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    

New Sony Rdr-vx560 Dvd + Vcr Combo Recorder Hdmi 1080p Player Digital Out DtsBrand New Black Panasonic Dmr-ez48v Dvd Recorder Vhs Vcr Combo Player RemoteSony Rdr-vxd655 Vhs Video Cassette Vcr/dvd Recorder Combo Dvd+rw Dubbing HdmiNib New Sealed Sharp Vc-h813u Hi-fi 4 Head Stereo Video Cassette Recorder VcrPanasonic Dmr-ez48v Vcr/dvd Hdmi Dubbing Recorder W/digital TunersPanasonic Dmr-eh75v 80gb Hdd/dvd/vcr Recorder Digital Tuner-hdmi-1080pPanasonic Dmr-ez485v Dvd Recorder Vcr Vhs Combo Digital Tuner Hdmi W/remoteJvc Hm-dh5u Dvhs VcrBrand New Black Panasonic Dmr-ez48v Dvd Recorder Vhs Vcr Combo Player RemotePanasonic Dmr-e75v Vcr/dvd Dual Deck Dubbing Recorder & PlayerSamsung Dvd-v9800 Dvd Vhs Combo Combination Vcr Player New In BoxSony Rdr-vx525 Dvd Recorder Player Vhs Video Vcr Combo Transfer To Dvd BurnerSony Betamax Sl-hfr70 Beta Player/recorder In Original BoxPanasonic Dmr-es30v Dual Combo Dvd Recorder Burner And Vcr Recorder PlayerHd 1080p G1w-b Car Dashbaord Camera Dvr Vehicle Vcr Nt96650 Chipest Ar0330 LensKtm Superduke 990 Gilles Rearsets Rear Sets Vcr38gtMini Composite Rca Cvbs Av To Hdmi Converter Adapter For Vcr Dvd 720p 1080p UsToshiba Sd-v296 Dvd Player And Vcr Combo BlackHudson Stella Skinny Leg Jeans, Triangle Pocket, Vcr Wash, Sz 28Samsung Dvd-v4600a Home Dvd Player Vhs Recorder Combo Deck Vcr Tested Works!Usb Transfer Convert Vcr Vhs Video Tapes To Computer Pc Record Dvd Capture Win7Beta Lot Betamax Collection Elvis Star Wars Texas Chainsaw Massacre HobbitNice Magnavox Mwr20v6 Stereo Dvd Recorder & Video Player Vhs Vcr Combo W/ RemoteSony Slv-d360p Vcr/dvd Vhs Video Cassette Recorder Progressive Scan Combo Player4.3" Color Lcd Car Rearview Monitor With Led Blacklight For Camera Dvd VcrVintage Sony Super Beta Hifi Sl-hf900, Betamax Player, Tested Repair NeededSony Betamax Sl-2710 Beta Player/recorder In Original Box W/ Remote And ManualWestwood Design Jonesport Convertible Crib, Virginia Cherry Jp-cr-3501nr-vcr-nPhilips Dvp3345vb Dvd Player And Vcr Combo BlackKinyo Vhs Vcr Video Tape RewinderJvc Remote Lp20465-013 For Dvhs Vcr Hm-dh30000u, Used But In Perfect ConditionPanasonic Ag-vp320 Proline Dvd Player And 4-head Vhs Stereo Hi-fi Vcr Free ShipNew With Box Philips All In One Dvd/vcr Player ComboPanasonic Dmr-es46v Dvd Recorder Dvd/vcr,hdmi Output, Original Remote Control...Magnavox Zv427mg9 Dvd Player / Vcr ComboPhilips Dvdr600vr/37 Dvd Recorder /vcr Combo W/ RemoteTouch Panel Led Wrist Watch Tv/dvd/vcr Remote Control For Men Women Alarm DateToshiba M684 Video Cassette Recorder Vhs Vcr Original BoxSamsung Sv-5000w Vhs Vcr Multi System Worldwide Video Ntsc Secam Pal M N MesecamSony Sl-2710 Betamax Vcr Beta Hi-fi Vintage Plays Sounds Great.Panasonic Ag-dv1dc Mini Dv VcrMagnavox Mwd2205 4 Head Vhs Player Recorder Vcr & Dvd Combo, Remote, CablesSony Dvd Player & Vcr & RemoteMagnavox Dv225mg9 Dvd Player Vcr ComboJvc Sr-vs30u Svhs Mini Dv Vcr ComboSony Ev-c25 8mm Hi-fi Stereo Vcr -- Working -- See Video Jvc Dr-mv150b Super Multi Video Cassette Player Vcr Vhs/dvd Recorder & RemoteSamsung Real Time And Time Lapse Vcr Video Cassette RecorderSony Slv-n51 Vhs Vcr Hi-fi Stereo Works GreatSony Sl-10 Betamax Vcr Beta Recorder Tested & Working * Nice!Mini Av2hdmi Av To Hdmi Converter Composite Rca Cvbs Adapter Vcr Dvd 720p 1080pNew Pokemon Pikachu Plush *remote Control Only* For Pokemon Vcr PicachuEasycap Usb 2.0 Capture Adapter Usb Record Vcr Vhs Video To Pc Av S-video DvdPanasonic Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Recorder Pvq-v200 Home OfficeTransfer Convert Vcr Vhs Video Tapes Card Computer Pc Dvd Support Making VideoMid Atlantic 3 Space Rack Mount Shelf And Face Plate For Dvd / Vcr MountMagnavox Dv220mw9 Dvd Player Vcr ComboHr-s9800u Jvc Vcr As Is Not Working Super Tbc Vhs HifiJvc Svhs Video Cassette Recorder Sr-ts1u Super Vhs Professional Series VcrVintage Sanyo Betacord Vcr 4500 Beta Tape/player/recorder