Steve: I definitely recall seeing 'flowing red' colours whenever this colour appeared using tapes on any of my 4 machines [later models were 4-headed]. Anyone who rerecorded tapes onto another generation down got this problem even worse. I only got this with videocassettes, it doesn't happen in DVD or in hi-def camcorder recording, so it ain't my eyesight, its from seeing different technologies.
At the time I just accepted it, home visuals was still in its' infancy and it was enough just to have recordable 'moving pictures', but the technology was prehistoric compared with today. Fine at the time though and I got a lot of pleasure out of it. But quality-wise it was closer to watching something on youtube [non-hi-def youtube] these days. The deficiencies on VHS was patently and painfully evident, as it used fewer lines than broadcast images, unlike DVD where usually the picture is as good [and sometimes better] than TV transmissions.
If you look at examples of VHS now [I still kept a few tapes] the picture is murky, often grainy, and lacks definition, and it's often soft and blurry. There's a quantum leap in quality with DVD and blu-ray. Super VHS was doubtless better, but this was for the enthusiasts who could afford it, like people with home projection systems, which were prohibitively expensive for most people in the 70s and 80s and even the early 90s.
Here's an exceptionally bad example of VHS [sure this clip probably derives from a badly-preserved source] but the dreaded 'flowing reds' are plain for all to see here:
Those reds are flowing like blood here!
Last edited by Odeon68; 12-08-12 at 10:23 AM.
In 1988, the High Court found Amstrad was not responsible for copyright infringement committed by consumers using Amstradís twin cassette deck and Thatcher updated copyright law for the home taping age by introducing the time-shifting exception into UK law.
This business of *time-shifting* is interesting because I guess this is the logic behind the BBC only leaving i-players available for a short while. A lot of the law is a matter of bluff I suppose, but this page says it is still theoretically illegal to keep recordings in the long term.
Essentially it is illegal to copy copyrighted content for personal use under UK law: the back-up of music, film and e-books is currently illegal and so is format-shifting, for example copying music into different formats to listen to on different devices.
First personal experience of home video recording was certainly as early as 1980, when my dad had access to a VHS recorder at work which he sometimes bought home to record rugby matches while he was playing golf. Also found itself being used to record repeats of Gerry Anderson shows being screened around then which I still have on the shelf - quality is still not at all bad.
There is a quantum leap with DVD and Blu-ray - but using the correct definition of "quantum leap" that it is a minuscule difference
In fact with any digital technology, you lose information as soon as the signal is digitised
DVD and Blu-ray also use extreme compression techniques which often involve missing out frames. Try stepping through them a "frame" at a time. Things usually move in much bigger jumps than they ever did with VHS recordings.
There are problems with VHS, mainly to do with their mechanical nature. They also lose some information each time you copy from one tape to another. But VHS actually records a lot more than is recorded on DVD. With Blu-ray, a lot depends on the source but even if you're recording from an HD source onto VHS and Blu-ray then VHS stores more information
Don't believe the hype in the adverts
Forgot to mention in my last post - Bristol, where I used to live, has what is possibly one of the longest established video/dvd rental shops, 20th Century Flicks, which I'm sure when it started out in the early 80s only had what seemed like a couple of dozen films on the shelf.
A recording of a broadcast can be made in domestic premises for private and domestic use to enable it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time.
This time-shifting exception does not however cover the making of recordings for placing in a collection for repeated viewing or listening. The making of a recording for purposes other than to time-shift a programme for your or your family is likely to be illegal.
Be seeing you in court.....
I have things that I recorded years ago that I haven't watched yet. I haven't found a convenient time to watch them
As I said, it helps to know the law rather than listen to rumour
I never believed that home taping was illegal, despite the ridiculous propaganda distributed at the time by industry bods which encouraged you to think so. However, the conspiracy theorists (them again!!) used to delight in telling people that by law you had to record over anything you taped off air after a maximum of 28 days. This, of course, was never proven, and is now largely believed to have been bollocks. These may be the same mad people that recently ran an 'anti VHS intervention' at a defunct Blockbuster in Catford, claiming that "the format represents the ultimate fetish of consumerism" (er, no it doesn't, or else people would still be consuming it- the clue's in the name). Apparently, this is BECAUSE, not in spite of, the fact that nobody wants them anymore: also most of the retail videos released in the early 80s that went unsold are now 'sitting in landfills'. Er, right. The strange man running the event then asked people to hold an 'amnesty' and 'turn in their videotapes', which apparently could be out to better use by being, get this, 'recycled into Puffa Jackets' So, owning a copy of, say, JOHN LENNON; A JOURNEY IN THE LIFE starring Bernard Hill (which has NEVER been repeated or released) is a bad consumerist idea, but making tacky clothing for the local chavs (none of whom would ever come to his 'intervention' anyway) is better? Of course it is, and look, i just saw another giant shapeshifting lizard man go by on the 185 bus, drinking the Kool Aid. Pillock. I left quickly, but sadly failed to teef the copy of THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR, or the Van Morrison live video I spotted, off the shelves before I 'did one'.
Anyhoo, back on topic...Our first video, rented under guarantee in 1981, was a Philips VCR2000- and believe it or not, we managed to maintain various versions of these (at one time a Grundig) until 1986 when, after repairing the bloody thing the thousandth time, we finally gave in to VHS. VHS, of course, was inferior to Betamax in quality, but LOOKED nicer, and had a better publicity agent: this is analogous to why Iron Maiden's career overtook that of Angel Witch around the same time, but I digress...
When we got our first Phillips I was amazed- there they were, recordings!! And you could rent films from shops too- although the only one that seemed to do our format was the one on Robin Hood Lane in Dagenham, and once that closed, we were fucked. You could record on BOTH sides of the tape, if you had long play, as a poster here pointed out, you could stretch (not literally) an 8-hour tape to 16 hours running time, there was a 'Go To' button, so if you were anorak enough to remember or log in a book at which digits on the counter your desired programme started you could set it to immediately forward or rewind to them: and yes, you could slo-mo if you wanted. Sounded like heaven, especially in those early days.
However, as with so many things in life, the reality was a little more prosaic underneath the veneer, and the machines and tapes had several faults. Namely:
1) You had to keep changing the heads about once a fortnight, which involved getting blokes from Radio Rentals round. One was a Jehovah's Witness, and visited so often (because that's how often the bloody thing broke down) that he was on the verge of converting me until my Mum (and other parents in the area) had him reported and sacked.
2) They had a tendency to overheat.
3) The tapes got jammed in them.
4) If you used the picture search too often, it also wore the heads down. This, however. wasn't going to deter a 9-year old who had never seen such a thing before, and thought the idea of watching Ian Charleson, Ben Cross and Nigel Havers running very fast backwards was the most hilarious thing on earth.
5) The tapes would often be blighted by snow (although never consistently in the same place on the tape) and 'frizzing' over the picture after you'd used them more than 3 times.
6) The last 5 or 10 minutes of each tape were always unwatchable, with jolting lines and white noise starting in the bottom of the screen and then eventually obscuring both sound and vision, meaning that 50 percent of the films I saw, I never saw the actual ending of. If you recorded at the start of the tape you were fine- if you put another film on the END of the same tape, you'd be bollocksed.
7) They had a tendency to snap, and were thought to be unfixable.
8) Sometimes they turned over during viewing or recording!!
In short, they were never going to catch on. But having said all of that, I've had just as many VHS tapes fuck up on me over the years, as every format has its own peculiar little glitsches and peccadilloes. As does DVD, Blu-ray and anything else they throw at us. Nothing is permanent media!!
As for the 'Intellectual Property Office', the illegality or legality they refer to all seems to hinge on the words 'may be', so it seems as if even THEY don't know. Also,their concept and purpose seems very abstract- how can they prove what purpose you own anything for? And how would they find out? Are the Government so well off that they can afford to employ an agency whose sole function in life is driving round, individually knocking on everyone's doors, and rifling through their film collections? Extremely doubtful. Are they even a genuine agency? That site looks very 'knocked up' to me, but then again so do a lot of them....
I rented my first video recorder in September 1978, it was a Ferguson and the local shop gave a free video to every new customer. I remember them saying that they couldn't deliver until the Saturday morning, and I wanted to tape Guess Who's Coming to Dinner on the Friday evening. They very obligingly said that they would tape it for me, which they did, so I had a favourite film to watch that weekend, which I did, several times. It was recorded on a Thorn tape, I still have it, and it is as good as new. I well recall that a blank tape cost £15.95 each, which is why I wiped so many rare programmes so that I could record something new.
My first pre-recorded tape was "All About Eve" which cost £47, that is four times the cost of the marvellous Special Edition DVD that I now have, and with lots of rare Extra's.
Yeah, but, like (adopting Nigel Planer voice), what is truth anyway, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan?
"As your details have been passed on to our Enforcement Division, a visit to your property is being authorised..."
It later says, "We'd like to stop writing to you if you don't need a license. So, if you don't watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV, please let us know...... We may confirm this with a visit.
It seems that being such a weirdo as to simply not want to watch TV anymore will lead to men in white coats paying me a visit in due course no matter which choice I make.......