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VHS Tape Backup - why it went AWOL?

More than a decade ago, when we were all using VCR tapes (or video CDs) rather than DVD players, there were a few guys who came forward with a pretty nifty idea. Why not use VHS video cassette recorders as a backup solution?

Tapes are/were cheap, VCRs were widespread and the whole system was pretty much reliable and well-documented. Somehow, VCR backup and personal computers never got well together.

Actually that solution existed since the 1980's when a company named Corvus sold VCR Backup (opens in new tab) as an option for its server.

It is a pity that VHS backup did not grew up to be a major force in Tape and streamer world. There were some attempts; The Danmere Backer 32 (opens in new tab) was one of them but it was too little, too expensive, too slowly and too late. It would allow you to backup up to 4GB of data.

I also remember clearly that UK's What Video Magazine had an advert about a similar item back in the early 90's. The concept was apparently popular in Russia under the name of Arvid (opens in new tab).

Anyway, now, even DVD players are on the brink of extinction thanks to the Internet, Personal Video Recorders, Cable and Satellite.

You can read a few more on a Slashdot post called, >Using a Digital Camcorder as a Tape Drive (opens in new tab) and >>Using Video Recorders for Backup by Stuart Cheshire.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.