The first videocassette recorder, or VCR, was the Sony VO-1600, introduced in 1971. Using Sony’s proprietary U-Matic 3/4-inch tape cassette, the heavy and expensive device had a counter but no timer, a problem rectified the following year when Philips released the N1500, which played 1/2-inch tape cassettes and cost about half as much as the VO-1600. Another 1972 entrant into the VCR market was CartriVision, whose devices were built into console TVs and played pre-recorded square cassettes that could only be rewound at video-rental stores (in other words, you could only watch a tape once). Even though the entertainment systems were sold in Sears, the company folded in just a year.

In 1975, Sony unveiled its first Betamax VCR, the LV-1901. With a retail price of $2,300, the device was bundled with a 19-inch television and had two tuners, which meant you could watch TV on one station and record a show on another. Although the quality of Betamax tape and Sony’s equipment was regarded by many to be high, the format lost out to VHS, which was introduced in 1976 by Japanese electronics manufacturer JVC. Unlike Betamax tapes, which ran for just one hour, the first VHS cassettes ran for two, which made the new format attractive to consumers and movie studios alike. In addition, JVC licensed its technology to all the major electronics manufacturers, forcing Sony to go it alone with Betamax. But by 1988, even Sony would be making VHS machines.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob is an extensive resource on all types of audio electronics organized by manufacturer, from Aiwa to… [read review or visit site]

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Sony Ev-a50 Video 8mm Player Recorder Vcr Sony Slv-d350p Dvd/vcr Combo Vhs Player Recorder (silver With Remote) Excellent!Vintage Sony Sl-hf300 Betamax Video Cassette Recorder Black In Box Hi/fi Stereo* Working * Lg Dvd Recorder Vhs Vcr Combo Player Rc797t Hdmi Digital Tv Tuner7 Inch Tft Lcd Color 2 Video Input Dvd Vcr Car Rearview Monitor With HeadrestCasio Pro Trek Pathfinder Men's Watch, Digi_solar Power_titanium #paw-1300t-7vcrMagnavox Zv450mw8a Dvd Recorder Vcr Recorder Combo With Remote & Manual NrMagnavox Zv450mw8 Vhs/dvd Combo Dvd Recorder Vcr Digital TunerSony Rdr-vx555 Hdmi Dvd Recorder Dvd Burner Vcr Combo Black Unit Rw Dvd-r Vhs +rPanasonic Dmr-ez48v Dvd / Vcr Recorder / Player Combo / Original Owner / Vg CondToshiba Sd-v296 Dvd Player / Vcr ComboStar Wars - 20th Century Fox Release Of Beta / Betamax Video Rental LibraryNos Panasonic Omnivision Vcr Vhs Video Cassette Recorder New In Box Pv-v464sToshiba (d-vr600) Hdmi Dvd Recorder / Vcr Combo 1080 Hd Up Conversion W/ RemoteMagnavox Zv427mg9 Combo Dvd Recorder / Vhs Vcr Hdmi, Dubbing Up Convert. RemoteNew Motorized Vhs-c Vhsc Video Cassette Tape Adapter For Vcr Kinyo Vc-700 Hotsale Easiercap Capture Adapter Usb Record Vcr Vhs Video To Pc Av S-video DvdUsed Panasonic 13" Crt Color Tv Television Vcr Vhs Tape Player Combo Pv-c1341Panasonic 9" Crt Color Tv Television Vcr Vhs Tape Player Combo Pv-m949w - WhiteMagnavox Dvd Vcr RecorderMagnavox Zv427mg9 Hdmi Dvd Player / Vcr Combo With One Touch DubbingJvc High Quality Hi-fi Digital Vcr Stereo Video Cassette Recorder Hr-d570uPanasonic Dmr-ez37v Dvd Recorder Vcr Combo See DescriptionToshiba Dvr-620 Hdmi Dvd / Vcr Dubbing Recorder ComboOnn Universal Remote Control Video Tv Satellite Audio Vcr Cable Hdtv Ona12av058Mitsubishi Hs U80 Svhs Vcr Twin Digital Orig Remote Mts Hi-fi Sound Videophile* New 12 Pack Rca T-120 Blank Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Tapes 6 Hour Sealed !Easy Cap Usb 2.0 Record Vcr Vhs Video Adapter To Pc Av S-video Dvd NewPhilips Magnavox Vrz242at22 Vcr Vhs Player Recorder With Remote And Owner ManualStar Wars Betamax Library RentalRca Vr525 Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Player/recorderVintage Technicolor Color Video Camera, Vcr, Power Supply #212 #312 #412 ManualsSony Slv-d350p Dvd Vcr Combo With RemoteVcr Sony Slv-ed939 Multi System VhsMini 5" Tft Lcd Car Monitor For Rear View Reverse Backup Camera Cctv Dvd VcrLot Of 22 Tv/dvd/vcr/etc. Remote Controls Rca Emerson Magnavox Directv Philips Star Trek I Ii Iii Lot Movie, The Wrath Of Khan, Search For Spock (beta/betamax)Sony Slv-x842 Vcr MultisystemSony Slv-799hf Stereo Hi-fi Vcr Video Cassette Recorder Player Slv799hfSony Gv-d200 Digital 8 Tm Vcr Walkman W/power Cord/battery/instruction A/v CordsJvc Hr-s9911 S-vhs Vcr Jvc Dr-mv79b Dvd Recorder Vcr Combo Hdmi 1080Sony Sl-s570 Super Betamax Vcr Beta - Good Working Condition With Remote/manualMagnavox Vcr / Dvd Player Recorder W/ Dubbing / Model Zv427mg9Magnavox Zv450mw8 Dvd Recorder/vcr Combo With Remote For Parts Or RepairSony Slv-n70 4-head Hi-fi Stereo Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Recorder W/remote WorksJvc Hm-dh30000u Dvhs Vcr !! For Parts Not Working !!Magnavox Dv220mw9 Dvd Player Vcr Combo W/ Control Remote See DescriptionSony Ev-c8u Video 8mm Vcr Deck Untested7 Inch Tft Lcd Color 2 Video Input Dvd Vcr Car Rearview Monitor With HeadrestGo Video Dv2150 4-head Hifi Stereo Vcr & Dvd Player Combo Progressive Scan35 Used Betamax CassettesHitachi Vhs Vcr Fx621 With Remote Control4.3'' Inch Tft-lcd Sunshade 2-channel Dvd Vcr Car Monitor Car Rear View MonitorToshiba Sd-v296 Dvd Player / Vcr ComboSony Rdr-vx560 Dvd Recorder Dual Vcr Vhs Recorder Player HdmiLot Of 17 Fuji Film Pro 6 Hours T-120 Vhs Tape New, Factory Sealed Vcr TapesToshiba Sd-v296 Dvd Player + Vcr Dual Combo DeckThe Empire Strikes Back Betamax. Star WarsSansui Com0961b Ac/dc 9" Color Tv + Vcr Combo W/ Remote & Car Travel Case