Now that streaming services have become the standard mode of entertainment consumption, the days of physical media are long gone. All the film shelves have been replaced with shiny new ones streaming device.
This is not a new phenomenon. Just as these devices have replaced DVDs and Blu-Rays, DVDs have also replaced VHS tapes. This home movie format has become so outdated that you may not know or remember what the term VHS means. Or, how the VHS tapes came about in the first place.
What does “VHS” represent?
VHS stands for Video Home System. The main selling point of VHS tapes is that it allows television viewers to record programs on these tapes at home. This format was released in the US by the JVC company in 1977, and first released in Japan in 1976.
At the time, another home video format called Betamax, created by Sony, was leading in terms of home video consumption. But VHS had grown tremendously, and by 1980 the VHS format controlled more than 60% of the home video market in North America.
The point of competition between Betamax and VHS that has helped Betamax become popular is the recording time, as well as the lower cost of VHS based VCRs (video-cassette recorders). This allows consumers to record full-length movies and more TV episodes on a single tape, a very appealing feature compared to Betamax, which can only record up to an hour at a time. there.
How does VHS tape work?
After JVC licensed the VHS format to many other companies, many of them started making VHS players. This is why you can find so many different VCR models. A lot of them have different features, depending on the brand and when they were released, but in general they all work the same way. So what is the technology behind VHS and VCR tapes that inevitably led to its dominance in the market?
First, the video will be shot on an 800-foot-long, half-inch wide magnetic tape, wrapped around two spools inside the box. Inside the box there are a number of rollers that move the video tape around to the edge, covered by a spring-loaded door so it won’t break with frequent handling.
When placed inside the VCR, the machine opens this door to use the tape. It uses a motorized mechanism to move the tape across the playback head, uses helical scanning to read the content on the tape, and sends the signal to the TV. The TV then displays this information in the form of video and audio.
VHS and VCR have been at the forefront of consumer preferences for a long time. This format existed for more than 20 years, until it began to be phased out in 1997 due to the development of the DVD format.
VHS . tape attenuation
In June 2003, DVD rentals in the US surpassed VHS rentals for the first time, at 900,000. Since that time, the decline in popularity of the VHS format has been steady.
Soon after, many retail stores stopped selling VCRs. It’s only a matter of time before you can only find DVD players and DVD movies on store shelves. This includes home video rental stores, such as Blockbuster, now a relic of the past.
The DVD-VHS war has given rise to a number of hybrid video players that can support both formats. Despite VHS’s loss of revenue in the mid-2000s, more than 94 million Americans still own some type of VHS player. Gradually, however, DVD became the preferred format, as did its rival, Blu-Ray.
Then, when later streaming services made it easier and more affordable to watch movies and TV shows, VHS was pushed out even further. The same thing happened with DVDs, and video rental stores started going bankrupt. Physical media is no longer preferred.
Differences between VHS and modern formats
Is it still worth owning a VHS tape? It depends on what you are looking for in your entertainment experience.
The most obvious difference between VHS and digital formats is quality. You can more easily get better video quality in DVDs, Blu-Rays and streaming devices than ever before using VHS. Even so, for some people, the grainy and grainy images produced by this format have a certain nostalgic charm.
You could certainly argue the cheapness of VHS these days. Since it has become so outdated, people are getting rid of their VCRs for nothing, and you can find VHS tapes for a penny or completely free.
For video enthusiasts, VHS tapes are a near-free goldmine for movies, shows, and shows, especially those puzzling ones that never made it to a digital format. And, unlike streaming services that cycle through their titles every few weeks, you’ll always have your favorites whenever you want.
VHS and more
You might have forgotten all about VHS and the weekend trips to the video store flocked to by people of all ages. Then you have to choose one or two movies to rent or buy because that’s the most affordable option.
Today, we are spoiled for choice, with hundreds of titles available at our fingertips for a small monthly fee. Now that the average American has a subscription to at least three different streaming services and streams about eight hours of content a day, there are plenty of devices to choose from that offer hundreds of streaming platforms. At times, it can feel overwhelming.
So the next time you’re inefficiently scrolling through Netflix or Hulu trying to find something to watch, it might help if we recall the humble beginnings of home video as we did. know.