Its strange to think that the now obsolete VCR or VTR has a half century history, from the giant Ampex and RCA machines used in TV stations to the multiple, competing format, consumer cassette players that culminated in the dominant VHS standard.
Today you can by a DVD player for the same price as a DVD itself, due to the small number of moving parts and emerging market labor. However, VCRs were always relatively expensive because of their complex mechanisms, latterly involving gimballed rotating heads.
In terms of design, aside from the robust utilitarian looking professional models, VCRs were ugly devices from the outside, but complex marvels inside.
There are several great sites dealing with VTR history, including the excellent: http://www.totalrewind.org
Posted by David Galbraith
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