Originally Posted by CraigK
I had a whole stable of blank VCR tapes I used and reused. Each one had a 3/4" piece of Scotch Magic Tape over the label on the spine of the tape. I used Flair pens to write the show names and dates because I could wipe it off easily after watching the show.
I did something similar in that I placed a strip of 3/4" Scotch tape over the spine label and then placed another strip on top of the first with the end folded over to create a tab for easy removal. I'd write the name of the program on the top layer of tape and then simply pull it off and replace it when I finished watching the recording.
I had a bank of 3 or 4 VCRs going simultaneously, mostly Super VHS with one Beta VCR thrown in for good measure. Back when I had DirecTV I had a Hughes digital VCR and compatible sat receiver that used an interface similar to Firewire for recording the shows in digital directly to tape. It was a royal pain to skip past commercials because the tape would unload and go into fast forward with no way of telling exactly how far the tape had traveled other than using the digital counter. The picture quality was as good as the original signal, but commercial skipping was anything but convenient.
When I bought my first DirecTivo with dual tuners I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. This was back before they had sent out the update to enable the 2nd tuner so I had to hack it with the infamous 2.5Xtreme image to enable both tuners. Prior to that I had been using both VCRs and a ReplayTV to record shows while I was on business trips. I actually had a 2nd ReplayTV that I took with me while I was away on business for months at a time. The early Tivos (14-hour HDR-112) literally took hours to complete the setup so the ReplayTV was a revelation since I could have it up and running in my hotel room in less than 20 minutes. Obviously, Tivo has vastly improved the setup on their DVRs since that time.