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ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 1990 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
Are you the conscientious sort of video buff who sees that your VCR is serviced every so often? Or is your maintenance limited to an occasional pass with a dust cloth? Either way, the amount of attention you give to the care and maintenance of your VCR is nobody else's business, right? Think again. If you rent videotapes, the condition of your machine and the way you handle cassettes affect many other people. Your carelessness can damage a tape as well as the next renter's VCR. Video dealers have always known that customer negligence is a considerable threat to their tape inventories.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 1988 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
Wire, wires and more wires. When it comes to video, the question of which one plugs in where seems to have no final solution. Just when you've figured out how to connect, say, a VCR and a video-game console to the family TV set, along comes a camcorder that must be worked into the mix. Or maybe you want to change over from a rooftop antenna to cable service. Each addition to your arsenal of video viewing options can put you back on your knees behind the TV, praying for divine guidance in finding the right ins and outs.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2003 | Los Angeles Daily News
Fueled by robust rentals for the suspense-thriller "The Ring," DVD rental revenues surpassed VHS rental revenues in a single week for the first time ever, according to statistics released by the Video Dealers Software Association. The gap between DVD and VHS rentals has been closing for several months, but it wasn't until the week ending March 16 that revenues for the newer format finally edged ahead by reaching $80 million in one week versus $78 million for VHS. DVD players are now in more than 40 million households nationwide, and shipments of DVD titles hit 685 million units last year, a leap from 5.5 million units just six years ago.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 1989 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
We all hope that the day never comes when the VCR malfunctions, but let's face it: Machines break down. And in the case of a VCR, there's a lot that can go wrong. What would you do if a cassette failed to load or eject? Or if your fast-forward or rewind control had no effect? Or if your remote control stopped working? You might start a hectic search for the VCR manual. You might despair over how much the repairman was going to extract for what you suspected was a simple task. You might even think about buying a new VCR. Wait.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 1988 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
What! You still haven't bought a VCR? That's sales resistance! About half of all TV owners have yet to be convinced that video recorders are vital to their happiness, and those tough customers are proving to merchants that VCRs can no longer sell themselves. In fact, 1988 is already on its way to being the first year that consumers buy fewer VCRs than they did the previous year. While camcorders continue to grow in popularity, conventional VCRs seem to have crested at about 11.5 million annual purchases.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 1988 | By Marc Schogol, Inquirer Staff Writer
One of the original knocks against television was that it would destroy the American family as we knew it - that instead of communicating and interacting, Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister would spend all their free time staring at the tube like zombies. And, to some degree, that occurred. But when I was a kid in the '50s, there was interaction at least to the extent that everyone sat around the same television - usually in the living room or family room - watching the same program.
NEWS
September 26, 1991 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
Every so often I receive a videotape question that's of wide enough interest to merit an extended reply. Now that so many people are having their old home movies on celluloid transferred to videotape, some readers doubtlessly can identify with the following situation: I had my "ancient" 8mm movies recorded on videotape. But the soundtrack music inserted on the tape is intolerable and I would like to record over it! I have two VCRs but do not know procedures for overlaying the existing soundtrack.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 26, 1988 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
Now that Panasonic has announced the first VCR that can be programmed by telephone, we can expect other manufacturers to follow its lead - but the real trailblazer in marrying a telephone to a timer is not the giant VCR maker. That distinction goes to Advanced Video Dynamics, a small electronics company in Norristown, which in February introduced HAL, the remote-activated VCR programmer. Using HAL, virtually any wireless remote VCR can be given timer instructions over a pushbutton phone.
NEWS
June 7, 2002
IT'S THE stupidity, Part IV . . . Remember, back before digitalization, when even refugees from the 20th century could figure out how to tape their soaps? So the cable guy is halfway out the door when you manage to stop him and ask, "How do you use this thing?" He says that Channel 901 explains it all, and vanishes. You watch the program on Channel 901 about eight times, but at no time does the perky lady say anything resembling, "If you want to tape a program to watch later, this is what you do. " A flush triggered by helpless frustration starts to climb the back of your neck.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 28, 1989 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
Tired of having to scan through that Diet Pepsi spot every time you want to watch your copy of Top Gun ? Annoyed by entreaties to enjoy Chunky or Alpine White before watching the conscience-rending drama of Platoon or Salvador ? Does Downy fabric softener belong in the company of a classic film like The Wizard of Oz? The fast-forward button is one solution, but you don't have to let the ever-growing number of taped product pitches became a permanent part of your video collection.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
August 8, 2016 | By Jonathan Takiff, Inquirer Technology Writer
News of the very last VHS VCR rolling off the Funai Electronics assembly line in Japan provoked headlines and comedy show gags last week - most with a derisive "Who remembers them?" slant. But VHS (and its longtime rival Betamax) were a really big deal - revolutionizing industries, user habits, and our comfort with technology. The VCR deserved a more respectful assessment, worthy of its significant place in viewing history. My suggestions follow. The great time machine story.
SPORTS
April 25, 2014 | By Rich Hofmann, Daily News Columnist
THE COMING of free agency was the single most important event in the lives of professional athletes because it gave them a vehicle to play where they wanted and to maximize their salaries. The invention of the VCR, and its successors, was the most significant change for the coaching profession because it turned every game and every player into a specimen that could be studied and dissected. For the fan, though, the milestone was when high-definition television became available.
NEWS
January 29, 2013
WHEN I HEARD that Sally Starr had died, I thought of my father, Phil, himself gone 14 years next month. I thought of his reaction when, in the summer of 1984, I announced that I was hoping to bring "Our Gal Sal" - who hadn't been heard from for 12 years - back to Philly as a way to publicize the RV Roundup, a recreational-vehicle exhibition scheduled for the old Civic Center that September. I was public-relations director for a Center City ad agency whose clients included the Roundup.
NEWS
October 5, 2005 | By Carl Golden
In the 1950s, a New York sportswriter named Jimmy Cannon produced, every few weeks or so, a column that began, "Nobody asked me, but . . . . " He'd delight readers with 20 or so nuggets - mostly his opinion on sports but occasionally on other topics as well. So, with respect and reverence to the memory of Jimmy Cannon, nobody asked me, but . . . In the interest of truth, shouldn't all those "reality shows" on television be renamed "alleged reality shows"? Why can't I pay attention to what a television newscaster is saying while the ticker crawls across the bottom of the screen?
BUSINESS
May 21, 2003 | By Akweli Parker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When did watching television get to be so difficult? Where once there was just a TV set, now we also have VCRs, cable boxes, DVD players, digital video recorders, high-definition signal converters, and remote controls, all fighting for the same space across from the living-room couch. A Horsham-based division of electronics giant Motorola Inc. is working to make it simple again. Motorola Broadband Communications Sector, the nation's largest supplier of cable set-top boxes, says it will begin in-home trials this summer of a souped-up box that receives high-definition channel feeds, processes video-on-demand requests, and digitally records programs on the fly ? la the increasingly popular TiVo.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2003 | Los Angeles Daily News
Fueled by robust rentals for the suspense-thriller "The Ring," DVD rental revenues surpassed VHS rental revenues in a single week for the first time ever, according to statistics released by the Video Dealers Software Association. The gap between DVD and VHS rentals has been closing for several months, but it wasn't until the week ending March 16 that revenues for the newer format finally edged ahead by reaching $80 million in one week versus $78 million for VHS. DVD players are now in more than 40 million households nationwide, and shipments of DVD titles hit 685 million units last year, a leap from 5.5 million units just six years ago.
NEWS
June 7, 2002
IT'S THE stupidity, Part IV . . . Remember, back before digitalization, when even refugees from the 20th century could figure out how to tape their soaps? So the cable guy is halfway out the door when you manage to stop him and ask, "How do you use this thing?" He says that Channel 901 explains it all, and vanishes. You watch the program on Channel 901 about eight times, but at no time does the perky lady say anything resembling, "If you want to tape a program to watch later, this is what you do. " A flush triggered by helpless frustration starts to climb the back of your neck.
NEWS
October 6, 2000 | by Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
THE GIZMO: Samsung VR400G/ VR400P videocassette recorder, $99.95 list, Samsung Electronics America Inc., 105 Challenger Road, Ridgefield Park, N.J. 07660-0511. Telephone: 800-SAMSUNG. WHY WE CARE: Bored with black-box electronics that all look and act the same? Take a gander at the Samsung VR400 - a four-head VCR that comes in a curvaceous translucent purple or teal green cabinet dressed up with spiffy silver accents. Gaze down on this VCR from above, and you can see the mechanics of the show, watch the take-up reels wrapping the videotape around the spinning video head drum.
NEWS
September 3, 1999 | by Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
The Gizmo: Panasonic PV-HD 1000 HD-Compatible Digital VCR. $999.95. Info: 800-211-PANA or online at www.panasonic.com Why we care: For the sake of higher quality and new applications, the whole world of home electronics is going digital. The next big wave is expected to be over-the-air digitally broadcast TV, though it's gotten off to a much slower start. Sky-high prices for the first-generation digital sets haven't helped, while true high-definition programming available from CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS and Fox has been severely limited.
BUSINESS
March 18, 1999 | By Andrea Ahles, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a speech technology researcher's vision of the future, your voice could run just about anything. No computer keyboard, no remote controls, and no secretary to screen your calls. You could program your VCR without touching buttons. You could pick up the phone and say "Call Mom" without punching in 11 digits. You could ask your computerized personal assistant to read your e-mails and schedule your appointments. And, like Capt. Picard on Star Trek, you could command: "Computer, find that file.
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