VCR's are (were) amazing electro-mechanical machines. I think they are just incredible works of engineering. I've heard it said that if you can fix a VCR you can fix just about any electronic device. I've own and read a handful of VCR books and this one is the clear best of the bunch. First off, its extremely comprehensive. Some books are written for technicians, others for novices (and don't usually get into complex repairs), but this book is somewhere in between and great for a number of reasons. First off, the author explains every and all functions of the VCR and each main component. Not just what it is, but how that component works and why it is needed, what symptoms it can lead to if malfunctioning. Secondly, he breaks the operation of a VCR into various sections which he then does a deep-dive into. There are probably hundreds of pictures and graphics showing parts, components or video theory. Thirdly, there is a lengthy section of basic electronics that is one of the better breakdowns if you are a novice or wanna-be electronics student. Seriously, it's one of the best explanations of basic electronic functions of capacitors, electron flow and so on. The purpose is to get into greater understanding of how to repair circuit problems. The author takes a 'typical' VCR and uses it in examples all along, but recognizes and explains how others might vary, but does not provide repair advice for one specific VCR model. If you have a certain VCR that just broke and you are too cheap to buy a new one and think you are going to open the book up and find the exact answer, you won't get that here. You should probably point your browser to Youtube or a repair website. This book is more general, one for those that want to gain a solid understanding about VCR components and subsystems, how they work, what happens when they don't, and how to troubleshoot. Also, most of the content is directed towards the more complex style of older, Classic VCRs that were more mechanical like those of the late 80's early 90's that REALLY were built to last, and were chock full of electronics. This book is old enough that it isn't going to have examples of your 2012 Goldstar throw-away VCR that weighs about as much as a tuna sandwich. I believe that if you take time to understand the concepts, you would be armed with the knowledge to troubleshoot most VCR problems (even newer ones) as the author sets out to do.
I tell you what, this book is about an inch and a quarter thick. I've been enjoying reading this book as bedtime and leisure reading. I've always been interested in electronics and have repaired many VCR's, but have no formal training. It's been a riveting read and I have a hard time putting it down. Much of the information is transferable. My wife gives me crap about how a VCR repair book can be so interesting. To me, the smell of the inside of a running VCR is intoxicating and refreshing. What a shame HD has pretty much obsoleted the VCR, but if you read this, you might master the lost art of VCR repair and be the hero of your block when your neighbor's VCR down the street gives up the ghost.