April 27, 1989 |
Remember that old VHS-Beta format feud? Whatever your preference in VCRs, the debate made for lively video discussions. And the competition among manufacturers certainly played a part in sending prices to affordable levels in short order. JVC and other VHS adherents were the undisputed victors in the VCR wars, but now they're in another battle with Beta inventor Sony. This one involves camcorders, specifically the miniformats of Compact VHS (VHS-C) and 8mm, which are in turn in competition with full-size VHS camcorders.
March 26, 1991 |
Until this year, a special adaptor was required to play a compact VHS (a/k/ a VHS-C) tape in a standard VHS deck. No longer. Panasonic and JVC are now introducing "fully compatible" VCRs, capable of playing and recording in both the standard VHS and VHS-C formats. Inserting a cigarette-packed sized C tape into an adaptor and then stuffing that piece into the mouth of a VHS deck never struck this gadget lover as a big deal. But developers of the shrunk-down VHS format - JVC and its parent company Matsushita (a/k/a Panasonic/Quasar)
June 6, 1990 |
Video culture reigned in a big way at the just-concluded Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. If you had taken all the television sets out of the cavernous McCormick convention center, 25,000 visitors (about half the house) would have been left scratching their heads, wondering what to do. All the sleek new laservideo disc players (from a growing hoard of makers) would have had no way to show off striking, widescreen and digital sound renderings of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
December 5, 1988 |
Shopping for a camcorder this holiday season, to capture and replay home video memories of the family? The good news is that this $900-$1,500 product is one of the few hot consumer electronic commodities in ample supply - unlike TVs, VCRs and telephones, which some retailers believe are being "rationed" by manufacturers to jack up prices. The bad news is that salespeople do not always give you the straight scoop on camcorders. As I discovered recently on an undercover shopping spree through Philadelphia stores with a 10-year-old accomplice, customers are being steered away from several varieties of camcorders for reasons good, bad or indifferent.
March 15, 1990 |
After eight years of promoting the compact version of VHS known as VHS-C, JVC has the ultimate answer to the biggest complaint concerning its mini- format videotape. It's offering a VCR that can accept both standard size and compact videocassettes without the aid of an adapter. The difficulty - more perceived than real - of slipping the tiny cassette into a holder before inserting it in a VCR kept many consumers from appreciating VHS-C. Its size was touted, for example, as making it easier to mail home videos to distant relatives.
October 15, 1987 |
In the near future, your home-made videos will look much more realistic - if you shoot them with a stereoscopic camcorder. Just imagine the possibilities: "Mom's 3-D House of Thanksgiving Dinner!" "A Visit To the Dentist - 3-D" (a.k.a. "Jaws, Part XVIII"). And how about "Jim and Mary's Wedding Reception - Featuring 3-D Cake Smearing and Rice Toss. " Duck! Splat! Ugh! Like Count Floyd says on SCTV, "Ooooooh, that's scary stuff. " Inspiring such visions is news of the world's first VHS-C format camcorder designed for easy shooting of three-dimensional pictures.
July 13, 1989 |
If you're in the market for a camcorder this summer, you may have seen the ads: Recent reductions from major manufacturers such as Panasonic and JVC are bringing advertised prices for some full-size and Compact VHS (VHS-C) camcorders below $800. This price level traditionally has been the domain of the "point-and- shoot" style of video camera, characterized by small lenses, plastic housing, optical viewfinders, limited focusing ability and lack of an in- camera playback feature.
October 19, 1987 |
Three years after introducing the first 8mm video equipment, Eastman Kodak is dumping its inventory and leaving the battle of the camcorder formats to Japanese manufacturers. Kodak's entire stock of video hardware is being liquidated through Ritz Camera, a Baltimore-based retailer and mail-order marketer with stores in Philadelphia. A recent Ritz advertisment offered Kodak's deluxe, $3,000 list 8mm Modular Video System - including an auto-focus camera head, stereo deck with PCM digital recording capability, tuner-timer and accessories - for $889.
January 5, 1986 |
The VHS-owning public has every right to be pleased with the single-unit camera-recorders now available in their format. Two years after Sony Corp. showed that a Beta cassette and recording mechanism could be contained in a video camera's body, the VHS group has answered in kind, and the big brand names in VHS are elbowing their way through a field already crowded with competition. Camcorders are being sold by Panasonic, RCA, Quasar, Hitachi, Sylvania, Philco, Minolta, GE, Magnavox and many others.
September 1, 1988 |
We really didn't expect the manufacturers of VHS videocassette recorders to sit back and watch the 8mm camp steal all the personal video thunder, did we? On the eve of introduction for Sony's 8mm Video Walkman - a perfectly charming, 2 1/2-pound, AC- or battery-powered VCR recorder with flip-up 3-inch color liquid crystal display screen - the folks at Matsushita (Panasonic/ Technics/Quasar to us) have unveiled an amazingly similar product that uses almost-as-tiny VHS-C cassettes.