Skip links

Everything You Need to Know About the VHS Tape: A Brief History

Let’s take a trip back in time — do you remember needing to patiently wait for a VHS tape to rewind so you can enjoy your favorite movie? Have you ever had to go through massive storage containers to help you find that one tape with a specific memory or event that you want to look back to? 

The VHS dominated the home movie industry for about three decades. It was a great way to enjoy movies and to look back at home videos that we keep in our hearts. But now that we’re living in a digital age, what do we do with our piles of home videos and VHS tapes? 

Fortunately, VHS converter services allow you to convert your tapes into digital formats so you can relive these moments without having to use high-speed rewinders and VHS players. With that being said, it’s a good idea to look back at the origin of VHS to better understand how it dominated the 1970s and early 200s. Let’s take a look!

What Does VHS Mean?

In the 1950s, Hollywood began to use magnetic tape to begin recording, but it was not a viable solution since it was incredibly costly and unaffordable for daily use. Fast forward to the 1970s, the Victory Company of Japan (JVC) was beginning to experience recognition as every person wanted to get their hands on the latest technology, the U-matic. 

The U-matic became available to the public in 1971 and then the VHS would be released six years later. The Video Home System or VHS won against its strong competitor, Betamax, making it the preferred household product for entertainment. 

What are the Tech and Specs of VHS?

The main design feature of VHS was to prevent unspooling since it contains two small spools of magnetic tape, which could be found in the reel and the take-up reel. Most magnetic tapes were produced with thicker strips to prevent breaking and tearing. And with that, a VHS cassette can hold about 1,140 feet of tape, which is about four hours of footage. 

At each end of the spool, you’ll find clear tapes that signal the VCR that the end of the tape is near. And for its build, the cassette tape is made of lightweight plastic that’s about 187 mm wide, 103 mm deep, and 25 mm thick. 

Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with VHS and VCRs any longer. We can now convert them easily into digital format. However, it’s always a good idea to get expert VHS conversion services to ensure that they handle your tapes with extra love and care. 

The Ease of Use and Some Problems

Because the VHS tape was pretty much easy to use, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy, the Motions Picture Association of America feared that people could easily make copies of their films. 

With that, they created Macrovision, a system of coding that helps prevent users from creating their own copies of the tapes at home. It was then released in 1983, protecting their rights to their movies and eliminating the possibility of their films getting stolen. 

The Bottom Line: The VHS Left a Huge Mark In How We Consumed Entertainment

There’s no denying that VHS tapes played a huge role in how we enjoyed movies in the past. Fortunately, we can still enjoy our home movies, thanks to VHS converters, allowing us to convert our tapes to digital formats for quicker and faster consumption. 

Where Can I Have My VHS Tapes Converted?

If you have a bunch of VHS tapes you want to convert, check out Converting VHS to DVD. We offer VHS conversion services and convert VHS Tapes and 8mm movies to DVDs. Besides that, we also transfer your memories into a convenient thumb drive. 

Are you ready to relive your precious memories? Have us convert your tapes today!