EDITOR’S NOTE: This year in our HPB calendar, we’re celebrating all things printed and recorded—and played, solved, watched, etc. In other words, all the cool stuff we buy and sell in our stores. For June, we’re hitting rewind to check out the history of home video.
1950s & 1960s Early videotape formats are used in broadcasting but are too expensive for consumers.
1975 Sony’s Betamax format debuts. Some early players included a 19-inch color monitor.
1976 The first VCR using VHS (Video Home System), the Victor HR-3300, debuts in Japan.
1977 RCA’s VBT200 becomes the first VHS-based VCR in the US.
1987 90% of VCRs sold in the US are based on the VHS format.
2006 A History of Violence is the last major film released on VHS.
2016 The last known manufacturer of VCRs ceases production.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Betamax had a better picture, smaller tapes and debuted first. But VHS won the “format war” thanks to longer recording times and less costly players.
- LaserDisc, introduced in 1978, was the first optical disc format for home video. It was a hit with cinephiles and paved the way for DVD and Blu-ray.
- With the advent of the VCR in the 1970s, consumers could, for the first time, own copies of their favorite movies and record TV shows to watch later.
Want to dive deeper? Check out these great products!
VHS: Absurd, Odd, And Ridiculous Relics From The Videotape Era, Joe Pickett & Nick Prueher
VHS Ate My Brain, Andrew Hawnt
The Last Days Of Video, Jeremy Hawkins
Video Revolutions: On The History Of A Medium, Michael Z. Newman
Videoland: Movie Culture At The American Video Store, Daniel Herbert
Be Kind Rewind