They seemed like good ideas at the time




Videonics: In the Beginning

Back in 1987, Michael D’Addio and Mark Haun
were still in a Los Gatos, California garage designing ways to make life
easier for consumer videographers. Their first video editing product (shown
here), the DirectEd, aimed to bring the power of a professional video editing
workstation into the living room, at a price consumers could afford ($499
in its original release). This devicewhich Mark Haun later claimed was "trying
to do too much," was not the company’s great success; for that, the
team would have to wait a few years for the first Titlemaker to hit the
streets.





(Semi-) Portable VCR/TV

Shintom Industries thought 1987 was a good year to introduce their top-loading
VP-5000 VHS VCR, which included a built-in 5-inch standard television for
mobile presentations. The 26-pound unit included a monopole antenna, VHF
and UHF tuners and a monaural speaker for playback. Not long after, someone
discovered that it was much easier to put a VCR into a TV than a TV into
a VCR.





Kids as Videographers

Anybody remember PixelVision, the toy camcorder format that recorded poor-quality
video onto standard audio cassettes? The technology, which offered a rugged
kid’s camcorder for around $150, looked very promising in 1987, so much so
that Matt York wrote about it in his Viewfinder column. "The fact that
a child’s video camera is now on the market suggests that the process of
integrating video technology into our society is making radical gains."
Ten years later, not a single new camcorder is available in this format,
though some videographers make use of its ghostly images as a special effect.





Everything Old is New Again

Along with all of these quirky products that didn’t outlive the Reagan era,
1987 produced some solid performers that managed to hang on for the decade.
Though the ads for these products may look a little different (like the
Bogen tripod pictured here effortlessly supporting the weight of Lester
Bogen, founder of the company), the message is the same: quality lasts.
Also: nothing beats a good tripod when it’s time for a rest.

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