Welcome to the Past

Once upon a time ago there was no Netflix or no Blu-ray or even a DVD player…I know, it’s crazy. Before all of that came the time of the VCR, which stands for videocassette recorder. This ancient thing was an electromechanical device meant for recording and playing back full-motion audio-visual programming on cassettes containing magnetic tape.

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Look familiar at all? I hope so.

History of the VCR

  • 1960s- The first VCRs were designed and build
  • 1970- Became available to the public
  • Mid 1970s- Price of equiptment came down, making it more affordable for the average consumer

Philips was responsible for developing a home video cassette format that was made for a TV station, by 1972 it was made availabe to the consumer market.

In the 1980s the industry had blown up, the number of consumers had been going up by an increasingly high rate. By 1982, it was said that 10% of households in the UK owned a VCR, and by 1985 the percentage increased by 20%, and by the end of the decade it was over 50%.

What was so amazing about the VCR?

  1. You could keep them as long as you wanted, did not need any updates and what not. Simply place them on a shelf and they were fine.
  2. You could record up to 6 hours of content
  3. It was a simple device to use.
  4. People could edit them easily.

At first this device was used for TV productions but once it became more available to consumers it was used for home purposes.

The VCR was successful for a long period of time, up until 1990s and 2000s when technologies such as LaserDisc, Video CD, and DVD came about.

I personally remember watching my cartoons on my VCR, I loved it. I had a stack of about 50 cassettes, each with their own little holder…memories.

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