VHS tape rewinder
A VHS tape rewinder is an electronic device used to rewind VHS tapes.
In addition to Beta tape rewinders, these devices were created shortly after the production of videotapes and were used because VCRs were believed to make kinks in the tapes which could corrupt playback after several rewinds. Video rental stores like Blockbuster charged a fee for not rewinding VHS tapes when returning, and had slogans like 'Be kind, please rewind'. The rewinder would rewind tapes smoothly and additionally be several times faster. Using them would also prevent wear and tear on the heads of the VHS itself, and allowed you to watch the next tape immediately after.
A survey in 1993 of electronics repair people by a video magazine editor yielded the answer to "What is the worst thing you can do to your VCR?" as being regularly rewinding rented videotapes through it with the solution to use a tape rewinder to save VCR heads from "junk" on rental cassettes.
A tape would be inserted into the rewinder and pushed down so the rewinding mechanism would start. There would also be a button on the front or side of the rewinder so a tape could be popped out in case a wheel inside a tape got caught and started sticking which could cause the tape to be ripped out from the inside of the cassette or severely damaged. Radio Shack is one of the few companies to still make a VHS videotape rewinder, as of June 2013.
- All-Purpose Remote Easy, Expensive, Chicago Sun-Times, Harry Somerfield, January 31, 1993
- Sure-shot gifts for video fans, Toronto Star, Don Long, December 12, 1996
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- Tape Rewinders Save VCR Heads from Junk on Rental Cassettes, Deseret News, February 20, 1993
- The yogurt makers of tech: Gadgets to avoid, CNET. Rafe Needleman, December 3, 2009