General Question

gailcalled's avatar

HAs the VCR become obsolete? Can I get mine repaired (bought in 1987)? How? Where?

Asked by gailcalled (54577points) March 3rd, 2010

I have a roof antenna, a twenty-year-old CRT TV and a $40 converter box, all connected in a snarl of wires through my VCR player. The TV does not have the electronics to support a DVD player. I have a collection of meaningful family videos. I was able to record programs to tape until recently. The TV works beautifully in digital mode. The VCR has collapsed. My cash flow and mood resists buying a flat screen and the new junk. Any ideas?

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20 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

Goodwill has VCRs. the price is right and scrap your old one. average VCR Goodwill price is 6 or 7 dollars.

gailcalled's avatar

But then I have to hire my 18 year old guru and pay him for installation. This is really a rhetorical question since there are no Goodwills in the rural area where I am.

But thanks. Can one still buy them new?

galileogirl's avatar

Probably not a compatible one. I still had VHS a couple of years ago when my old VCR died. I played DVD’s on the built in player on an old TV. All I could find for my newer TV was a DVD/VHS combo. I am preparing to move and getting rid of all my VHS.

Anybody for Beta?

john65pennington's avatar

I think Radio Shack may still have a few around. call one of their stores and ask. hope you can find one. i have an Hitachi thats practically brand new and used very little.

CMaz's avatar

Cheaper to find another one.

Lightlyseared's avatar

You could get the videos transfered to DVD and then watch them on your mac (assuming your mac has a DVD player).

starshine's avatar

you can also look on craigslist, or post something about wanting a working VCR. My cousin was throwing away one that was new in teh box because she didn’t need it and didn’t think anyone would want it. I snapped it right up!

DarkScribe's avatar

Find a TV repair shop with a guy over fifty running it. He will fix it for you.

gasman's avatar

Try eBay.

Buttonstc's avatar

If you decide to go the route of buying another used VCR, here’s another idea you might wish to consider.

GoVideo is a company which pioneered dual deck VCRs back in the day. They subsequently also made combo VCR/DVD units.

This would enable you to transfer from VCR tapes to DVD all with the same machine. I got one off of Craigslist about five or more years ago for thirty bucks. It’s great.

All those memories you have are on a very degradable medium (tapes) which gets worse over time. The tapes tend to get more brittle with age and disuse and can snap the next time they’re played for no reason at all.

These dual purpose GoVideo units pop up on Craigslist with regularity so it’s just something to consider if you have to go through the process of replacement anyhow. Good luck.

gailcalled's avatar

I just saw a later generation VCR that makes mine look like a Model T Ford. I think I will clean the slate and start from scratch in the spring. My family memory videos were transferred from 16 mm film several years ago. Maybe I should simply keep the memories as memories.

@DarkScribe: There are, alas, no longer any TV repair shops (try to get a toaster oven, hair dryer, or MV oven repaired also.) Sadly these are now designed for early obsolescence.

Thanks, everyone, for the good ideas, however.

Buttonstc's avatar

What’s an MV oven ?


gailcalled's avatar

I have no idea. Did I mean microwave? Brain is in reverse after a discussion of finances with adviser.

Berserker's avatar

VCR will never die! Raises fist.

Even the DVD version of Maximum Overdrive doesn’t have the extra added material that the VHS version does…

There’s probbaly some places that will repair it, but you’d have to look in the phone book and inform yourself with any business dealing in electronics in your area. It must be a fading practice, so I can’t say for sure. The people that fix em are prolly few and far between, but they do exist.

If not, most pawn shops still sell reasonable VCR’s.

DarkScribe's avatar

@gailcalled There are, alas, no longer any TV repair shops (try to get a toaster oven, hair dryer, or MV oven repaired also.)

There are several in my area. They all seem to be doing a pretty good trade whenever I have been around them.

gailcalled's avatar

@DarkScribe: Don’t we live on different continents? The era of the handyman is over, sadly, here. Lots of guys who will bale hay, make horseshoes, sheer sheep, relocate huge trees and reroof, however. No longer a shoemaker, a dry cleaner, (never was a pawn shop) or people who will wash windows.

I have two doddering old guys who will replace screens in their frames (thanks to Milo the Scratcher) and sharpen tools. But one high wind and they will be flattened.

If anyone stepped forward, he would have a flourishing business.

DarkScribe's avatar

@gailcalled Don’t we live on different continents? The era of the handyman is over, sadly, here

Yes, I am in Australia. The era of the repair shop is fading fast here – smaller towns still have them, but not too many in the cities. They are mostly operated by guys over fifty, once they go there won’t be anyone replacing them. People still display amazement when I repair something at component level instead of replacing whole boards etc. As a hobby I buy non-operational but rare or valuable equipment considered non-repairable and refurbish it. I rebuild a lot of old valve radios – 1920/30s mostly. Also repair a lot cameras and lenses – often sent from Europe or the States. I do it for a hobby, but there is a market there for anyone with the skills (and equipment) now that the internet widens the potential customer base.

gailcalled's avatar

@DarkScribe:Your hobby sounds perfect for a small business when you retire. It’s too bad that the postage on on VHR player would cost more than the value of the player. Unless you want to move here in rural dairy country in New York State.

mcbealer's avatar

@gailcalled ~ I have a VCR you can have for whatever it costs to ship it from MD, PM me if you’re interested.

gailcalled's avatar

@mcbealer : That’s kind of you, but I will probably start saving my pennies for a modern entertainment system. My present set-up is totally Rube Goldberg. Thanks, though, for the offer.

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