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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 12th Feb 2019, 12:28 am   #1
Hampus
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Default VCR calendar running out

A few days ago there was a power outage here, so I had to reset some clocks. I have a few mains powered clocks, from 1930's synchronous motor ones to the digital display on the microwave oven.

I still have a VCR connected to my TV. I don't often use it but I like to have it connected andready if the need should arise. It is a Philips unit, about fifteen years old. It's main purpose nowadays is to show me the time when I am watching TV

When I was setting the time on the VCR it turned out that the last year that could be set was 2018. It was not possible to enter 2019.

It was a bit sad to reach the end of time this way, it clearly proclaimed it's age and obsolescence.

I found out that 2013, inter alia, has the same calendar as 2019 so I set it to that year instead.

Just a reflection about the fact that everything has an end.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 9:26 am   #2
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

That is annoying, I wonder what the earliest date that it can be set to is.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 9:41 am   #3
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

My VCR from the late 90s/2000s can have the time set way back into the 60s and 70s. Kind of odd that they can have a date and time for years that had gone by, but cant go that far into the future when it will still exist.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 10:03 am   #4
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

I discovered during the millennium panic that with a particular RISC computer you could not set the year beyond 1999 but it would roll over to 2000 at the end of December 1999 - you could then set time day and month as normal - if you set it to the end of December it would again roll over to 2001 and so on - perhaps the VCR is similar?
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 10:16 am   #5
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

Quote:
When I was setting the time on the VCR it turned out that the last year that could be set was 2018. It was not possible to enter 2019.
I have not come across that problem (yet) on any of my VCR's, but have come across this issue with one of my vintage computers.

I doubt that the manufacturers would care that their products would still be in use way past their design life!
I have noticed that many clocks start at the year of the product's manufacture date, a useful way to date a machine.

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Old 12th Feb 2019, 10:38 am   #6
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

My very compact (that is why it is useful) Samsung mobile phone I bought over 10 years ago, only goes up to 2014 date wise...so they probably expected circa 5 years life as phones were changing very quickly in those days.
However still has an excellent screen and makes calls with clarity.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 12:31 pm   #7
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

I had a Samsung mobile with the same issue. I used to consult a universal calendar to find a corresponding year. It was not always possible, necessitating a second change of year at the end of February.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 2:10 pm   #8
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

With specific problems, it's always good to mention the model number. If not to find a solution for you, then for someone who searches it.

That said, the universal solution is to set it to a compatible year in the past.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 2:18 pm   #9
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

The day / date / leap year pattern does repeat every 28 years anyway, so if you set to Feb 12, 1991, the date and day will be correct and you won't have to reset next year as 1992 and 2020 are both leap years. It'll be right until 2100 which is not a leap year (as divisible by 100 but not by 400), but by then you'll have clocked over to 2019 a couple of times anyway so you'll be well in practice going back to 1991!

Fifteen years is a short time for the clock to run out of dates, though. It's not like there was a massive shortage of ROM capacity at the time it was built!
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 3:35 pm   #10
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

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Originally Posted by mark pirate View Post
I have not come across that problem (yet) on any of my VCR's, but have come across this issue with one of my vintage computers.
I've come across a vintage computer operating system that used 3 bits to store the year. As a result it only accepted dates from 1980 to 1987.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 1:22 am   #11
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

Some Panasonic VCRs made in the early 1990s ran out of time in 2006.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 5:56 pm   #12
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

My Panasonic NVHD90, dating from 1994, shows the correct year and is still working.

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Old 15th Feb 2019, 7:41 pm   #13
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

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Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
With specific problems, it's always good to mention the model number. If not to find a solution for you, then for someone who searches it.
I get your point that it may be to interest to others. It is a Philips VR550.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrymagrec View Post
…particular RISC computer you could not set the year beyond 1999 but it would roll over to 2000 at the end of December 1999 - you could then set time day and month as normal - if you set it to the end of December it would again roll over to 2001 and so on - perhaps the VCR is similar?
I have now tried to set it to December 31, 2018 and observing what’s happening. It rolled back to 2003! That is also the first year it can be set to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
I had a Samsung mobile with the same issue. I used to consult a universal calendar to find a corresponding year. It was not always possible, necessitating a second change of year at the end of February.
Next year will be such a year, there are no corresponding years which falls in the 2003-1018 span.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalee20 View Post
Fifteen years is a short time for the clock to run out of dates, though. It's not like there was a massive shortage of ROM capacity at the time it was built!
Yes, I also found it a bit ungenerous. That said, I guess it was not expected to be in use for so many years.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 9:58 pm   #14
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

Interesting, Curiosity made me check a couple of digital cameras for dates.
Fujifilm dated 2000 until 2050. Olympus dates are from 2000 to 2099 !. Must remember to change it back to 2000 in the year 3000 .
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 11:42 pm   #15
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

I read that some early Apple computers couldn't be set before a certain seemingly random date, which was the date of birth of one of the Steve's daughters.
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 12:03 am   #16
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampus View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
With specific problems, it's always good to mention the model number. If not to find a solution for you, then for someone who searches it.
I get your point that it may be to interest to others. It is a Philips VR550.
Ah, that's actually very good to know as that's not a "real" Philips set. It's one of those crappy sets made after Funai aquired that part of the business from Philips. So this problem is likely limited to the models from 2003 onwards.
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 4:41 am   #17
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

The older VCRs effectively had a perpetual calendar. This was because they did not keep track of the date as such; only the day of the week (programmes could be set up to two weeks in advance). So to record a programme being shown next Wednesday, you just selected "Wed"; to record a programme the Wednesday after next, you selected "2nd Wed".
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 7:14 am   #18
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrymagrec View Post
I discovered during the millennium panic that with a particular RISC computer you could not set the year beyond 1999 but it would roll over to 2000 at the end of December 1999 - you could then set time day and month as normal - if you set it to the end of December it would again roll over to 2001 and so on - perhaps the VCR is similar?
My Generalmusic S2 keyboard is similar, latest date that can be set is 2012 but it will roll over, guess who accidentally changed the date and now can't correct it
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Old 17th Feb 2019, 12:20 am   #19
Hampus
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

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Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
Ah, that's actually very good to know as that's not a "real" Philips set.
I did some investigations, I have two other Philips branded VCRs. One is a DVP620VR, a DVD/VHS combo. Same generation as the VR500. This also had the same 2019 limit.

The other one is a VR610, this machine is a few years older. I don't know if this was made by Philips or only branded as such, but the weight of it seems to indicate a more robust machine. This has a calendar that spans from 1900 to 2099. No hurry to start worrying yet...
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Old 17th Feb 2019, 8:08 pm   #20
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Default Re: VCR calendar running out

The VR610 is a Philips made model from around the turn of the century. The combo is Funai made, probably between 2003 and 2005. Funai sqeezed every 1000th of a penny out of their designs, while Philips probably saved only on pennies or 10ths of pennies...
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