In the 1970s, Philips and Grundig developed and marketed the Video 2000 system as a competitor to VHS and Betamax VCRs. We once had a Sony Betamax recorder in stock and it was sold. Betamax had the best quality picture and sound at the time but was a niche product for many.
VHS began to emerge as the most widely sold and used VCR system in those years. This was mainly because it was also very popular in video stores nationwide where people could rent movies on VHS. Videoland had all their movies on VHS tapes on the shelf for years. The same movies were often not available to rent on Betamax or Video 2000 tapes.
Video 2000 became very popular with customers who wanted a lot of recording capacity. After all, a tape could capture 2×4 hours of footage. For the second half, though, you had to take the tape out of the recorder, flip it over and put it back in. This was doubled in late 1984 with the arrival of the Philips VR2840 Video 2000 recorder. This had an LP (long play) feature. It was the best-selling recorder for binge watchers.
The first Video 2000 recorders sold in the early 1980s were large, almost as large as the Panasonic (1978) and not suitable for portable recording work. This changed very quickly with the arrival of the new and much smaller models. These were also very popular video recorders. They were smaller, lighter, faster and had extensive recording capabilities.
In the years ’78 through ’84, filming family and company parties, events, council meetings, middle class fairs and parades was becoming a real business for our company. I went out regularly with the VHS portable recorder. With the arrival of the new compact Philips VR2120/VR2220 Video 2000 recorder in 1983, this video recorder set replaced the JVC. The VR2120 functioned as a tuner/timer and the VR2220 as a portable recorder. This set became a full-fledged video recorder by connecting them with a thick cable at the back.
The Philips VR2220, like the JVC recorder, had an interchangeable lead-acid battery as a power supply for mobile use, but it could also work with the VR2120 to provide power.
The beauty was that the JVC camera could also be connected to the new VCR. Power supply for the camera and all signals for audio and video ran through the same cable connected on the side with a large connector. The set was nice and compact, portable, stable and with 2×4 hours of recording capacity more than enough for lots of recordings. The battery also lasted longer than that of the JVC.
The VR 2220 Video 2000 recorder had several buttons to play the picture at different speeds and it could dub audio; provide a recording with new audio. The still image was particularly good for the time. With this recorder it was also very easy to connect another VCR to make a montage from recorder to recorder.
The Video 2000 recorders were sold until the end of 1988, then sales of these recorders declined and more and more brands began to switch to VHS tapes. Philips stopped producing Video 2000 and also switched to VHS. The Video 2000 recorder and separate camera were traded in 1985 for a totally new camera set.
The Philips VR2220 recorder served us well. The convenience of the longer recording times were ideal for long events and meetings. The reversible tapes also made the archive smaller because half as many tapes were needed. There were even some customers who also bought such a set for filming. For us, that was the beginning of sales in cameras and recorders.
The divisible set always came in two different boxes. One for the receiver/timer and the other for the recorder. One day a new set was delivered for one of our customers. Fortunately, upon delivery, the damaged box was quickly noticed by my father. Both devices had been removed from the box and replaced with a square paving stone. The driver was quickly allowed to take those back, and the wholesaler was notified of the theft.
Two years later, in 1985, everything would change.
Until the next one!