They were the hallmark of movie watching in our youth, carrying films home from our local Blockbuster for a night of family fun and entertainment. Together we’d gather around the huge cathode ray tube TV’s in our living room, not even thinking to complain about the static lines that occasionally would run across the screen from a movie that had been worn with love from rewatching. National VCR Day comes each year to remind us to take some time to appreciate the nostalgia of the tech of yesteryear.
It was really the 90s kids who really had the full scope of the VCR evolution and were the first ones to really grasp the concept of taping, recording, rewinding and we all have stacks somewhere of our old VCR tapes that housed all our favorite 90s shows.
History of National VCR Day
The VCR actually came along a lot earlier than most people think, first being developed in 1956 and sent into the world. It was until 1970 that this technology actually became readily available for the home user. As anyone who lived through that era knows, the technology absolutely boomed at that time and soon it was part of the world we lived in. Cassette tapes appeared in every home, and people began collecting all their favorite movies in the latest format.
But that wasn’t all, as the technology improved hand held recorders became available, and family events began being taken down for posterity. From family holidays to weddings and funerals, everything was being recorded in the VHS format. Even events on TV were being recorded, and what was once a case of ‘miss your show, wait for the rerun’ became a case of ‘I have no idea how to program this VHS recorder to record what I watch’. So ubiquitous was this that it actually became a measuring stick for people’s intelligence “Oh your father will never be able to do that, he can’t even program the VCR!”
Nowadays, it’s a rdundent feature and really has no place in our homes, but really, even now our VCR tapes can be made digital. Yes that’s right, send off your old tapes and you can have them returned as DVDs, which are perfect for when you want to whip one out and embarrass the kids with home movies in front of their friends, or perhaps rewatch your wedding tape, with either fond memories or utter regret (it won’t be the latter of course!) 😉
Why Is the VCR So Nostalgic?
The VCR stirs up plenty of emotions for us and it is a feature that has sadly died a death in recent years, when video killed the radio star and digital killed the video star. Either way, it will remind most of us, from the millennials and back, of the happy memories we had of our past, which is what makes this such a great day to remember and celebrate. Arguments over who gets to record their favorite show and have the VCR recorder on a Saturday night and who wanted to rewatch their VCR tapes. A never ending battle, then of course when it came to switching back the clocks for daylight saving times, well that was a huge feat. Dad down on one knee trying to rewind the clock to make sure nothing recorded an hour too early or an hour too late! Oh the digital era has certainly made life a lot easier for us, but the VCR still holds a special place in our memories. They paved the way for a digital future, the ability to record and rewatch is not dissimilar to what we do now when we record onto TiVo or when we pause or rewind live TV, the concept is surely the same. Except now it’s done in a fraction of the time.
Is there a need for VCR still though? Well it’s certainly a backup option and most of us probably still have a VCR stashed in a box somewhere buried deep within the attic, or maybe stuffed in a box in the garage, but most televisions would not be compatible with some of the leads and adapters of yesteryear but there are ways.
How To Celebrate National VCR Day
Well celebrating VCR day is simple, you just need to dig up your old VHS recorder and a few of your favorite movies. We know you have them stashed away in the attic somewhere, planning on transferring them to DVD ‘eventually’. Instead take the time to dust them off, microwave up some popcorn and gather together with friends and family to take a stroll down memory lane. By the end of the night no doubt you’ll have experienced a powerful trip of nostalgia, while simultaneously gaining a strong appreciation for the advancements of technology. Never fear, no amount of HD TV is going to be able to replace these relics of yesteryear, and they’ll appear just as amazing and grainy as always. Though you might need an adapter, they didn’t come in HDMI.
Make this day an excuse to remember the good old days, don’t let those memories be easily forgotten and use it as an excuse to find old photos, look at old shows that have been long forgotten or perhaps old songs that need to be resurrected and put on CD for the car. It really does spark an endless line of happiness and nostalgia that goes far beyond the traditional VCR set; so why not make the most of it this year! Happy National VCR Day!