When the whole world was the cover of an OMNI magazine.
January 9, 2019 3:43 PM   Subscribe

[SLYT] The forgotten art of blank VHS covers, remastered and reimagined.
posted by dmd (33 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is very good.
posted by cortex at 3:50 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


So cool!
posted by joedan at 4:00 PM on January 9


Yup, my mind went straight to orange stripes on a black background and I was not disappointed
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:04 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Also, I was pretty skeptical of the idea that a video was the proper way to present this, but those transitions were downright masterful.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:06 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


Wow this actually made my dead heart flutter.
posted by Young Kullervo at 4:07 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


What the heck was the point of LP anyway?
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:27 PM on January 9


Diagonal bars totally make sense, since this is the path the heads scan across the tape.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:42 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I had never really thought of the ubiquity of the spectrum. Was this to reassure nervous customers that they could record their shows in living color?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:46 PM on January 9


What the heck was the point of LP anyway?

Six straight hours of Steamed Hams on loop.
posted by cortex at 4:47 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


But LP was 4 hours, no? And the quality wasn't noticeably better than the 6-hour SLP.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:52 PM on January 9


Oh, man, I was misremembering it as SP, EP, LP I guess.
posted by cortex at 4:53 PM on January 9


What the heck was the point of LP anyway?

EP took awhile to become a thing, and apparently it was never a thing in PAL markets.

Also, until everyone got hi-fi VCRs (basically the 1990s) the sound in EP mode was extremely not good.
posted by neckro23 at 4:54 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


That was great.
posted by octothorpe at 4:57 PM on January 9


Also, I was pretty skeptical of the idea that a video was the proper way to present this, but those transitions were downright masterful.

Oh yeah, and with the music the whole thing was like watching a demo that came with my new SoundBlaster card.
posted by traveler_ at 5:41 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Now I want to go play Breakout.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 5:43 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


TDK Super Avilyn all the way! (Yeah, I defected to Fuji by the end).
posted by ovvl at 6:06 PM on January 9


That was extremely well done. Thanks for the post.
posted by davebush at 6:25 PM on January 9


All those dead companies, this should be called a memorial.
posted by fullerine at 7:07 PM on January 9


This is awesome!
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:24 PM on January 9


beautiful
posted by philip-random at 7:32 PM on January 9


Well that was surprisingly nostalgic
posted by potrzebie at 7:41 PM on January 9


Came for the Memorex weird triangle in circle, was not disappointed. What an incredibly weird thing to be nostalgic about.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:57 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


This is so austerely gorgeous and generous, if that makes sense.

I think often of the frenzied last-minute run my dad and I made to the local discount store to get blank tapes for the VCR he purchased hours before the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympiad. The eager stockboy grabbed a pair of tapes from the j-hook and said, "is memenex okay???" to which my dad answered, "perfect!!!"

Honest to god I rewatched the entirety of that ceremony, two tapes's worth, the next day.
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:11 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


This brings back the mystery of buying blank media of any sort. Videocassettes, tapes, floppy disks...is one brand inherently better than another, you'd wonder as you stared at the bin intensely. What kind of label--or labels!--does it come with?

I was watching a video the other day where an intrepid soul took apart brand new oil filters for car engines. There were eight brands, but once they started coming apart it was clear there are only two manufacturers. Wild conjecture here, but I'm guessing videotape was the same way.

Also, needs more sex and lies.
posted by maxwelton at 8:44 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Wow this actually made my dead heart flutter.

Yes, this is oddly stirring.

I was six years old, and my Dad told us he was coming home soon with a device that could capture a TV show, to keep and watch whenever we wanted. And that my Aunt had this channel that showed movies from the theater without any cuts or commercials, and that she had already grabbed a few of them for us.

On the day her package arrived, he had us all come sit in the living room. I remember us all in a line on the floor, so we must have been getting too much up under his feet trying to "help" as he connected up all the cords. I remember the VCR itself as huge, this monstrous top-loading thing that whirred and clanked as it locked everything in place.

My Aunt had sent us these four mysterious tapes, and had done a good job putting all the stickers on and indexing everything on each one. Looking at this video, I think they were the Dynamicron E-180s seen at 31 seconds in, but I'm really not sure. The purple feels familiar but like I said, I was six so this is obviously ancient history. There was a tape with a Snoopy movie. There was a tape with some cowboy pictures that my Dad was stoked about. But decades later now on this scorched Earth, the tape I remember had

Ghostbusters

Empire Strikes Back

Enemy Mine

Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip

which in the years to come, my brothers and I would watch on a near perpetual loop, with our folks making us rewind the tape before we got to the Richard Pryor. But, they didn't always catch us in time. By the time I was nine or ten, there was permanent grain in the picture that the tracking dial couldn't do much about at all, but by then of course, we had about every frame on that tape memorized. I think I'd flat out be a different person today if my Aunt had never send us that big stack of movies.

Anyhow, thank you for posting this.

/old
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:28 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


What the heck was the point of LP anyway?

For me, usually scheduled live events. They would go longer than two or three hours but rarely more than four.
posted by filtergik at 4:38 AM on January 10


I've been reviewing years-old videotapes and digitizing the interesting stuff (local news bits, old ephemeral commercials) and ignoring the rest (hours and hours of films with the "call to subscribe" phone number across the bottom from free Disney and HBO weekends), and I'm pretty sure I've touched literally every logo in that video.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:31 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I never understood those 120 hour videotapes. But I did have a tape with EVERY SINGLE loony tunes....
posted by rebent at 11:55 AM on January 10


LP was good for time shifting stuff you couldn’t be at the TV to watch, and didn’t give a damn about archiving. Especially once you could program the VCR to do more than “start recording at this time.

Wait, no, that’s what SLP was for. Never mind. It’s been years since I thought about VCRs.
posted by egypturnash at 6:08 PM on January 10


that was heckin' great
posted by duffell at 7:12 PM on January 10


This makes me wonder how many tapes of early 90s HBO preview weekends I have out in the garage?
posted by octothorpe at 7:44 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I've been reviewing years-old videotapes and digitizing the interesting stuff (local news bits, old ephemeral commercials) and ignoring the rest (hours and hours of films with the "call to subscribe" phone number across the bottom from free Disney and HBO weekends)

It is AMAZING how true this is for everything I've saved -- in so many formats. I've got print-outs of threads on an old social BBS from my teenage years, but the stuff I chose to print was, like, when someone would post The Anarchist's Cookbook. But I would pay a lot of cash for copies of our silly poetry fights, or exquisite-corpse story games, or flirty riffing....

I suppose it's the same as all those grandmas holding onto newspapers from when Neal Armstrong walked on the Moon. Nobody expected that there would be a global system for archiving information that would make anything significant instantly available, so the only things of value worth saving were the ephemera of daily life.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 8:43 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I have a single unlabeled cassette tape that I kept not throwing away because what I think might be on it. What to do with it? Is there a lost media recycling/recovery sort of service?

I *think* it's the last flashback lunch on KROQ with Adam Ant doing an acoustic session. Maybe someday I'll pick up a walkman from the thrift shop and attempt to do it myself. Or a generation down it will be tossed into the trash.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:00 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


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