VHS Video Recorder (VCR) from the 1980s


By freelance writer Jane Duncan

September 25 2020

If you were a kid during the 80s, you probably still remember all the things that kept you entertained way before the Internet was invented. Apart from playing board games or building Lego, you probably watched a lot of cartoons or played video games with your siblings or friends. Though young people these days may have more gadgets than they’ll ever need, as well as round-the-clock access to the Internet, children and teens in the 80s weren’t deprived of fun: they also had a few gizmos that made staying at home more enjoyable. Rediscover these home entertainment trends from the 80s, and relive the ways you spent your free time at home. 

Betamax and VHS

These days, Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu have made watching movies and TV series more accessible and affordable for families all over the world, and this is why having a higher-end model TV is essential to access these streaming services. But do you remember the days when you had to rent a Betamax or VHS tape of your favourite movie from Blockbusters, or the tape rental place in your neighbourhood?
Back in the Decade of Excess, almost every family had a television and a Betamax or a VHS in their living room, and some even splurged on a tape rewinder, as this device could rewind the tape faster without straining or damaging it. Hollywood continued to release movies on VHS until 2006, ending the device’s 29-year run in homes worldwide. However, much like vinyl records have become in-demand once again over the recent years, it appears that VHS tapes may be in for a revival this year, so it’s likely that you’ll see remastered versions of your favourite 80s flicks on tape once more. 

Pocketvision 3

Miniature televisions were all the rage in the 80s, and back then, everyone from overnight security guards to executives had a Pocketvision 3. This device had a 3-inch LCD screen and it could access analogue TV. Although you could only watch shows in black and white, it provided at least 10 hours of entertainment for those who didn’t want to share a TV with a sibling, or for people who just wanted to pass the time. 

Stereo System

Back in the 80s, almost everyone had a boom box so they could listen to music on cassette tapes, but true audiophiles invested in big, bulky component stereo systems that would take up a significant amount of space in their living room. A classic stereo system has a turntable, two huge speakers, a tape deck, AM/FM tuner, an amplifier, and a receiver, and getting everything connected involves using a lot of wires and jacks. You can still get a complete stereo setup from Ebay, but you can also get a downsized component to get that distinctive hi-fi sound quality. 

The recent demand for all things retro indicates that these 80s home devices will once again be present in living rooms all over the world. So dust off your old component and your VHS player, place them in a prominent place in your home, and enjoy watching movies or listening to the music of your youth!

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