|This museum explores the surprising history of the humble video recorder. You probably know that there was another kind of video, called Betamax, which was eventually beaten by the VHS system we all use today. But do you remember Video 2000? And did you know that this "Format War" was actually the closing chapter in a long and complex story, with many wrong turns and blind alleys?|
|It's hard to imagine today, but only a few years ago you had a simple choice: you could stay
home and watch TV, or you could go out - which meant missing your favourite programs. The idea of a "television
recorder" was just a dream until the 1970's.
Then, gradually, strange (and enormous) machines began to appear in the lounges and living rooms of the nation.
At first, they were so complex and expensive that only wealthy "gadget freaks" could afford them.
|But gradually they crept into our lives until it was hard to imagine life without a VCR clunking away under the telly, faithfully recording East Enders (or more likely, recording the wrong channel, since so many of us found them hard to operate.) Within 10 years Britain had the highest per-capita ownership of VCRs in the world, and the video was a fixture in our homes and our lives.|
|TOTAL REWIND is a celebration of this transition and the impact it had on British culture, and a showcase for some the classic machines of the era which we have managed to rescue and preserve. I hope you enjoy your visit, and please come again!|
|Click on "Main Map" to return to the museum's main hall.
Or, click on one of the other buttons on the left for more background information.
"How and Why" gives an in-depth discussion of my collection and how it came about,
while "Catalogue" shows the collection itself.
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