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 8mm Video 8 Player Cassette Recorder Vcr W/ Remote ** No Reserve **Funai Zv427fx4 Dvd Recorder / Vcr Combo $199.00 On AmazonVintage Sony Super Beta Hi-fi Stereo Vcr Betamax Player Sl-hf400 With RemoteSanyo Beta Hi Fi Vcr Model 7200 In Great Condition Date Code 10-12-84Sanyo Fwzv475f Dvd Recorder/vcr Combo 2-way RecordingVintage Sony Sl-5200 Betamax Hi-fi Stereo Video Cassette Recorder. WorksSony Ev-a50 Video8 8mm Video 8 Player Cassette Recorder Vcr ** No Reserve **1650 Truglo Detonator Release, Vcr, Camo Tg2560mvcSamsung Dvd-vr330 Combination Vhs Vcr & Dvd Recorder Burner PlayerTeac V-800g-f Hi8 Videocassette Tape Recorder/reproducer Pcm Hifi VcrFunai Sv2000 Wv20v6 Dvd Video Recorder/ Vcr ComboFunai Zv427fx4 Dvd Recorder / Vcr ComboAiwa Mx100 Worldwide Vhs Vcr Player Nstc/pal/secam 4 HeadsSony Evo-9500a Professional Video Hi8 8mm Player Recorder Vcr Best Model Ever3 Never Used Fishing Rods -veritas Abu Garcia -quantum -falcon Bucoo Micro Sony Ev-c100 Hi8 8mm Video Cassette Recorder Vtr VcrNew In Box Magnavox Mvr 650 4 Head Hifi Video Recorder VcrSony Sl-5400 Betamax Betascan Video Cassette Recorder, WorksSanyo 4 Head Hi-fi Stereo Vcr Vwm-696 New In BoxEmerson Hi-fi Stereo Vcr Vhs Video Cassette Player Recorder Ewv601a With RemoteDvd/vcr ComboLot Of 3 Vintage Wwf Wrestling Board Games- Trivia, Vcr & SuperstarsToshiba Sd-v296 Tunerless Dvd/vcr Combo PlayerSanyo Dvd Recorder/vcr Combo 2-way Recording - Fwzv475fDayton Rotary Drum Barrel 55gallon Pump Model 4vcr4 (fm Approved Sony Sl-hfr30 Betamax Vcr *Emerson Model Ewv404 Vcr Vhs Player/recorder With Remote - Working/testedMaxell Vcr Head Cleaner Dry Type Vhs Cassette Tape New In Opened BoxPanasonic Dmr-ez48v Dvd Player/recorder/ Vcr Combo / Digital Tv Tuner* New * Open Box Sony Slv-d560p Dvd Player Vhs Video Cassette Recorder VcrIon Vcr 2 Pc Video Conversion SystemSony Slv-d380p Dvd Player / Vcr ComboSamsung Dvd-v4600 Hi-fi 25w Dvd/vcr Combo PlayerRca Vhs High Aquality Stereo Hi-fi And Vcr *1650 Truglo Detonator Release, Vcr, Camo Tg2560mvcCanada 1974 $1 Vcr-18 Receding Roof Bu 3in1 Kit Lens Cleaning Pen Dust Cleaner For Dslr Vcr Dc Camera Canon Nikon SonySamsung Dvd-vr357 Dvd Recorder / Vcr Vhs Combo Deck Player Transfer Burner HdmiSamsung Dvd-v9800 Vcr Recorder Dvd Combo Player With RemotePanasonic Vhs Omnivision Quartz Digital Tuning Vcr Model Pv-2720Sony Slv-d350p Dvd Vhs (vcr) Player Toshiba Dvd/vcr Combo Sd-v296 Video Cassette Dvd Recorder 1650 Truglo Detonator Release, Vcr, Camo Tg2560mvcSwagelok 1/4" Male Vcr Nut Ss-4-vcr-4 (lot Of 50)Panasonic Dmr -es46v Vhs/dvd Recorder Vcr Combo Player Hdmi Dvd +exc W/remoteSwagelok Double 1/4" Female Vcr Rotating Unions Ss-4-vcr-6-df (lot Of 5)Clean Lite On Lvc-9016g Stereo Dvd Video Recorder & Player Vhs Vcr Combo LiteonSwagelok 1" Vcr Gland 6lv-16-vcr-3-16tb7p New (lot Of 3)Rare Sylvania Dvc850c Vcr/dvd Player Combo Cassette Recorder Tested W/ No RemoteVxpx_007 - "night Of The Living Glitch" Vcr Bundle - Last One Ever!!! *** Great Condition *** Vc-h810 Vhs Vcr With RemoteLot 3 New Sealed Fujifilm Hq 120 6 Hour Vhs Multi-purpose Tapes Vcr High QualityBeta Tape Re-winder, Beta Video Tape Re-winder, Video Accessory, Beta Vcr, Beta Panasonic Tv/ Vcr/fm Radio RemotePhillips VcrSwagelok 1/2" Male Vcr Nut Ss-8-vcr-4 (lot Of 50)Swagelok 1/4" Male Vcr Metering Valve Part# Ss-mgvr4 Lot Of 2 Ea.Swagelok 1/2" Vcr Nickle Gaskets Ni-8-vcr-2-gr-vs (lot Of 100)Magnavox Mwr20v6 Vcr/dvd Recorder Combo !!Panasonic Omnivision Vcr Vhs Video Cassette Player Recorder Pv-v4022