All Things Printed & Recorded: Fast Forward – Video Hits Home

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.

TIMELINE
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?

VCR copy.png

  • 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!
book VHS: Absurd, Odd, And Ridiculous Relics From The Videotape Era, Joe Pickett & Nick Prueher
book VHS Ate My Brain, Andrew Hawnt
book The Last Days Of Video, Jeremy Hawkins
book Video Revolutions: On The History Of A Medium, Michael Z. Newman
book Videoland: Movie Culture At The American Video Store, Daniel Herbert
slate_film-512 Rewind This!
slate_film-512 V/H/S
slate_film-512 Clerks
slate_film-512 Be Kind Rewind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s