This is the junkiest of the junk right here. How could it be junk when it's sealed? It can't be junk. Anybody can use this with their VCRs. Oh. Yeah. They can't. If you're a youngin', you're probably saying "What is that, a universal remote?" "What's a VCR?" "Who tapes anything anymore?" "Will it make taking a s*it fast and easy?" "Is this some sort of vibrator?" "Can't you take a clear picture without the damn flash you idiot?" Ohhh, it has a trendy racing stripe. After all, someone made hundreds of thousands of these, made a lot of money for two years selling "easy" for $40 a pop and then went under and they got buried next to the ET cartridges in a landfill. Video stores everywhere thought they could make a buck on these. Electronics store everywhere did make a buck on these. Newspapers with local TV guides made money on these as the parent company had to pay all of the papers to print their codes. Why again did we have these? Is this what cavemen used to use to program their rock based pterodactyl televisions? Read on.
So, in the late 70's and early 80's, we had Video Cassette Recorders to record events off television or watch movies. They started with big machines that had WIRED remotes. (Yes, there was a time where you had long wires attached to your equipment. Model T stuff here. ) You could record a show, but only if you were there. Cable TV started becoming a thing and VCRS got smaller and some could actually tune cable and then some started to be programmable so you didn't have to be there to record a show. As the 80's went on, VCRS got smaller, tuners got better and eventually programming your VCR became an on screen adventure. Duh. On screen was easy as hell, much better than programming from the top of your VCR because with on screen programming, you actually saw what you were doing from your couch. Of course, VCRS kept getting smaller, and soon if you lost your remote, you were out of luck because displays on the VCRS became a thing of the past. Somewhere in all the advances in the early 90's, if you couldn't make heads or tails of how to program your equipment, your VCR flashed 12:01 and that was that.
Enter the VCR Plus. This little remote was designed to simplify all brands of VCRS into a standard system. There were some odd systems like Panasonic's Infared "scanner" that allowed you to program by running the scanner over bar codes, but that was a pricey option. No, the VCR PLUS was the answer. You didn't need to know how to program your VCR. All you needed was a local listings "code" for the program. You put in the code and left the VCR Plus within range of your VCR and Cable box. It automatically started your VCR and set your cable box to the channel you wanted to record. It really worked. The manufacturer actually got a few VCR makers to add it to their VCRS. I guess it was good for setting your cable box if you didn't have a cable-ready VCR or your cable company didn't allow it.
A web search said they had codes published until 2010! I only remember them for a few years. I didn't sell many of these. I never used these. I went through the extra effort to know how to program my VCRS and never had a cable box (or cable) to worry about. Point being, yes, we went through all this trouble . We even had recordable DVD's come on for a few years before TIVO took over and a few years after, on demand television. VCRS were discontinued last year. All your video tapes are going to be worthless in another 10 years. Why not make the biggest selling tape into a pyramid in the desert? I feel silly still using video tapes to record things but I know that pretty soon, I'll have to get a digital box. It's good to know Gemstar was a California Corporation. It required batteries so I don't have that worry about keeping this sealed piece of dung in my collection. Everybody needs sealed dung in their junk collection right? RIGHT? *shakes head*. They actually came out with something even simpler than this. It was a big remote with two dials you set for time on and time off and you left your cable box or VCR set to whatever channel you wanted to record. Were we that simple? Yep. Junk Blog. -Ric