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    

Vintage Vhs Tape Video 1982 Planet Video Nightmare Horror Movie In Big Box Conkers Bad Fur Day Promo Vhs Tape And Sealed Reloaded Plush Doll!!!Vintage Vhs Tape Video 1982 Planet Video Cathy's Curse Horror Movie Big Box Vintage Vhs Video Tape Slim City Movie Camp 1989 Robert C. Sabin HorrorVintage Vhs Tape Video 1984 Media Blackenstein Blaxploitation Monster HorrorVintage Vhs Video Tape Big Box Silent Night Deadly Night Movie Usa 1984 HorrorNew Lot Of 24 Sony Premium Grade 6 Hour Blank Vhs Tapes Sealed T-120vf 246mLot 16 Sony Blank Vhs Videocassette Tapes T160vr Premium -sealed UnopenedVintage Vhs Tape Video 1982 Media Home Entertainment The Hearse Horror MovieVintage Vhs Video Tape Clamshell The Town That Dreaded Sundown Warner 1983 9 Blank Vhs Tapes Days Of Our Lives Soap Opera 1988 1992 1994Vintage Vhs Video Tape Prom Night Movie Horror Jamie Lee Curtis 1981 McaVintage Vhs Video Tape Clamshell Xtro Movie Thron 1983 HorrorVintage Vhs Video Tape Clamshell Girls Nite Out Thorn Emi Hal Holbrook HorrorVintage Vhs Video Tape Big Box Rabid Movie Warner 1977 Horror10 Memorex Vhs High Standard Vcr Video Cassette Tapes Hs T-120 Blank Sealed NewVintage Vhs Video Tape Dont Go In The Woods Movie Vestron 1983 HorrorVintage Vhs Video Tape Open House Movie Horror Adrienne Barbeau 1987 PrismVintage Vhs Video Tape Halloween Movie Horror Slasher Michael Meyers 1981 MediaVintage Vhs Tape Video 1983 Media Home Entertainment To All A Goodnight HorrorVhs Movie Scavenger Hunt, 1979, Great Condition, Stored Rewound, Cbs FoxVhs Movie Demon Of The Lake Aka Creature From Black Lake 8 Maxell Gx-mp-120 And Sony P6-120hmpl120 Minute 8mm Video Tape Lot 8 CassettesLot Of 6 Vintage 411vm Skateboarding Vhs Tapes # 14 18 20 23 26 Europe 1996Zenith Vhs-c To Vhs Adaptor Vac 615 Cassette Adapter F/r Ship $5.00Basf T160 8-hour Blank Vhs Video Tapes~new~10-pack~factory Sealed~brand New~Vintage Vhs Tape Video 1983 Rca Strait Jacket Joan Crawford Horror Chiller Vintage Vhs Video Tape I Was A Teenage Zombie Movie 1987 Comedy HorrorVintage Vhs Video Tape Clamshell Daddy Darling Movie Evi 1981*rare* The Way Of Cartouche Tarot Card Deck Vhs Tape Tarot Cards Book Murry HopeLot Of 24 Donny And Marie Osmond Vhs TapesVintage Vhs Video Tape Clamshell Murder By Phone Movie Warner 1984 HorrorVintage Vhs Tape Video 1988 Good Times Home Video 13 Ghosts 1960 Horror Movie Hulk Hogan & The Rock Autographs They Signed Two Wrestlemania Vhs TapesHuge Giant Lot 85 Vhs Tapes Wwf Wwe Wcw Ecw Wrestling Ppvs And Specials! Rare!!Blank Vhs Tapes (lot Of) Pick Up OnlyLot Of 25 Sony Vhs Tapes Sold As BlanksVintage Vhs Tape Video 1988 Media Home Entertainment Mothers Day HorrorVenom - Live 90 Vhs Tape ( Still Sealed Copy , Warfare , Satan , Bathory ) Any 10 Vhs Movies That You Want, Some May Be Out Of Print & Hard To FindVintage Vhs Video Tape Screamers Movie Embassy 1985 HorrorVintage Vhs Tape Video Charter Entertainment Picture Mommy Dead Horror SlasherVintage Vhs Video Tape Sloughterhouse Movie Charter 1987 Horror Vintage Vhs Tape Video 1986 Charter Entertainment God Told Me To Horror MovieMotley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls 3/4" U-matic Promo Music Video TapeLot Of 10 - Maxell P/i Plus T-160 Vhs Tape ( New Sealed !!! ) No ReserveVintage Vhs Tape Video 1984 Paramount Friday The 13th The Final Chapter HorrorMaxell Vhs-c Adaptor! F/r Ship $5.00Bonsai Techniques Of The Japanese Masters 4 Vhs Tape Set New & Sealed Maxell Premium Grade Vhs Videocassette T-160 Tape 5 PackVintage Vhs Video Tape The Company Of Wolves Veatron 1984 Angela Lansbury HorrorVintage Vhs Video Tape Maximum Overdrive Movie Kly 1986 Steven KingLot Of 4 Fuji Super Hg T-120 Blank Vhs Video Tapes Beridox Super FineVintage Vhs Tape Video 1988 Virgin Vision Lady In White Mystery Thriller10 Vhs Movie Lot Help!, Clue, Jumping Jacks, Artists And Models And More Oop Lot Of 11 Vhs Tapes-disney-columbia Tristar Family & Warner Brother FamilyThe Magic Of Christmas At Disneyland 1992 Vhs Tape Mickey And Minnie Mouse5 Golf Digest Vhs Tapes Huge Lot Of 15 Vhs Tapes Ecw Wcw Wwf Wrestling Rare Pay Per Views!Vintage Vhs Video Tape Greed Movie Silent Classics 1988 Turner Mgm/ua