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Self-Rewinding Video Tape

A few years overdue, perhaps...
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Anyone else sick of renting a video from your local rental store, perching yourself on the sofa with popcorn, drinks and snacks all carefully arranged around you, then turning on the video only to see the end credits slowly creeping up the screen? Yes, the git who rented the film before you didn’t bother to rewind it.

So why not have the cassettes rewind themselves? It shouldn’t be too hard to build some kind of clockwork-type device into the tape (I’m thinking of something not unlike the mainspring in a watch) which gets wound up as the tape is played, and then, when the tape is ejected, spools the tape back to the beginning again. It might have to have some of regulator in it so that the tape doesn’t wind back too violently, but other than that I can’t see any real problems with the idea. Apart from the growing popularity of DVDs, of course…

lostdog, Feb 28 2003

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       I've never rewound any of my dvd's...
Brain Fuct, Feb 28 2003
  

       And I've never turned my hard drive over.
galukalock, Feb 28 2003
  

       Cheaper to put a sticker on the video tape reminding you to check....
phoenix, Feb 28 2003
  

       My Sanyo VCR rewinds a 3 hour tape in 48 seconds. Life may be short, but it's long enough for that.
angel, Feb 28 2003
  

       I have a video-shell for the mini videotapes my (very) old video camera uses, that comes complete with a battery and motor to insert and eject the mini tapes. So clearly within the bounds of technology. However, with everyone moving to DVD, I do think you are a few years late with this suggestion.
DrCurry, Feb 28 2003
  

       So i might be a bit late with my "convert wax cylinders to flat discs of vinyl" idea as well, then...
lostdog, Feb 28 2003
  

       Oh, we don't know .... we've got a "Cuneiform to Papyrus" converter idea we're working on ... go ahead, post the idea ....
8th of 7, Mar 01 2003
  

       Most video stores where I live have a machine that rewinds rental videos.
madradish, Mar 01 2003
  

       The spring would probably cause the VCR feed motor to slow down at the end, screwing up the picture. Also, the resistance on the feed motor would cause the VCR to stop the playback because it would appear that the end of the tape had been reached.
-----, Feb 22 2004
  

       I agree that it is a little too late on this one. My video stores only carry VHS tapes for the older movies. Seems to be all dvds now.
bkornele, Feb 22 2004
  

       It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to invent a mechanical clock onto which the video cassette is emplaced and held (performing the required unlocking and flap-nudging and stuff). The clock shows actual time (for half of the year anyway, like all other mechanical clocks), and relies entirely on physical movement of the hour hand to push the tape around in the correct direction. It might take a few years, but I don’t think this would be much of a problem.
Ian Tindale, May 01 2016
  

       People don't seem to get all misty for the VHS tapes like they do for vinyl albums.
bungston, May 01 2016
  

       But the video is so much warmer.
normzone, May 01 2016
  

       A constant-force spring could work to avoid increasing load on the VCR's motor, as well as to avoid violent rewinding. (Yes, they exist. Not only that, they are very common. Tape measures use them.)
notexactly, May 13 2016
  
      
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