Were VHS rewinders snake oil?

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

  1. Gems-A-Bems

    Gems-A-Bems Forum Resident

    The Duke City
    What most people didn’t realize at the time, unfortunately, is rewinding VHS tapes immediately after viewing is bad for the tape.

    A rewound tape is tighter than a tape that is just wound through normal play and the tighter a tape is wound the worse the condition of the tape becomes.

    The best thing to do is rewind the tapes just prior to viewing. And while those old rewinders could still be used for that they still weren’t great for the tapes.

    Edit - I see @Pinknik already covered this while I was typing.
  2. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    If you kept your receipt I can give you store credit, but unfortunately I can't refund your money! :cool:
  3. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    They worked better than the DVD rewinders.
    Pinknik likes this.
  4. Pinknik, Simon A and uzn007 like this.
  5. Humanoid_Z

    Humanoid_Z Active Member

    Canada and China
    still better than green markers
    Chris DeVoe and uzn007 like this.
  6. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    But, if you notice the predominant color. Just having "Green" close to a DVD has to be a good thing.

    I gotta have one of these. I could have a lot of fun showing guests how an "audiophile" always uses his DVD rewinder, prior to placing the played DVD back into it's case.

    This way it is sure to be ready to start at the beginning of the tape the next time that it is played.
  7. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    VHS tape machines were mechanical horrible monstrosities. The motors would wear and slow down.

    Anything you could do to take the load off of a tape machine, you did.

    An average rewinder, might have cost $8.

    An average VCR about $500 + the cost of repairs and adjustments.

    It is money well spent!
  8. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    All of the VCRs we owned would have been your average model you could have bought at a Sears, I don't think we owned more than 2 or 3 of them and they did see quite a bit of use. I only became a videophile towards the start of the BD era, when it became obvious that this was a giant leap in fidelity. I remember the rewinders were the most common device you'd find in the cheap electronics bins.

    We lived in Canada and the US in the VHS era I don't think I've ever encountered a video store (mom and pop or chain) that charged for not rewinding a tape. It was always just a courtesy from places I rented from.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Blockbuster had rewind fees.
  10. dewey02

    dewey02 Forum Resident

    The mid-South.
    Exactly. Look at a tape that's played at standard speed through your VHS machine and you will see it is very smoothly wound. Then look at a tape that has been rewound (either in VHS or via rewinder) and it is all over the place. Storing them for extended periods in that condition was said to not be a good thing. I read about this many years ago (during the VHS era) and always left my tapes unwound until I was going to play them again. Did it make any difference? I never knew.
    Pinknik likes this.
  11. Holy Socks

    Holy Socks Active Member

    Auburn CA
    Very handy device, especially when you rented a whole bunch of rentals all at once. My best one was made by Kinko.
  12. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident

    You're not sold?

    We were there. You were not. (Going by your posts you didn't actually live through this period.)

    The rewinders served a purpose. What if you needed to rewind a tape but the VCR was currently being used because you were watching a movie or something? Why wait till the movie was over to then rewind the next tape? You'd pop it in the rewinder so it'd be ready for you. This was common issue during a movie night.

    The concern over wear and tear was real and not paranoia. I had many VCR's that would eat up--and ruin---tapes. Using your VCR as a rewinding machine on top of normal daily use was a risk of wearing down the parts and causing issues later.

    The VCR was probably the most important machine in the house growing up. Considering all the stuff we'd tape off the TV/cable; we definitely made sure to take good care of it.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  13. 2trackmind

    2trackmind Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm not sure where you got that from. I was there. I owned VCRs back then. Never a dedicated rewinder. I never knew anyone else that owned one either.
    Pinknik likes this.
  14. But that smooth wind is so pretty! :D
    dewey02 likes this.
  15. Simon A

    Simon A Arrr!

    Same here. National Video in the 80's. Perfect job for a teenager at the time. Some of our evening customers complained because we'd play Eddie Murphy's Delirious all the time. :D
    eric777 likes this.
  16. eric777

    eric777 Rock Star

    Yeah, it was a great job. I worked at a store called Movie Mart in 1992. I really miss that store.
    Simon A likes this.

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