Anyone who lived through the 1980s remembers the magic of VHS, or “Video Home System” tapes: Watching your favorite video rentals on the couch; easy to use video cameras that could be played back instantly; bootlegged videos passed around by friends. But the first VCR players of the early 1970s used proprietary videotape cassettes. The Sony VO-1600 only played Sony's 3/4-inch U-Matic tape, while the CartriVision played cassettes whose 1/2-inch reels were stacked on top of each other rather than laid out horizontally.

The high price of early videotape players made them primarily attractive for educational or business applications, but in 1975, Sony released a slightly smaller and more affordable player as part of its Betamax line in Japan. Sony expected Betamax to become the industry standard, but unexpectedly, in 1976, JVC launched its VHS system, specifically aimed at home users. VHS players reached the U.S. in 1977, and with the format's longer running time of two hours versus one, its cheaper price, and the wider variety of pre-recorded cassettes available, VHS quickly became the home video of choice. By the early 1980s, the boom in video rentals cemented the format's future—because the economical price of VHS cassettes and players meant less investment for rental businesses and home users, the VHS format surged in popularity over Betamax.

VHS tapes use what is known as the “M” lacing system, whereby loading fingers pull the tape outward from the cassette to wrap around the drum while playing or recording. However, when rewinding or fast-forwarding, the tape is returned to its cassette position, allowing it to rewind quickly. Despite their lower playback quality versus digital formats, VHS tapes still allow an ease of recording and re-recording not possible with DVDs, and much like vintage LPs or new Instagram photos, their scratches and blips give the tapes an aura of nostalgia.

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]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Death Spa -very Rare 1988 Vhs Tape Horror -gym / Workout / Spa 1980's Slasher!!!Lot Of Horror Vhs Tapes. Return Of The Living Dead 2, Killing Spree, Evil ToonsNew 10 Pack Rca T-120 Hii-fi Stereo Blank Vhs Vcr Video Cassette Tapes 6 Hour Ultimate Warrior Workout Vhs Tape - 1995 - Autographed - Ultra RareSony Vhs Blank Tapes Nip4 Blank Unused Sony 6-hr Premium Vhs Tapes - T-120The Beatles - Let It Be Vhs Movie Tape - Original 1981 Magnetic Video Vhs Tapes - Natural Golf -- Moe Norman Golf Legend - 3 Vhs TapesLot Of 13 Disney Vhs Tapes! Snow White, The Jungle Book, Ice Age 101 DalmationsTurkey Hunting In The Ozarks -rare Vhs Tape - Hillbilly Found Footage -bud JonesTdk Xp Super Pro St-120 246mLot Of Sailor Moon Dolls, Clock, Vhs TapesXxx Video Tapes Brand-newNightmare On Elm Street Vhs Tape Media Freddy Krueger Silver Label Astral VideoLot Of 12 Championship Productions Basketball Coaching Vhs Tapes Lot Of 35 Used Prerecorded Vhs Tapes Sold As Blanks, Movies & Other Stuff Disneys Movie Vhs Tapes Family Masterpiece Collection 4 Lot Love Children2 Quantegy Adat Master Digital Audio Cassette Vhs Tape New Sealed -b904Green Jello Cereal Killer Signed Booklet Vhs Tape Very Rare Htf Gwar A Fortes Memory & "santa Fe Salute" Vhs TapesPokemon Vhs Tapes Lot 4Lot Of 24 Prince 12" Singles, Lps & 45s Record Vinyl + 6 Vhs Tapes7 New Maxell Xr-metal 120 105.6 M Pro Quality Hi8 Digital8 Video Tape 60 Min 8mmVcr Video Tape Punchcard Knitting With Susan Guagliumi Studio By WhiteHuge Lot Disney Vhs Tapes Classics Ducktales Talespin Cartoon Sing Along SongsQueen Of The Stardust Ballroom Vhs Movie Winner Of Five Academy Awards Diesels West & Challenger '82 Vhs Tapes6325 Return To Steam & The Trains Of Galesburg Vhs TapesThe Rock Island Railroad & Crawford Hill - Vhs TapesRaw Head Rex Clive Barker New Sealed Vhs Tape Rare - B5333 Panasonic Dvc 60 Ay-dvm60ej Mini Dv Video Tapes Dvm60 MeNew Sealed Pokemon Pikachu Show Time 1998 Vhs Tape Video Exclusive Motion CardSesame Street - 5 Vhs Tape PackageLot Of 10 Video TapesMagnavox Zv427mg9 Dvd/vcr Combo Convert Copy Vhs Tapes To Dvd 1080pLarge Assorted Lot Of 32 Disney Vhs Tapes, From Puppies To Princesses! Euc!Gymbar By Bodyflex Work Out Video Greer Childers Vhs Tape Gym Bar Diet Health Lot Of 15 Arthur Vhs Video Tapes6 Rare Lot Vhs Movies Blues Clues Nick Jr Nickelodeon Abc 123 PeriwinkleDvd/vhs Movies- LotLot Of 3 Terry Madden Watercolor Workshop Basics Intermed Adv Vhs Tape Videos Star Trek The Next Generation Collector's Series Lot Of 18 Vhs TapesNew! Theodore Roosevelt Pbs Home Video, The Presidents Collection, 2 Vhs TapesLot Of 9 Tdk T-120 Superior Quality Vhs Tapes New Sealed Packs Video Tape 6 HourAlfred Hitchcock 4 Vhs Tape Set Rebecca Notorious Parading Chase SpellboundLot Of 6 Blank Vhs Tapes-vcr Video Cassettes 6 HoursScuba Kit-padi, Manual, Dive Book, Dive Planner, Waterproof Planner, 2 Vhs TapesMaxell Manual Vhs-c Cassette Adapter View Vhs-c Tapes In A Vhs Player "dazed And Confused" Value Pack: Cd Soundtracks 1 And 2 + Vhs Movie Last Summer W/ Barbara Hersey & Richard Thomas Vhs MovieRare Oop Playboy Jazz Festival 2 Beta Video Tape Bill Cosby Dave Brubeck BetamaxLot Of Six Classic 80s Vhs Movies Short Circuit Weird Science Fast Times FerrisThe Wraith (vhs) Tape 1986 Movie With Charlie Sheen Lightning VideoIrish/counties Of Ireland Vhs TapesHo Model Railroad Vhs Video Tape Great Model Railroad #29 Chuck HitchcockCollection Of 6 New Unused Vhs Video TapesPokemon Vhs Tapes Lot 13 Alvin And The Chipmunks Vhs Tapes Kong!, Batmunk, And Back To Alvin's FutureTrains Unlimited By The History Channel 4 Vhs Video Tape SetWholesale Lot 14 Little Rascal Vhs Tapes - B648