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    

Ac/dc Cassette/vhs Tape Collection With 12 Tape CaseAmbico Vhs-c To Vhs AdapterZenon: Girl Of The 21st Century Oop Rare Vhs Tape Disney Tv Movie Not On DvdSkateboard Vhs Tapes 411vm Yeah Right Magic Bootleg 3000 Sucking The Life ModusThe Cult Heart Of Soul Promo Cd/video Vhs Tape Box Set Rare 1991Jvc Battery Operated Vhs-c To Vhs S-vhs Cassette Tape Adapter Converter Playpak*rare* Alien Workshop Photosynthesis Skateboard Skate Vhs Tape Dill Rob Dyrdek 2 Thriller Big Box Elvira Hosted Vhs Tapes! Look!% Toy Stamp & 1990 Hasbro G.i. Joe Vhs Tape & Figure Mint On The CardGodzilla Collection (17 Movies) On Vhs Tape47 Wrestling Vhs Tapes! Wcw Ecw Wwe Wwf Lot !!! Stone Cold Sting Hbk Taker ManiaVintage Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park Vhs Tape Gene Simmons7 King Schools Vhs Tapes And 2 Books On Private Pilot Exam And Learning To Fly !11 Out Of 12 Tribute Vhs Movies To Grand Ole Opry And Country Music 5 SealedParelli Partnership Level 1 Part 1, Vhs Tape, Booklet And Pocket GuidesLegends Of Cthulhu By Warpo Vhs Tape With Retro Commercial Kickstarter Exclusive% Toy Stamp & 1990 Hasbro G.i. Joe Vhs Tape And Figure Mint On Original CardLot 11 Disney Vhs Tapes Video Sing Along Songs Zip-a-dee-doo-dahDudes Vhs Tape Not Dvd 80s Punk Rock Vandals Decline Comedy Oop Rare Cult SuburbFairuza Balk Signed The Craft Vhs Movie Autograph Horror Misfits Sexy SchoolgirlLot Of 3 Brand New Sealed Blank Vhs Tapes Maxell TdkStone Fox Vhs TapeHollywood Babylon Vhs Video Tape Neon Video17 New Sony Blank Vhs 8hrs Premium T-160 TapesEgypt Books~vhs Tape~post Card Books~post Cards Over 45 Pieces Bought In EgyptUnraveling The Mysteries Of Double Bedding Volume 2 With Vhs TapeUnraveling The Mysteries Of Double Bedding Volume 1 With Vhs TapeBritt Allcroft Shining Time Station & Thomas Tank Engine Video Tape Vhs Lot 12Vintage Connor Videosmarts Interactive Video Learning System Vhs Tapes Lot Of 4Rare Vince Vance And The Valiants Promo Video Tape Vhs8 Blank Vhs Tapes New! Sony T-160 Premium, Tdk T-120, Polaroid T-120Lots Of 25 T-120 Vhs Tapes Tdk Sold As Blanks2 Video Tapes The Puye & Phui And The Forks Creek Central RailroadRaggedy Ann & Andy Video Tape Vhs Animated Vintage 1977 Movie Tv Cartoons Lot 7 New Hi 8 Video Tapes, Regular And High Grade. Maxell, Sony. Cryptoclearance --stallion Vhs Video Tape - Vinery - Race Highlights-excellent!Charleton Heston Presents The Bible Collection - 4 Vhs Tapes, 1 Cassette, PapersLot Of 7 Danielle Steel Vhs Movies - Jewels Perfect Stranger The Ring DaddyElmo's World And Sesame Street Vhs Tapes Lot Of 10 And Treasury Book Big Bird The Devils Rejects Vhs Video Tape Lot: Two Stella Stevens Autographed Vhs Tapes~girls! Girls! Girls! ++Bud Abbott & Lou Costello Comedy Classics Three Vhs TapesNight Of The Living Dead Horror Vhs Video TapeLeatherface The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 Vhs Video Tape Non RentalChevrolet : Astro Used 98 Chevy Astro Van 4.3l V6 Rwd White Tan Cloth Tv Vhs TapeComplete Set 8 Vhs Tapes, Encyclopedia Of Card Magic Plus 3 Bonus TapesHuge Vintage Maxell Vhs Hgx Plus/p/i Lot /cassette + Camcorder Lot New Sealed3 Vhs Tapes With 2 Episodes Each. Each Video Has One Unopen Hot Wheels Car New Panasonic Vhs Blank Tapes.Hdv Or Dv Video Tape In Great Condition, Minis And Full SizeWild Style And Style Wars New York City Graffiti Legends Vhs Movies1988 Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park Vhs Tape.Kill Squad Vhs Movie Vintage Working 1982 Jean Glaude The Hitting Trainer Endorsed By Whitey Herzog With Vhs Tape Steve Braun's Basic Leap Frog Video Tapes, (3)(bb) New Sealed Vhs Movie That's Entertainment Part 2 Fred Astaire Gene Kelly1990 Abigail Wanted Vhs Tape Movie Original Working1982 The Apple Original Vhs Movie Tape Working Paragon Pictures Cincinnati Reds 1990 World Series Vhs Tape By Blockbuster VideoCollegiate Choice Walking Tours Vhs Tape - Columbia University