Top view of a VHS cassette
Top view of a VHS cassette
VHS recorder, camcorder and cassette
JVC HR-3300U Vidstar – the United States version of the JVC HR-3300. It is virtually identical to the Japan version. Japan's version showed the "Victor" name, and did not use the "Vidstar" name.
Top view of VHS with front casing removed
VHS M-loading system.
The interior of a modern VHS VCR showing the drum and tape.
VHS cassette with time scale for SP and LP
This illustration demonstrates the helical wrap of the tape around the head drum, and shows the points where the video, audio and control tracks are recorded.
Panasonic Hi-Fi six-head drum VEH0548 installed on G mechanism as an example, demonstrated a typical VHS head drum containing two tape heads. (1) is the upper head, (2) is the tape heads, and (3) is the head amplifier.
The upper- and underside of a typical four-head VHS head assembly showing the head chips and rotary transformer
Close-up of a head chip
A typical RCA (Model CC-4371) full-size VHS camcorder with a built-in three-inch color LCD screen. The tiltable LCD screen is rare on full-size VHS camcorders; only the smaller VHS-C camcorders are more common to have a tiltable LCD screen on some units.
Victor S-VHS (left) and S-VHS-C (right).
A tape rewinder.
Size comparison between Betamax (top) and VHS (bottom) videocassettes.
A Rasputin Music retailer (Fresno, California) selling used VHS cassettes from 50¢ to $1.98 each for people who still have working VCRs.
Fig Garden Regional Library, a branch of Fresno County Public Library, is giving away their weeded VHS collections for free.
A badly molded VHS tape. Mold can prevent modern use. See Media preservation.

Standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes.


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Japanese brand owned by JVCKenwood corporation and formerly by the Victor Company of Japan, Limited (日本ビクター株式会社).

JVC HR-3300U VIDSTAR (1977)
JVC's VHS tape won over Betamax to become common home recording format.
JVC HR-S5960E,
JVC HD100 ProHD video camera (2006)
Victor logo used in Japan
Nivico 7TA-4 Transistor Radio
Victor GR-C1
JVC 9F-220C radio
JVC television
JVC boombox
JVC KD-D10E tape deck
JVC QL-Y5F Direct drive turntable with electronic JVC tonearm<ref>vinylengine 2002-2020, JVC QL-Y5F, retrieved 16 May 2020.</ref>
JVC Compact system with CD player
JVC camcorder
KY D29 Digital-S camcorder
JVC Picsio pocket camcorder

Founded in 1927, the company is best known for introducing Japan's first televisions and for developing the Video Home System (VHS) video recorder.

Videocassette recorder

Electromechanical device that records analog audio and analog video from broadcast television or other source on a removable, magnetic tape videocassette, and can play back the recording.

A typical late-model Philips Magnavox VCR
Not all video tape recorders use a cassette to contain the videotape. Early models of consumer video tape recorders (VTRs), and most professional broadcast analog videotape machines (e.g. 1-inch Type C) use reel to reel tape spools.
Top-loading cassette mechanisms (such as the one on this VHS model) were common on early domestic VCRs.
An N1500 video recorder, with wooden cabinet
A Betamax cassette
Philips V2000 format video cassette recorder
A 1982 booth at CES promoting the right to make home recordings.
A typical VCR toward the end of their popularity. After decades of refinement in design and production, models similar to this were available for less than US$50.

Its cartridges, resembling larger versions of the later VHS cassettes, used 3/4-inch (1.9 cm)-wide tape and had a maximum playing time of 60 minutes, later extended to 80 minutes.


A S-VHS tape
A S-VHS tape
An Alesis ADAT XT 8-channel digital audio recorder

S-VHS (スーパー・ヴィエイチエス), the common initialism for Super VHS, is an improved version of the VHS standard for consumer-level video recording.


Major Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation, headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka.

National TV set from 1952
Panasonic Lumix S1R with prime lens 50 mm f/1.4 at Photokina in September 2018
Panasonic was the principal sponsor of the now-defunct Toyota Racing Formula One team
Hiro Matsushita in 1991

It had gotten strengthened by VHS, the de-facto standard of consumer videotape that Matsushita and JVC co-introduced.


Digital optical disc data storage format invented and developed in 1995 and released in late 1996.

The data side of a DVD manufactured by Sony DADC
The data side of a DVD manufactured by Sony DADC
Comparison of several forms of disk storage showing tracks (tracks not to scale); green denotes start and red denotes end.
 Some CD-R(W) and DVD-R(W)/DVD+R(W) recorders operate in ZCLV, CAA or CAV modes, but most work in constant linear velocity (CLV) mode.
Kees Schouhamer Immink received a personal technical Emmy award for his contributions to DVD and Blu-ray disc.
PlayStation 2, the first video game console to run DVDs.
Sony Rewritable DVD
A DVD burner drive for a PC
Scan of a DVD-R; the "a" portion has been recorded on while the "b" portion has not. It may be less obvious in CD-Rs and BD-Rs.
Size comparison: a 12 cm DVD+RW and a 19 cm pencil
DVD-RW Drive operating (performing a burning (writing) operation) with its protective cover removed
Comparison of various optical storage media
Internal mechanism of a DVD-ROM Drive. See text for details.
Error rate measurement on a DVD+R. The error rate is still within a healthy range.

Wary of being caught in a repeat of the costly videotape format war between VHS and Betamax in the 1980s, he convened a group of computer industry experts, including representatives from Apple, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Dell, and many others.

Video tape recorder

Tape recorder designed to record and play back video and audio material from magnetic tape.

AMPEX quadruplex VR-1000A, the first commercially released video tape recorder in the late 1950s; quadruplex open-reel tape is 2 inches wide
The first "portable" VTR, the suitcase-sized 1967 AMPEX quadruplex VR-3000
1976 Hitachi portable VTR, for Sony 1" type C; the source and take-up reels are stacked for compactness. However, only one reel is shown here.
Scanning techniques used in video tape recorders. (A) Transverse scanning used in the early quadriplex system requires several vertical tracks to record a video frame. (B) Helical scan, by recording in long diagonal tracks, is able to fit a full video field onto each track. The first full-helical system uses one head, requiring tape to wrap fully around the drum. (C) Half-helical system with 2 heads only requires tape to wrap 180° around the drum.
Sony Betacam-SP VTP BVW-65 VTR
1995 Panasonic D5 Digital VTR, model AJ-HD3700H. The front control panel is hinged below the cassette slot, so that it may be tilted outward to a more comfortable viewing angle for the operator.

It was soon followed by the competing VHS (Video Home System) format from JVC in 1977 and later by other formats such as Video 2000 from Philips, V-Cord from Sanyo, and Great Time Machine from Quasar.

Videotape format war

"VCR"-format cassettes in case (left) and on own (right). A full-size CD is shown for scale.
Size comparison between a Betamax cassette (top) and a VHS cassette (bottom)

The videotape format war was a period of competition or "format war" of incompatible models of consumer-level analog video videocassette and video cassette recorders (VCR) in the late 1970s and the 1980s, mainly involving the Betamax and Video Home System (VHS) formats.

Magnetic tape

Medium for magnetic storage, made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film.

7-inch reel of ¼-inch-wide audio recording tape, typical of consumer use in the 1950s–70s
Compact Cassette
A VHS helical scan head drum. Helical and transverse scans made possible to increase the data bandwidth to the necessary point for recording video on tapes, and not just audio.
Small open reel of 9 track tape
Quarter inch cartridges, a data format commonly used in the 1980s and 1990s.



American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatoff as a spin-off of Dalmo-Victor.

Former Ampex headquarters on Broadway in Redwood City, California
Ampex 601 playing a recording of "Les Paul's New Sound, Vol. II". Made in Redwood City, California, c. 1956.
Internals of Ampex Fine Line F-44, a 3-head Ampex home-use audio tape recorder, c. 1965
AMPEX model 300 half-inch three-track recorder
AMPEX 440 (2tr, 4tr) & 16-track MM 1000
AMPEX VR-1000A (1950s)
AMPEX VR-3000 (1967)
HS-100 disc
HS-100 Controller
AMPEX DCT-1700D (1992)
Ampex Model 1250 tube stereo tape recorder c. 1962 – Designed for the high end consumer market
The 5 watt Ampex tube stereo amplifier as it lay hidden inside the Model 970 shown in photo above.
The VR 1000-B model (1961)
Ampex VR2000 Amtec, Colortec, and Procamp
Ampex VR-2000 2-inch Quadruplex VTR (1960)
Ampex AVR-2 2-inch Quad VTR
Ampex AVR-3 Quad VTR
Ampex VR8800 VTR, Type-A
Ampex portable reel tape recorder
Ampex HS-100 slow-mo unit
Ampex VPR6 VTR
Ampex 350 Reel to Reel
Ampex Reel to Reel, model 300-3 {{frac|2}}" tape
Ampex model 300 preamps and Sel-Sync unit
Ampex VTR, VPR 1, Type A VTR
Ampex video tape at the National Museum of American History

While the quadruplex recording system per se is no longer in use, the principle evolved into the helical scanning technique used in virtually all video tape machines, such as those using the consumer formats of VHS, Sony Betamax and Video 2000.


Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo, Japan.

A Sony TR-730 transistor radio made in Japan, circa 1960
Sony Store in Nagoya, Japan
A rare Japanese market Betamax TV/VCR combo, the Model SL-MV1
First Sony Walkman TPS-L2 from 1979 (Expo in Sony Building at Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo)
Front side of a Sony 200GB Blu-ray disc
Sony at Westfield Riccarton shopping centre in Christchurch, New Zealand
The logo of Bravia television. Its backronym is "Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture".
Notebook Sony Vaio. Sony has axed its loss-making PC business in 2014.
Xperia, the product device name for a range of smartphones from Sony.
Sony Interactive Entertainment headquarters in San Mateo, California
The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all time
Sony Pictures Plaza, next to the main studio lot of Sony Pictures in Culver City, California
The main entrance to the Sony Pictures Entertainment studio lot in Culver City
Sony Music Entertainment headquarters in New York City, United States
Headquarters of Sony Financial Group in Tokyo, Japan

Sony was involved in the videotape format war of the early 1980s, when they were marketing the Betamax system for video cassette recorders against the VHS format developed by JVC.