"At that moment the telephone rang and Aunt Petunia went to answer it while Harry and Uncle Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the racing bike, a cine-camera, a remote control aeroplane, sixteen new computer games, and a video recorder. He was ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch when Aunt Petunia came back from the telephone looking both angry and worried."

A video recorder (also known as a videocassette recorder or VCR), is a Muggle device that records programming aired on a television in a cassette format and can also play back such tapes, as well as ones released commercially. Dudley Dursley received one of these for his birthday on 29 June, 1991, along with a cine-camera, which could be used to record movies to play back on such a device.[1] The video recorder was one of the items he attempted to pack into his sports bag along with his television and computer prior to the Dursley family's journey to the Railview Hotel and later the Hut-on-the-Rock.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • Video recorders were in common use in 1991 and at the time of publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone but have since largely been supplanted by devices capable of recording in the DVD format and digital video recorder devices. Some recent readers may be entirely unfamiliar with video recorder devices, though they remain in abundant supply secondhand, generally at bargain prices.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 2 (The Vanishing Glass)
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 3 (The Letters from No One)