The videocassette recorder (or VCR, more commonly known in the UK and Ireland as the video recorder), is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable videotape cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world VTR redirects here For other meanings see VTR (disambiguation. Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto Magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. Magnetic tape is a medium for Magnetic recording generally consisting of a thin magnetizable coating on a long and narrow strip of Plastic. Video is the technology of electronically capturing, Recording, processing storing transmitting and reconstructing a sequence of Still images Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic Most VCRs have their own tuner (for direct TV reception) and a programmable timer (for unattended recording of a certain channel at a particular time). A timer is a specialized type of Clock. A timer can be used to control the sequence of an event or process
The history of the videocassette recorder(VCR) follows the history of videotape recording in general. Ampex introduced the Ampex VRX-1000, the first commercially successful videotape recorder, in 1956. Ampex ( is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M It used the 2" Quadruplex format, using two-inch (5. 2 inch Quadruplex (also called 2″ Quad, or just quad, for short was the first practical and commercially successful Videotape format 1 cm) tape.  Due to its US $50,000 price, the Ampex VRX-1000 could be afforded only by the television networks and the largest individual stations. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the  In 1963, Philips introduced their EL3400 1" helical scan recorder (aimed at the business and domestic user) and Sony marketed the PV-100, their first reel-to-reel VTR intended for business, medical, airline, and educational use. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV ( Royal Philips Electronics Inc. is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest Media conglomerates with Reel-to-reel, open reel tape recording is the form of magnetic tape audio recording in which the recording medium is held on a Reel, rather than being VTR redirects here For other meanings see VTR (disambiguation.  The Sony model CV-2000, first marketed in 1965, was intended for home use. CV-2000 was one of the world's first home Video tape recorders introduced by Sony in August 1965  Ampex and RCA followed in 1965 with their own reel-to-reel monochrome VTRs priced under US $1,000 for the home consumer market. RCA Corporation, founded as Radio Corporation of America, was an electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986 Monochrome comes from the Greek μονόχρωμος ( monochromos) meaning “of one color” which is a combination The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
The development of the videocassette followed the replacement by cassette of other open reel systems in consumer items: the Stereo-Pak 4-track audio cartridge in 1962, the compact audio cassette and Instamatic film cartridge in 1963, the 8-track cartridge in 1965, and the Super 8 home movie cartridge in 1966. U-matic is the name of a Videocassette The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a Magnetic tape sound For the film formats associated with the Instamatic and Pocket Instamatic camera ranges see 126 film and 110 film respectively This is an article about the 8-track cartridge For eight-track multitracking see Multitrack recording. Super 8 mm film, also simply called Super 8, is a motion picture film format released in 1965 by Eastman Kodak as an improvement of the
In 1970 Philips developed a home videocassette format. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV ( Royal Philips Electronics Inc. Confusingly, Philips named this format "VCR" (although it is also referred to as "N1500", after the first recorder's model number). This article is about the VCR ('Video Cassette Recording' videocassette format from Philips The format was also supported by Grundig and LOEWE. Grundig AG is a German manufacturer of Consumer electronics for home entertainment Loewe AG (pronounced) is a German electronics manufacturer founded 1923 by Dr It used square cassettes and half-inch (1. 3 cm) tape, mounted on co-axial reels, giving a recording time of one hour. The first model, available in the United Kingdom in 1972, was equipped with a crude timer that used rotary dials. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located At nearly £600 ($2087), it was expensive and the format was relatively unsuccessful in the home market. This was followed by digital timer version in 1975 — the N1502. In 1977 a new (and incompatible) long-play version ("VCR-LP") or N1700, which could use the same tapes, sold quite well to schools and colleges.
The Avco Cartrivision system, a combination television set and VCR from Cartridge Television Inc. Cartrivision was a videocassette format introduced in 1972 and the first format of its kind available in the USA Avco Corporation is a subsidiary of Textron which operates Textron Systems Corporation and Lycoming. Cartrivision was a videocassette format introduced in 1972 and the first format of its kind available in the USA that sold for US $1,350, was the first videocassette recorder to have pre-recorded tapes of popular movies available for rent. Like Philips' VCR format, the square Cartrivision cassette had the two reels of half-inch tape mounted on top of each other, but it could record up to 114 minutes. It did so using a crude form of video compression that recorded only every third video field and played it back three times. Video compression refers to reducing the quantity of Data used to represent video images and is a straightforward combination of Image compression and Motion In Video, a field is one of the many still images which are displayed sequentially to create the impression of motion on the screen Cassettes of major movies such as The Bridge on the River Kwai and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner were ordered via catalog at a retailer, delivered by parcel mail, and then returned to the retailer after viewing. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 World War II film based on the novel The Bridge over the River Kwai by French writer Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 Comedy - Drama Film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Other cassettes on sports, travel, art, and how-to topics were available for purchase. A how-to or a how to is an informal often short description of how to accomplish some specific task An optional monochrome camera could be bought to make home videos. Monochrome comes from the Greek μονόχρωμος ( monochromos) meaning “of one color” which is a combination Cartrivision was first sold in June 1972, mainly through Sears, Macy's, and Montgomery Ward department stores in the United States. Sears Roebuck and Company, commonly known as Sears, is an American mid-range chain of International Department stores founded by Richard Macy's is a chain of mid-range American Department stores Its Flagship store in Herald Square, New York City has been billed Montgomery Ward (later known as Wards) is an Online retailer that is somewhat connected to the former American Department store chain founded A department store is a Retail establishment which specializes in selling a wide range of products without a single predominant merchandise line. It was abandoned thirteen months later after poor sales. Later, it was found that Cartrivision tapes that had been stored in a warehouse had disintegrated.
It was not until the late 1970s, when European and Japanese companies developed more technically advanced machines with more accurate electronic timers and greater tape duration, that the VCR started to become a mass market consumer product. By 1980 there were three competing technical standards, with different, physically incompatible tape cassettes.
The two major standards were Sony's Betamax (also known as Betacord or just Beta), and JVC's VHS[Video Home System], which battled for sales in what has become known as the original and definitive format war. The videotape format war was a period of intense competition or " Format war " of incompatible models of Video cassette recorders (VCR in the late 1970s and is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest Media conglomerates with ---- Betamax is a home Videocassette tape recording format developed by Sony, and released on May 10, 1975. ( usually referred to as JVC, is an International consumer and professional electronics Corporation based in Yokohama, Japan which was founded The videotape format war was a period of intense competition or " Format war " of incompatible models of Video cassette recorders (VCR in the late 1970s and
Betamax was first to market in November 1975, and was argued by many to be technically more sophisticated, although many users did not perceive a difference. The first machines required an external timer, and could only record one hour. The timer was later incorporated within the machine as a standard feature.
The rival VHS format [Japan, Sept. 1976] (introduced in the United States in July 1977 by JVC) boasted a longer two-hour recording time - with four hours using a "long play" mode (RCA SelectaVision models - introduced in Sept. 1977). Since 2 hours and 4 hours was near-ideal for recording movies and sports-games respectively, the consumer naturally flocked towards VHS rather than the 1-hour-limited Betamax. Although Sony later introduced Beta-II and Beta-III to allow a maximum time of 5+ hours, by that time VHS was already boasting 6, 8, or even 9 hours per tape. Thus VHS had a perceived "better value" in the eye of the consumer during the late 70s.
A third format, Video 2000, or V2000 (also marketed as "Video Compact Cassette") was developed and introduced by Philips in 1978, and was sold only in Europe. Note This article is about the format sometimes known as 'VCC' or 'Video Compact Cassette' Note This article is about the format sometimes known as 'VCC' or 'Video Compact Cassette' Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV ( Royal Philips Electronics Inc. Grundig developed and marketed their own models based on the V2000 format. Most V2000 models featured piezoelectric head positioning to dynamically adjust the tape tracking. Piezoelectricity is the ability of some materials (notably Crystals and certain Ceramics including bone to generate an Electric potential in response to V2000 cassettes had two sides, and like the audio cassette had to be flipped over halfway through their recording time. The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a Magnetic tape sound User switchable record protect levers were used instead of the breakable lugs found on VHS/BetaMax cassettes. The half-inch tape used contained two parallel quarter-inch tracks, one for each side. It had a recording time of 4 hours per side, later extended to 8 hours per side on a few models. V2000 hit the market after its two rivals in early 1979. The last models produced by Philips in 1985 were felt by many to be superior machines to anything else on the market at the time but the poor reputation gained through the limited features and poor reliability of early models, and the by now dominant market share of VHS/Betamax, ensured only limited sales before the system was scrapped shortly after.
In the early 1980s, the film companies in the USA fought to suppress the device in the consumer market, citing concerns about copyright violations. In the case Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the device was allowable for private use, thereby guaranteeing market acceptance. Sony Corp of America v Universal City Studios Inc, 464 US 417 (1984 also known as the " Betamax case " was a decision by the Supreme The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. In the years following, the film companies found that videorecordings of their products had become a major income source. However, television networks found the widespread use of this device was threatening their advertising business model because viewers then have the ability to either fast forward through television commercials, or pause recording when they are broadcast. A television network is a distribution network for Television content whereby a central operation provides programming for many Television stations Advertising is a form of Communication that typically attempts to persuade potential Customers to Purchase or to consume more of a particular Brand A television advertisement or television commercial (often just commercial or advert (US or ad (UK is a span of television programming produced
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, DVD gradually overtook VHS as the most popular format for playback of prerecorded video. DVD (also known as " Digital Versatile Disc " or " Digital Video Disc " - see Etymology)is DVD recorders and other digital video recorders such as TiVo have recently begun to drop in price in developed countries, which some consider to be the end for VCRs in those markets. A DVD recorder (also known as a DVDR mainly outside of the UK and Ireland is an Optical disc recorder that records video onto blank writeable DVD media A digital video recorder ( DVR) or personal video recorder ( PVR) is a device that records video in a digital format to a Disk drive or other TiVo (pronounced ˈtiːvoʊ is a brand of Digital video recorder (DVR in the United States, Canada, and Australia created by TiVo DVD rentals in the United States first exceeded those of VHS in June 2003, and in 2005 the president of the Video Software Dealers Association predicted that 2006 would be the last year for major releases on VHS.  Most electronics stores in North America (such as Best Buy and Circuit City) carry only one or two VCRs (often VCR/DVD-recorder hybrids, used for transferring VHS to DVD). Best Buy Co Inc ( is a Fortune 100 company and the largest specialty retailer of Consumer electronics in the United States and Canada Circuit City ( is an American dealer and retailer in brand-name consumer electronics personal computers and entertainment software A VCR/DVD combo is a multiplex or Converged device, convenient for consumers who wish to use both VHS tapes and DVDs Hybrid VCR / DVD Standalone VCRs now generally cost more than low-end DVD players. The declining market combined with a Federal Communications Commission mandate effective March 1, 2007 to include ATSC tuners in VCRs have encouraged most electronics makers, including Funai, JVC, and Panasonic, to end production of standalone units for the US market. An ATSC tuner, often called an ATSC receiver or HDTV tuner, allows reception of ATSC Digital television (DTV signals broadcast
Introduced in 1983, Macrovision is a system that reduces the quality of recordings made from commercial video tapes, DVDs and pay-per-view broadcasts by adding random peaks of luminance to the video signal during vertical blanking. Copy protection, also known as content protection, copy prevention, or copy restriction, is a technology for preventing the unauthorised reproduction Macrovision Corporation is a globally-operating US-based company that develops and markets licensing, Access control, and secure distribution technologies DVD (also known as " Digital Versatile Disc " or " Digital Video Disc " - see Etymology)is Pay-per-view (often abbreviated PPV) is the system in which Television viewers can purchase events to be seen on TV and pay for the private telecast of that event The vertical blanking interval (VBI also known as the vertical interval or VBLANK, is the time difference between the last line of one frame or field of a Raster These confuse the automatic level adjustment of the recording VCR which causes the brightness of the picture to constantly change, rendering the recording unwatchable.
When creating a copy-protected videocassette, the Macrovision-distorted signal is stored on the tape itself by special recording equipment. By contrast, on DVDs there is just a marker asking the player to produce such a distortion during playback. All standard DVD players include this protection and obey the marker, though unofficially many models can be modified or adjusted to disable it. DVD (also known as " Digital Versatile Disc " or " Digital Video Disc " - see Etymology)is
Also, the Macrovision protection system may fail to work on older VCR's, usually due to the lack of an AGC system. Automatic gain control (AGC is an adaptive System found in many electronic devices Betamax, VHS and S-VHS machines (and DVD recorders) are susceptible to this signal, generally machines of other tape formats are unaffected. VCR's dubbed for "professional" usage typically have an adjustable AGC system, a specific "Macrovision removing" circuit, or Digital Timebase Corrector and can thus copy protected tapes with or without preserving the protection. Time base correction is a technique to reduce or eliminate errors caused by mechanical instability present in Analog recordings on mechanical media Such VCRs are usually overpriced and sold exclusively to certified professionals (video editors, TV stations etc. ) via controlled distribution channels in order to prevent their being used by the general public (however, said professional VCRs can be purchased reasonably by consumers on the second-hand/used market, depending on the VCR's condition).
"Flying erase-heads" is an attribute of some VCRs to precisely edit video, usually performed by the aid of a frame buffer and a special interface to the VCR from a computer. Video is the technology of electronically capturing, Recording, processing storing transmitting and reconstructing a sequence of Still images A framebuffer is a video output device that drives a video display from a memory buffer containing a complete frame of data A computer is a Machine that manipulates data according to a list of instructions. The flying erase-head and the technique of using them was developed during a time when computers did not have the memory or processing power to generate video from individual frames stored on disk.
In addition to the standard home VCR, a number of variants have been produced over the years. These include combined "all-in-one" devices such as the televideo (a TV and VCR in one unit) and DVD/VCR units. A TV/VCR combo (sometimes known as a televideo) is a Television and VCR built into a single unit A VCR/DVD combo is a multiplex or Converged device, convenient for consumers who wish to use both VHS tapes and DVDs Hybrid VCR / DVD
Dual-deck VCRs (marketed as "double-decker") have also been sold, albeit with less success.
Camcorders also feature an integrated VCR. Most of these use smaller format videocassettes, such as 8 mm, VHS-C, or MiniDV, although some early models supported full-size VHS and Betamax. The 8 mm video format refers informally to three related Videocassette formats for the NTSC and PAL / SECAM television systems VHS-C is the compact VHS format introduced in 1982 and used primarily for consumer-grade compact Camcorders. Digital Video (DV is a Digital video format created by Sony JVC Panasonic and other video camera procuers and launched in 1995 and in its smaller tape Form factor Generally, they include neither a timer nor a TV tuner.
The S-VHS format  was introduced in an attempt to breathe new life into the aging VCR technology, but it did not gain sufficient momentum in the consumer market due to its higher initial cost for both machines and video tape. Introduced in Japan in 1987, S-VHS ( Super VHS) is an improved version of the VHS standard for consumer Video cassette recorders By the time JVC had lowered prices on S-VHS machines and video tape, the arrival of the new digital video formats spelled the end of analogue tape development. Digital video is a type of Video recording system that works by using a Digital rather than an analog video signal
Also note JVC's attempt at D-VHS (ie. JVC HM-DR10000) which despite being fully functioning and providing much higher quality than even S-VHS, (it's most notable feature was that you could now skip using it's navigational controls to certain programmes you had recorded on its 21/32 hour tapes) However it never really caught on as it was too late, by then DVD was really starting to take control, people only wanted a basic VCR, if that, to watch their previous video collection.
For home video recording, both Digital Video Recorders (such as TiVo, Mythtv, Sky+ and ReplayTV) and DVD recorders are becoming popular, although they are only slowly replacing the VCR. A digital video recorder ( DVR) or personal video recorder ( PVR) is a device that records video in a digital format to a Disk drive or other TiVo (pronounced ˈtiːvoʊ is a brand of Digital video recorder (DVR in the United States, Canada, and Australia created by TiVo MythTV is a free Unix application which turns a computer with the necessary hardware into a network streaming Digital video recorder Sky+, or Sky Plus, is a Personal video recorder (PVR service for Sky Digital, and is very similar in principle to the TiVo service (which ReplayTV is a brand of Digital video recorder (DVR a term synonymous with personal video recorder (PVR A DVD recorder (also known as a DVDR mainly outside of the UK and Ireland is an Optical disc recorder that records video onto blank writeable DVD media In fact, TiVo cooperates well with VCRs which can be used to archive PVR recordings. However, the introduction of recordable DVDs with sufficient recording capacity on to the regular market with their advantage of random access could spell the doom of the VCR now that prices are falling. In Computer science, random access (sometimes called direct access) is the ability to access an arbitrary element of a sequence in equal time
The main drawback with recordable DVD is not the technology itself, but of the disc formats. At present, no less than three different types of DVD recordable disc exist. These are DVD + (plus), DVD - (minus) (both in record once and rewritable versions) and DVD-RAM (which is always rewritable and invariably bundled with DVD-). DVD-RAM ( DVD – Random Access Memory) is a disc specification presented in 1996 by the DVD Forum, which specifies rewritable DVD-RAM media and the appropriate All three are backed by different consumer electronics manufacturers, and none shows any sign (as of 2006) of gaining "critical mass" in the marketplace. However, in recent years manufacturers have been releasing units that can playback and record to multiple formats. Despite this, many consumers are confused of the formats, and are wary of another format war (similar to the Betamax versus VHS debacle of the early 1980s). The videotape format war was a period of intense competition or " Format war " of incompatible models of Video cassette recorders (VCR in the late 1970s and The videotape format war was a period of intense competition or " Format war " of incompatible models of Video cassette recorders (VCR in the late 1970s and This has meant that sales of consumer DVD recorders have been slow to take off.
Another important drawback of DVD recording is that one single layer DVD is limited to around 120 minutes of recording if the quality is not to be significantly reduced, while VHS tapes are readily available up to 210 minutes (standard play) in NTSC areas and even 300 minutes in PAL areas. Dual layer DVDs, which increase the high quality recording mode to almost four hours, are increasingly available, but the cost of this medium is still relatively high compared to standard single-layer discs. DVD (also known as " Digital Versatile Disc " or " Digital Video Disc " - see Etymology)is
A new format war is digital High Definition compatible recordable HD DVD and Blu-ray formats. not insert the publicly disclosed HD DVD key into this article for the time being These two formats record and play back video in HD producing high resolutions. Although the Sony Blu-ray format stores more data per disc and is supported by more movie studios, HD DVD was released before Blu-ray. Both HD DVD and Blu-ray have released first-generation players, as well as several select high-definition discs. Much like the DVD+/-/RAM format war, some manufacturers have started releasing units that can play both formats. However, in February 2008, major retailers Best Buy and WalMart indicated they would soon carry Blu-ray exclusively, indicating potential adoption of a standard by market forces.