Picks and Pans Review: Video Heads

updated 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

This is a choice you'll be faced with on VHS machines: Should you get two heads, four heads or more? It sounds complicated, but it's not. The issue is whether you can scan, that is, fast-forward through a tape to find what you want. (Admit it: You'll want to zap past commercials.) With two heads on a VHS machine you can scan only on tapes recorded at the six-hour speed. With four or more heads, you can scan at all speeds. So what does that mean? It means that if you record shows off TV at the six-hour speed, as most people do, you can scan through and zap commercials and newsbreaks, even on a two-head machine. But the movies and exercise tapes that you rent are recorded at the two-hour speed. To scan through those you need a machine with at least four heads. Most times when you rent a movie, you'll probably just want to watch it, since there are no commercials. So usually a two-head machine will suit you well and cost you less. But if you're the kind of person who buys The Godfather just to see the horse's head in the bed, or Jane Fonda's Workout to tighten your thighs, then you'll want to be able to search through the tape for your favorite scenes; you'll need four or more heads.

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