Program your VCR using Bar Codes?

While I often found programming my family VCR to be a bit tedious, after a while it would become second nature. We held onto to that VCR for a decade at least, so I did not get to witness all the magical attempts at making recording easier. Things like VCR Plus+ made life easier for many TV addicts, but it was not the only attempt at using technology. This morning I found this ad for Panasonic’s bar Code based scheduler. Which they said made programming as easy as “drawing a line”. I could definitely see the appeal of this in the eighties. Bar Codes seemed like magic back then. If we had this in the home I would have been running over every item I could just to see if that UPC code on the can of peaches would schedule anything interesting.

Enjoy this commercial from 1987 that has a creepy set of silver hands demonstrating this tech magic (and making a disturbing hand face).

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3 thoughts on “Program your VCR using Bar Codes?

  1. I remember having a VCR Plus+ deck where you entered a number code assigned to a TV program (usually found in the TV Guide) and the chances of that code worked were somewhat hit or miss.
    But this barcode scanning system?
    I would’ve been an early adopter of this tech based solely on the endorsement from Mummenschanz.

  2. Max Power says:

    I remember this ad when it ran, but like you, we were stuck with the VCR we had.
    Bar codes were very big then. Maybe the patents were running out, allowing cheap readers.
    There was even a product that would read long barcodes printed in home computer magazines, that saved you from typing in hundreds of lines of BASIC. It came and went in a few issues of Family Computing.

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