After 26 years: my first defective VHS tape

I bought my first one in 1984. In all the years since then, I’ve never had a problem with a new VHS tape. Then, in the last batch that I bought, a six-pack, I had two defective tapes. Both of them had this problem. For a clunky medium as VHS now seems, that’s a pretty good run. Maybe they figure that since hardly anyone buys them anymore, they can cut costs by putting out crappier tapes.

Just in case it’s hard to make out, the “flap” that protects the tape when the cassette is not in use was not connected on one side.

It looks like the case hit the floor, hard, breaking the hinge pin. I don’t think it’s a defective design.

I found this happened to 3.5" floppy disks in the late 1990s. No problem with my main computers over the years, but it sucks when old/retro computers are a hobby.

I do agree with Gaffa, though-- that looks like damage caused in shipping, poor handling by stockers/store receivers, or rough handling by customers before you.

I used to have lots of problems with crappy VHS quality even at the height of their popularity, usually tape disconnected from the leader, or the leader disconnected from one of the reels. These were so common that the rental stores I frequented wouldn’t charge customers for damage, and usually had a little tape repair station in the back to put them back together. I also had an inordinate number of cassettes that had the clear plastic window pop out, usually trapped in the tape shell. The worst was a batch of Polaroid-branded cassettes in the mid 80s that shed its magnetic coating in their first use, gunking up the VCR’s tapehead.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyy? I can’t imagine a reason to buy regular VHS blanks anymore, let alone six of them.

Yesterday - for the first time in I don’t know how long - I watched a tape I had borrowed. I was pleasantly surprised I was even able to make my way through the various machines and remotes to get it going. Was weird, how different the technology seemed - fast forwarding and such - that had once been so familiar.

A VH-what, now?

Well, I can DVR only two programs at one time, and occasionally, there are three programs that I want to record. I haven’t figured out a way to get around that with just one DVR.

But why VHS instead of DVD for the third option? Three main reasons: cost, reliability, and portability.

They’re cheap: I already have VCRs, so there’s no need to purchase addtional equipment.

They’re reliable: I’ve had T120 and T160 tapes last for 10 years thru “constant” use. “Constant” meaning recording and playback once a month at extended play. Now, the VCRs themselves, eh, maybe three years at the most with constant use.

They’re portable: I can take my VHS tape immediately after a recording and pop it in any VCR and expect it to play. I haven’t figured out a way to do that with a DVD without finalizing it first, which means that I can’t add any more content to it. With VHS, I can record as much as I want, play back, then rerecord over it. Also, I’ve had home made DVDs occasionally just freeze up or not play on one or another player. Never had that problem with VHS.

Why a six pack? Cheaper unit price.

Now, if there’s another option, I’m all ears.

I concede that portability is a decent plus. My DVR has an SD Card slot, but I’ve never used it and am not sure on format compatibility.

Heh, my dad does the same thing. Well actually he has one DVR, one regular cable box and two VCRs, so I think he can record up to 4 shows at once while watching another. :smiley:

What I do like about VHS tapes is if they break, the tape gets mangled or they don’t play correctly, you can easily open them up and either cut out the defective part and splice the ends back together, or just remove both spools into a new case. If a DVD skips & gets stuck, well, you’re basically out of luck.

Yep. Been there, done that. Also, I’ve had cases that got damaged (stepped on/dropped/etc.) with content that I wanted to keep. As long as the tape reels are intact, it’s easy to unscrew the the cover and pop the reels into an undamaged cassette (that does not have any keepers on it).