Were VHS rewinders snake oil?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by 2trackmind, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. 2trackmind

    2trackmind Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    I never understood why these devices existed back in the VHS days when pretty much every VCR in existence could rewind tapes. I thought their purpose was for if the rewind function was broken on a VCR. Today I did a little research to find out more. The Wikipedia article claims they saved wear and tear on the VCR and the tape itself. What’s your take on these devices? Did you use them?

    One interesting thing I came to realize in my search for these devices on eBay was that not too many reputable brands made these machines. The only big name brand I saw was Magnavox.
     
  2. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    I still have one. Yes, it does save on the wear & tear on a VCR.
     
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  3. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    They helped one be kind.
     
  4. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Technically, VHS (generally) rewound by pulling the tape partially away from the heads (or completely back into the shell) so there was little or no headwear. Betamax kept the tape loaded around the head, so there was somewhat more headwear. Sony insisted there was an "air gap" between the tape and the heads, so the real headwear during tape winding wasn't significant. I still used rewinders back in the 1980s and early 1990s just because it was convenient, and I could use my VCRs for other things while the tapes were winding.
     
  5. Ned Bode

    Ned Bode We had some almosts

    Convenience. Plus they were much faster than most VCRs.
     
  6. Claus LH

    Claus LH Forum Resident

    It saved wear on the motors as much as anything.
     
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  7. yesstiles

    yesstiles Forum Resident

    That's what I always always told.
     
  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    essential if you had multiple tapes...
     
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  9. Rhett

    Rhett The Man, The Myth, The Legend

    Location:
    Cool City
    Yes saved wear on the motors; faster than a VCR and you could rewind a tape in the re-winder while watching the next VHS tape (convenient).

    I used re-winders back in the day - not snake oil.
     
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  10. Cerebus

    Cerebus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    They were useful back when we’d rent multiple titles and wanted to start the next one right away.
     
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  11. loudinny

    loudinny Forum Resident

    Used ‘em all the time
     
  12. musicarus

    musicarus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Saratoga, NY
    Hardly snake oil. They f789ing worked. Unlike unproven medicine too lengthy to list.
     
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  13. Nomadicarchivist

    Nomadicarchivist Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    I used them a bunch when I worked at the video rental store
     
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  14. musicarus

    musicarus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Saratoga, NY
  15. DaveySR

    DaveySR Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    At one point I had a higher end VCR, with level meters etc., and I had a rewinder then just to save any potential wear to the machine's parts. After that VCR died I eventually tossed the rewinder. I was recording a load of high quality pre-recorded live music back then off cable.
     
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  16. carrick doone

    carrick doone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    I came back into this thread to give you a like cause we all know what you mean. BTW this may be one of the shortest threads ever. Usually by the fourth response someone takes a contrary opinion and we are off to the races. Not so with the venerable rewinder. Mine loooked like a car.
     
  17. hi_watt

    hi_watt Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I had the rewinder that was in the form of a black '57 Chevy. Lasted us a long time.
     
  18. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Oh wow, I totally forgot about those things. I had one, and it was great. Very useful for when you rented videos and had to rewind them to avoid paying the "You didn't rewind the tape" fee.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  19. mavisgold

    mavisgold Forum Resident

    Location:
    bellingham wa
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  20. hi_watt

    hi_watt Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Oh wow! That is very cool. Thank you for the pictures. Yep. I remember that box. The man pictured is supposed to be from the film industry if I'm not mistaken, giving his professional endorsement.
     
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  21. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Location:
    USA
    I dont either... THEY ARE GARBAGE!!! -- All the ones I saw SLAMMED THE TAPE FULL SPEED WHEN IT REACHED THE END... Not good at all!!

    I do not recommend using one ANYONE!!
     
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  22. mavisgold

    mavisgold Forum Resident

    Location:
    bellingham wa
    so you could rewind a rental
    I think they charged you if you didn't rewind
     
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  23. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Location:
    USA
    Ya but you dont wanna damage a rental either.........(Back then)
     
  24. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    You're not going to damage a VHS tape in a rewinder. All it does is rewind the tape.
     
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  25. eric777

    eric777 Rock Star

    Location:
    Tennessee
    My first job was at a video rental store. Those reminders were great. A lot of people would return them without rewinding them so we had to do it.
     
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