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    

Great Working Sears 564.53170451 Beta Vcr W/ Remote Betamax Fully Tested SanyoNew Panasonic Pv-v4530s Video Cassette Recorder Vcr Vhs Player Black W/ RemoteNew Nob Panasonic Pv-v4530s Video Cassette Recorder Vcr Vhs Player Blk W/remoteNear Mint Sony Hifi Stereo Vhs Vcr Slv-n51w/ Remote Orig Box & ManualSony Sl-hf360 Super Betamax Beta Ii/iii Video Cassette Recorder - Tested/worksGreat Working Sony Sl-hf600 Super Beta Hifi Betamax Vcr W/ Remote Fully TestedZenith Vrc420 Speak.ez Stereo Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Player W/ Remote Sc420t Jvc Hr-s9800 S-vhs Vcr, 4 Head, Flying Erase Head, Tbc, Jog Shuttle Remote!Sanyo Fwzv475f Dvd Recorder / Vcr BlackSanyo Fwzv475f Dvd Recorder / Vcr BlackSanyo Fwzv475f Dvd Recorder / Vcr BlackToshiba Dvr-620 Dvd Recorder / Vcr With 180p UpconversionJvc Dr-mv1s Pro Dvd Recorder Vcr Combo With Tuner Toshiba Dvr620ku Dvd Player Recorder Vhs Vcr Combo Dual Deck Hdmi Output Dvr620Sony Rdr-vx560 Vhs/vcr Dvd Recorder Combo Player Video Transfer Burn Copy DubSanyo Fwdv225f Dvd/vcr Player With Line-in RecordingSony Rdr-vx530 Dvd Recorder Vcr Combo Player With Remote - Vhs To Dvd!Sony Super Betamax Video Cassette Recorder Hifi: Model Sl-hf360 - RareSony Ev-c25 Video8 Vcr 8mm Player Recorder Evc25 Sylvania Dvd & Vcr / Vhs Dual Combo Player 4 Head Stereo Dvc845e With RemoteToshiba Dvr-670 Dvd Player Recorder & Vcr Video Player Recorder Combo W/ HdmiVintage 1985 Sanyo Betacord Beta Player Vcr With Remote Vcr4025 Works!!Funai Zv427fx4 Dvd/vcr Recorder/player With Line-in Recording $599Funai Dv220fx4 Dvd Player/vcr Combo W/ Line In Recording Sony Slv-d300p Dvd And Vhs Combo Player Great Working Condition! Dvd/vcrSony Betamax Player Super Betahi-fiSony Slv-d360p Dvd Player/ Vhs Vcr Player Recorder Combo W/remote Free Ship Us48Jvc Sr-vs30 Mini Dv Minidv Svhs Et Player Recorder Dual Deck Vcr Sr-vs30uPanasonic Dmr-ez485v Dvd Vcr Combo 1080 P RecorderSamsung Dvd-vr330 Dvd Player Recorder Vhs Vcr ComboSony Slv-d281p Dvd Player Hi-fi Stereo Vhs Recorder Vcr Combo+ A/v Cbl + Remote Orig 50th Anniv 2003 Corvette Z06 Manual W/ Tire Gauge Pen Dvd Vcr Paint ChipsSony Slv-d370p Dvd Player Vhs Vcr Player Combo 4 Head Hi-fi Stereo + RemoteDvd Vcr Combo Magnavox Dv220mw9 With Remote And Av Cable Tested Working CleanMagnavox Vcr Dvd Player Combo Dv220mw9 With Remote And Av Composite CableSamsung Dvd-v9650 Dvd Vcr Combo PlayerSony Vcr Tape Player/ Recorder Slv-n51 Vhs W/ Remote Samsung Dvd-v5500 Vcr Vhs / Dvd Dual Deck Combo PlayerMagnavox Dv220mw9 Dvd Vcr Combo Vhs Recorder / Dvd Player TestedSony Slv-798hf Vhs Vcr 4 Head Hi-fi Stereo With RemotePanasonic Dmr-ez485v Dvd Recorder, Vcr, Digital Tuner, Vhs To Dvd (no Remote!)Sony Slv-n51 Vhs Vcr Hi Fi Stereo 4 Heads With RemoteZenith Vra424 Speak.ez Stereo Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Player W/ Remote Mbr424 Panasonic Omnivision 4 Head Hi-fi Stereo Vcr Dvd Player Combo Pv-d4744s VhsSony Sl-hf550 Super Beta Betamax Video Cassette Recorder Vcr - Parts/repairJvc Hr-j610u Hi-spec Stereo Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Player W/ Remote Pq21674a7" Tft Lcd Color Digital Auto Car Rearview Headrest Monitor Dvd Camera VcrAudiovox Vpb1000 Portable Car Vcr Vhs Cassette Player 4" Active Matrix LcdSanyo Dvd Recorder/vcr ComboGo Video 40060 Gv4060 Dual Deck - Vcr Copy Vha To Vhs W Americhrome CircuitrySony Slv-d380p Dvd Player And Vcr Combo With Remote And Av CableVintage Digital Video Stabilizer Vcr To Vcr Connections140027 Tv Vcr Repair Television Interactive Affordable Reorder Led Light SignSony Slv-d360p Dvd/vhs Vcr Cassette Player Combo -Sanyo Vwm-390 Vcr With Remote, No Cord As Is Parts Or RepairSony Dvd/vcr Combo Slv-d271p Vhs Player Progressive Tracking Tested Works!Rca Drc6100n Vcr/dvd Player Combo 4-head Video Cassette Recorder Vhs PlayerGarbage Pail Kids Beta Hi-fi Betamax Video Tape Rare Cult Classic Sony Vcr Player With Remote Vhs Recorder Hifi Stereo Tested Working Sony Evo-9500a Pro Hi8 Video8 8mm Video 8 Player Recorder Pcm Tc Vcr Deck Ex