Video Home System (VHS)

A typical VHS videotape cassette by TDK, a japanese producer of data storage media
NameVideo Home System (VHS)
Production Period1976 -
Inventor Victor Company of Japan (JVC), 1973
CompetitorsBetamax, Video2000, LaserDisc,
Measurements187 mm wide, 103 mm deep, 25 mm thick
Maximum playtime5hrs (PAL)
SuccessorVideo-CD (VCD), DVD-Video

The VHS (Video Home System) is standard fort the use of recording on cassette tapes. It was developed by JVC (Japan) in the 70s and became the mostly used storage medium for film during the 1980s winning the upper hand over the Betamax format.

VHS: Not only used in home-entertainment

The VHS had a tape length of up to 620m and could store up to 11hours of film. One of the first VCR devices to be able to play a VHS was the Victor HR-3000 released in Japan in 1976 by JVC. The price for a single tape at the end of the 70s was about $50 and nowadays only costing a few dollars.

The VHS was mainly used as a medium for home-entertainment movies but was also used to deliver short-play content such as music-videos or in store videos and was often part of a product or service such as exercise tutorials or kitchen appliances.

An advertisement by Sharp of the VC-477E VHS recorder

Porn Industry pushing VHS to the podium

The VHS faced tough competition by the Betamax format of Sony which was less aimed at consumer use. The porn industry then helped JVC in boosting sales by publishing their movies in the VHS format. Sony at this time underestimated the power of the porn industry.

The VHS became the standard video format throughout the 80s and 90s when being removed from the peak by the DVD format whose sales surpassed those of VHS for the first time in 2003.

The last Pixar movie to be released in low quantities on VHS was “Cars” in 2006.


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