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No matter how much we discard the old technologies or appliances now, can we forget that those technologies defined today's life? Don't you believe it? Let's journey back to the time of Pac-Man, Walkmans, Reaganomics, VCRs, DVDs, and get a glimpse of how the long-gone tech created today's future.
Today, you witness people using iPods for listening to music, which is inspired by the 80s walkman. The compact laptops we use today are inspired by ENIAC, which was as big as the size of a room. At that time, these expensive devices were only available in professional environments such as television studios and medical imaging. In the 1970s, videotapes were introduced for home usage, revolutionizing the home video industry and changing the economics of the television and movie businesses.
However, people in the 1970s and early 1980s witnessed a format war in the home video industry. VHS and Betamax were two significant standards that received the most media exposure.
Eventually, VHS won the war, dominating 60% of the tape media market.
Tip: If you are searching for refurbished VCR players, search online and look for reliable portals like Electrovid.
If you are not a total greenhorn in this big pasture we call life, then there's a good chance that you have used, cherished, or watched at least VHS cassette tapes in the past.
There are even possibilities that you might be having a collection of Disney classics from your childhood. Or whatever is your story, you don't need to relegate VHS tapes to a pawn shop or decay them in a carton in your attic. There are several ways that you can still enjoy your VHS tapes; here are some of those ways:
1. Find an excellent VCR
The simplest and the most obvious way to keep watching cassettes is to have a VCR! If you don't have one, then buy a VCR player. You don't need to find an old VCR player; today, some websites offer refurbished VCR players. Besides finding the first-party VCRs VCR/DVD combo are pretty tough, but you can always find third-party options in the range of £30- £80. These electronic peripherals are becoming collectible, hard-to-find and rare, just like old TV tubes (CRTs) once they were partnered with. If you get a collection of VHS tapes you want to cherish all your life and want that original, analog "warmth," watching them on a VCR/CRT combo is the most authentic way to go. However, it means you've got to buy some older electronics and do some serious online research.
2. Convert your collection to DVD
In case you are not on board to search and buy a VCR player, then it's okay because some of the new ones can cost as much $750. Only deep-pocket collectors might snatch up an expensive item like that, but what about the rest of us? Well, pester not—we still have got other options for you to go about. One option is to convert the tapes to DVDs, maybe a better choice.
You will require a good VHS-to-DVD converter hardware/software to get the job done. One such software is Roxio, which is ranked as #1 in the video editing category. Even though it is a bit finicky but works fine and editing software, you will require a Windows PC, but the hardware essentially allows you to "write" the analog contents of a VHS tape onto a DVD. You need something with an AV/Composite output device that comes with an inbuilt VHS player allowing you to play your tapes, like a TV.
This is the downside of this method. It takes you back to method #1; however, this is a great solution, particularly if your tapes are getting old and getting decayed, and you are looking to preserve them digitally.
3. Get a TV with a built-in VHS player.
If you need your tapes to revive your memories again, then this option is a long-shot! This is the age of the internet, and you can find anything online. So, if you are not willing to buy a refurbished VCR player, buying a TV with an in-built VHS player would help. While Amazon might disappoint you in availing you a TV that has a built-in VHS player, you might have some luck with eBay and Craigslist.
4. Costco Home Video transfer Service
If you are not aware of the fact that bulk-in food membership is that the wholesale retailer also offers a "Home Video Transfer Service." It is one of the most cooling hidden benefits of the Costco Membership. Costco has stores in many countries of the world, including the UK.
The Photo Center's Home Video transfer Service of Costco gets your VHS to DVD transfer done (you can also do film reels) under £ 15.85. Don't you think, it is a great solution if you are a Costco member and have easy access to the service, or if you don't wish to fiddle with tracking down a VHS player, CRT, or whatever option you have!
5. Plug your VCR into your HDTV
This option might seem a little obvious to you, but if you already have a VCR or a VCR/DVD combo, you can not only use the combo to transfer VHS tapes to DVDs but also plug the VCR into TV.
Most TVs, even the latest ones, which come with 4K /HDR TVs — still you, have the component or composite inputs that allow them to be used as legacy devices. Suppose your TV features only one part (RGB/audio). Plugging the yellow (video) component of the output cord on your VCR into the green jack of the TV's component input will get the job done. Then, plug the audio into the red and white audio data, as usual. You should always adjust the ratio of the HDTV aspect ratio to 4:3, which will display the VHS tape in the proper square format. Besides, there is a possibility that you might see some pixels, but you will be able to watch the video in the end.