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 1986 World Of Horror Vhs Movie Poster 39 X 13 James Francisco Lot Of 5 Vhs Tapes - Rare Cult 80s Horror Action Clamshell Big Box10 Sealed Blank Tdk Vhs 6hrs TapesMaxxell Cassette Adapter Vhs-cBig Lot Allis Chalmers Gleaner Deutz Dealer Videos Vhs Tapes Tractor CombineLot X13 Horror Monster Vintage Vhs Tapes Movies Very RareSony Dvc60 Premium Mini Dv Digital Video Tapes Sealed 6 PackChildren's Disney Classic Masterpiece Lot Of 40 Vhs Video Tape MoviesUsb Transfer Convert Vcr Vhs Video Tapes To Computer Pc Record Dvd Capture Win7House Of Terror: Jack Canon, Leslie Ann Rivers [vhs Tape] Horror Rare VintageCitizen Tania Vintage Rare Vhs Tape By Raymond Pettibon11 Fuji Film Pro 120 Blank Video Tapes@vhs 6 Hour@nib SealedVintage 1986 Midnight Vhs Movie Poster 25 X 19 Lawrence Tierney John AmplasBabes In Toyland- Vhs Tape- Pre-owned Keanu Barrymore Children Christmas FamilyRip Van Winkle Planet Video Inc. 1982 Rare Vhs Tape Box And Clam Shell Case10 Pack New In Box Tdk Vhs T-160 Hs Vcr Video Cassette Tapes Superior QualityVintage Spare Parts The Cutting Edge Of Terror Vhs Movie Poster 19 X 25Sony Vhs Cassette Lot 7 Cassettes LotBeta (betamax) Video Tape Movie: Star Trek Ii The Wrath Of KhanKing Private Pilot Vhs Tape Course - 24 Tapes + Faa Written Exam Book ExtraVintage Apple Vision 90's / Cops Vhs Tape Apple's Vision Of K12 Technology RareGiant Lot 25 Brand New Blank Vhs Tapes Tdk Maxell Polaroid Kodak 120 Minutes NewMash Tv Series, Complete Collector's Edition, Vhs Tape Set, 15 TapesVhs T120 6hr The Adventures Of Timmy The Tooth Vhs Video Tape Malibu TimmyJohn Deere Lawn And Garden Tractor Vhs Movies. From2001Rare Disney Vhs Tapes - 1994 Vacation Planning Guide And Imagineering Tv ProgramNew Sealed The Beatles The First U.s. Visit Vhs TapePokemon Vhs Tapes Lot 92 Pack Panasonic Dvc Mini Dv Video Tapes New Me Dvm60 60/90 Min"oop"original 1985 Teen Wolf Vhs Tape****Vintage Nightmare Weekends Vhs Movie Poster 23 1/2 X 14 5 Barney Vhs Tapes Never Seen On TvCornell Dupree Mastering R&b Guitar Hot Licks Video Tape With BookletStarfox 64 Promotional Vhs Tape - 1997 Nintendo Power N64 Rumble Pak PromoRca Vhs Video Tape Blank T130 6-1/2 Hour Tape - New 50 Pack New In Box Tdk Vhs T-160 Hs Vcr Video Cassette Tapes Superior QualityVintage Lot Of 33 Easy Rider Vhs MoviesAmpex 196 1' High Band Master Video Tape One Inch 96/98Vhs Tapes Of Winds Of War/war And RememberanceLot Of 22 Vhs Tapes Childrens Disney Scooby Doo Snow White Beauty And The BeastLot Of 45 Vhs Tapes Used. Comedy Action Horror Kids Drama.(22) Blank Vhs Tape Lot Sealed New Maxell T-120 Hgx Gold Jvc Xr Ehg High GradeButthole Surfers / Capitol Records Promo Vhs Tape,aprox 26 Mins,near Mint,stereo2 Tdk T-160 Revue Premium Grade 8 Hour Blank Vhs Tapes, New In Sealed Pkg.Tony Little's Ab Isolator Workout Equipment With Vhs Tape Sewing Tutorial Video Tape By Sandra Betzina "embellishments"Sony T-120 Premium Grade Vhs Blank Tapes New In Box (8) SealedThe Private Eyes 1990 Vhs Tape: Don Knotts/tim Conway Rare Free Shipping! Lot Of 6 Scotch T-120 6-hour Performance High Grade Vhs Blank Tapes 7 Walt Disney Vhs Tapes Lot AbThe Federation W/ E40 - Hyphy - Promo Minidv Video TapeLot Of 39 Vhs Movie Tapes, All Vgc, Drama, Action, Comedy, SuspenseMr. Mikes Mondo Video Cult Vintage Vhs Tape Homebodies Vhs TapeChristian Vhs Movie Lot King Of Kings The Bible The Greatest Story Ever ToldBilly Jack Tom Laughlin Betamax Video Tape MovieReckless And Reckless The Sequel (4 Vhs Tapes In All)Sam Snead Vhs TapeInto The Woods - Original Broadway Cast (vhs Tape) Bernadette Peters Htf