater sleek and improved versions of VCRs that were the front loading, had a greater attractive and present-day sense to them, now not to overlook the continuously improved functions being added. One such feature I recollect changed into the provision of a “Timer” where you could certainly set the time the VCR might start recording!

It changed into not simply Video Libraries that flourished. Video Cassette Recorders provided a first-rate opportunity for small-time technicians and engineers with many “Video Repair” shops that sprung up. The VCR functioned with a revolving “Head” with a small pin reading the cassette’s magnetic tape. As turned into anticipated, with the dirt and physical contact, invariably, you’ll be confronted with a state of affairs in which your “Head” went grimy. You needed either a “head cleaner” sprayed on it to get it cleaned, or you needed to take it to one of those restore stores in excessive instances.


The VCRs also ushered in an age of many exclusive and new types of enjoyment revolving around Television. Besides just movies, they also opened doors to Pakistani Plays that are remembered even to date. It added to our houses some lovely characters from performances along with Dhoop Kinare and Tanhaiyan that became a part of our lives and live with us even today. And then there have been those “Film Magazines.” I am no longer talking about the Filmfare or Star Dusts. The VCRs delivered inside the concept of video magazines and “Lehren,” which have become a family name. They have been around one hour, which suggests that they gave you the news from the Hindi Film Industry – something that ultra-modern channels are full of and has now become the right component! At one time, such video magazines had been your only resource to get live snippets into the lives of film stars or observe a film’s shooting! It used to be such an exciting issue!

An issue maximum harking back to those times was the first-rate video that you acquire to look at – what was inside the not-unusual language referred to as the “print” of the cassette. So often did you have to return a video as “the print” became so horrific! So not like the CDs and DVDs of nowadays wherein there aren’t any troubles with the great you get to watch. But some, remembering it nowadays, one somewhere in his heart desires the ones little nick-nags that trendy over-ideal global has eliminated:(

And how can one forget that “Counter” you had on the VCRs in those days? It was a small three-digit counter with revolving dials that confirmed numbers zero-9 on each dial to represent the duration of the video that has been played:) Starting from 000, it went directly to 999 and became such an easy and splendid show of ways a simple little idea may be placed to such pertinent use! It was later replaced through a digital counter with the greater better and stepped forward VCRs, which presented a digital show. Again, one of those matters makes you wonder if we need all this advancement! Why have we forgotten to hold things easy:(

How can one ever neglect that sound of a video cassette “Rewinding” and that distinct “thud” with which it stopped or while you pressed that “Stop” button? My heart goes out to the one’s instances:oops: It’s, in reality, this high reliving of the one’s moments from the beyond. I recollect how the summer destroyed so many films at the VCR; each day, I visited the video library – which had even begun domestic transport and the phone offerings – a few even went as far as supplying a printed list of films they had in their save! As youngsters, I remember we used to get an additional VCR on rent for some days as you may interconnect them with your VCR with a cable and make copies of the cassettes. To consider it now, how did I ever take that plenty of hassle to record a cassette? But then, that becomes the magic of these times.


One just is compelled to suppose – why does the era have the sort of crab mentality where it wishes to drag someone down so that it will climb up:( Why does each new technology ought to kill its predecessor? Why can’t the antique and the brand-contemporary coexist? Why can’t we have the vintage with the new? I am the most thankful and privileged to have experienced and used these winners of the past.