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    

Nr Sony Vhs Premium Grade T160vr 8 Hrs Blank Tapes Lot Of 16Morrissey - Very Rare 'sing Your Life' Japanese Japan Vhs Video Tape CassetteMorrissey - Ultra-rare 'alma Matters' Promo Vhs Video Tape CassetteNintendo 64 Game Console With 2 Controllers, Diddy Kong Racing Game, Vhs Tape!!!Nos Maxell 2 Hgx Tc-30 Tapes & Vhs-c AdapterMaxell Gx-mp 8mm Hq Video Tape -- 50 CountLot Of 10 Maxell T-160 8-hour Standard Grade Blank Vhs TapesIron Maiden Behind The Iron Curtain Video Ep Rare Item Vhs TapeLot B: 17 New Blank Vhs TapesLot 23 New Blank Maxell Rca Fuji Boots High Quality 6 Hour T-120 Vhs Video TapesLot Of 36 Ecw Wcw Wwe Wwf Vhs Tapes SportsLot 192 Vhs Tapes (not Dvd) Old School Horror - Relive The Old Days Of Ntsc Vhs 12 Horror Scary Demons Monsters Vhs Movies From 80s & 90s Lot Of 50 Vhs Movies, Nr, Lot C, No Duplicates, Very Hot Popular Titles!!!Iron Maiden Collection 3hr Special Video Vhs Tape Rare ItemMaxell Standard Vhs Professional Tapes Sealed New Old Stock T-160 Six TotalIron Maiden Self Titled Video Tape Vhs Rare ItemDepeche Mode "in Santa Barbara" B-roll Vhs Tape (rare Mute Promo Item)Recorded Vhs Tapes With Nsync & Vhs With Nsync & BritneyKiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park Movie Vhs Tape Rock N Roll All Night Beth Iron Maiden Tynside 1988 Whitley Bay Ice Rink Live Rare Item Video Tape VhsDante's Divine Comedy - Great Courses-teaching Company - 6 Vhs TapesGate Ii 2 1992 Original Vhs Tape Good Creature Fx Very Hard To Find On Dvd!Iron Maiden 12 Wasted Years Rare Vhs Video Tape33 Used Vhs Video Tapes - Sold As BlanksThis Is Clinchfield Csx Hotshots 4---coal Story--vhs TapeLot Of 3 Used Vhs Tapes Zombie 4, Zombie Island Massacre, Zombie Nightmare!!!Vignettes Of The Reading Vol. I & Ii & Reading Glory Vhs Video Tapes ExcellentHuge Lot 24 Vhs Tapes ~ Movies ~ Films ~ Mixed -action - Comedy6 Comedy Vhs Movies Look Who's Talking/truman Show/what About Bob/mask/rushmore Iron Maiden The First Ten Years Video Tape Vhs Rare ItemIron Maiden - Maiden England Vhs Video Tape Rare ItemIron Maiden Dortmund Hammersmith Essen Milan Rare Video Live Vhs TapeLot Of 8 Anime Vhs Tapes, Sailor Moon S, Tenchi-muyo, New Dominion Tank Police +Lot Of 5 Blank Recordable Vhs Tapes Sony T-120 6 Hours NewHuge Lot 12 Wwf Classic Wrestling Vhs Tapes. Some Are Rare And HtfLot Of 36 Vhs Tapes. Some With Multiple Movies. Video Head Cleaner IncludedHealing Seminar By John Wimber On 8 Vhs Tapes Volume 1 And 2Maxell Xr-s St-120 Super Vhs Blank Tapes, Lot Of 3French Language Course Muzzy Ii Vhs Tapes Childrens Bbc Radio Shack Audio Video Tape EraserRockin’ Ronny’s Rockabilly Glamourcize Vhs Video Tape Rare Oop Sleaze Ray CampiLot Of 22 Betamax Video TapesLot Of 22 Betamax Video TapesTeaching Company Great Courses Famous Romans 6 Vhs Tapes 24 Lectures 2 GuidebookFreeway 2 "confession Of A Trickbaby" Vhs Movie 1999 Vincent Gallo Cult ThrillerDragonball Z Gotenk's Saga Four Vhs Tapes English SubtitledDragonball Z World Tournament Four Vhs Tapes English SubtitledFour Tony Little Gazelle Freestyle Personal Trainer Vhs TapesLot Of 15 Walt Disney Animated Classic Vhs MoviesVintage 1985 Ge Vhs Movie Video System - Camera & Bag - Clean - Tested - Usa15 Walt Disney Vhs Movies Little Mermaid Lion King Cinderella Aladdin BeautyThe Errol Flynn Collection 3 Vhs Tapes Nib Robin Hood Sea Hawk Captain BloodDisney's Fox And The Hound Movie Set - Vhs Tape W/plush Copper - Never OpenedTae Bo Workout Vhs Tapes Advanced Vol.1thru 4 New In Shrink WrapRodney Yee Yoga Remedies For Natural Healing Beginners Living Arts Vhs Tape NewVhs Tape Plastic Storage Box With Sleeve (black) Lot Of 10Jerry Lee Lewis / The Who / Blondie Vhs TapesWorkout Starring Jane Fonda, 90 Min Aerobics Vhs 1982 Karl-lorimar Video Tape21 Anime Vhs Tapes