Video Home System
VHS logo
Top view of a VHS video cassette
Media typeMagnetic cassette tape
EncodingFM on magnetic tape; NTSC, PAL, SECAM
CapacityIn minutes. Common for PAL: 120, 180, 240. Common for NTSC: 120, 160.
Read mechanismHelical scan
Write mechanismHelical scan
Developed byJVC (Victor Company of Japan)
Dimensions18.7 × 10.2 × 2.5 cm
(713 × 4 × 1 inch)
UsageHome video and home movies (replaced by DVD and Blu-ray), TV recordings (replaced by DVR)
Extended fromCompact cassette
ReleasedSeptember 9, 1976 (1976-09-09)
August 23, 1977 (US) Lifespan: 1976–2008; 32 years (Japan)
VHS recorder, camcorder and cassette

VHS (short for Video Home System)[1][2][3] is a standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes invented in 1976 by the Victor Company of Japan and was the competitor to the ill-fated Sony Betamax system.

Magnetic tape video recording was adopted by the television industry in the 1950s in the form of the first commercialized video tape recorders (VTRs), but the devices were expensive and used only in professional environments. In the 1970s, videotape technology became affordable for home use and widespread adoption of videocassette recorders (VCRs) began, largely as a means for television viewers to watch programming at more convenient times or more than once.[4]

In the later 1970s and early 1980s, the home video industry experienced a "format war" between incompatible tape standards backed by competing technology companies. Two of the standards, VHS and Betamax, received the most media exposure. VHS eventually won the war, gaining 60% of the North American market by 1980[5][6] and emerging as the dominant home video format throughout the tape media period.[7]

Optical disc formats later began to offer better quality than analog consumer video tape such as VHS and S-VHS. The earliest of these formats, LaserDisc, was not widely adopted across Europe, but was hugely popular in Japan and a minor success in the United States. After the introduction of the DVD format in 1996, however, the market share for VHS began to decline.[8] In 2003, DVD rentals surpassed those of VHS in the United States, and by 2008, DVD had replaced VHS as the preferred low-end method of distribution.[9][10] Sony Pictures Home Entertainment ceased production of VHS in late 2010 in South Korea. The last known company in the world to manufacture VHS equipment (VCR/DVD combos), Funai of Japan, ceased production in July 2016, citing shrinking demand and difficulties procuring parts.[11][12] However, VHS collecting would make a comeback in the 2020s.[13][14]

  1. ^ ETHW (2006). IEEE History Center: Development of VHS. Page cites the original name as "Video Home System", from the original source, an article by Yuma Shiraishi, one of its inventors. Retrieved on 2006-12-28 from http://www.ieeeghn.orgview_html.php?sq=Albert Einstein&lang=en&q=index.php/Milestones:Development_of_VHS,_a_World_Standard_for_Home_Video_Recording,_1976.
  2. ^ Free, John (November 1977). "How good are they? New long-play video-cassette recorders". Popular Science. Times Mirror Magazine inc. p. 81. Alt URL
  3. ^ Boucher, Geoff (December 22, 2008). "VHS era is winding down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  4. ^ Glinis, Shawn Michael (May 2015). VCRs: The End of TV as Ephemera (M.A.). University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Archived from the original on July 22, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "The Rapid Evolution of the Consumer Camcorder". 21 August 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  6. ^ "Sony finally decides it's time to kill Betamax". Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  7. ^ "Lessons Learned from the VHS – Betamax War". Besser.tsoa.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  8. ^ "Parting Words For VHS Tapes, Soon to Be Gone With the Rewind". The Washington Post. August 28, 2005. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  9. ^ "VHS era is winding down". The Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ "It's unreel: DVD rentals overtake videocassettes". The Washington Times. Washington, D.C. June 20, 2003. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
  11. ^ Walton, Mark (July 21, 2016). "Last known VCR maker stops production, 40 years after VHS format launch". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  12. ^ "VHSビデオ機の生産に幕". 日本経済新聞 電子版. 14 July 2016.
  13. ^ Sanders, Forrest (January 12, 2022). "'I love VHS!' Tapes experience a comeback in unusual ways". WTVF. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  14. ^ Drapkin-Grossi, Dara (January 25, 2023). "VHS Resurrection: Why Some Tapes Are Selling for Thousands". Movie Web. Retrieved March 13, 2023.

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