JVC HR-3300

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JVC HR-3300U VIDSTAR - the United States version of the JVC HR-3300. It is virtually identical to the Japan version. Japan's version showed the "Victor" name, and didn't use the "VIDSTAR" name.

The JVC HR-3300 (also known as the Victor HR-3300) is a VHS-based video cassette recorder (VCR). It is the world's first VHS-based VCR to be released to the market, and was introduced by the president of JVC at the Okura Hotel on September 9, 1976.[1][2] JVC started selling the HR-3300 in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan on October 31, 1976.[1] Region-specific versions of the JVC HR-3300 were also distributed later on, such as the HR-3300U in the United States, and HR-3300EK in the United Kingdom.

In 2008, the HR-3300 became the first VCR to be registered with the National Museum of Nature and Science, based in Tokyo, Japan.[3]


See also: VHS

The JVC HR-3300 was a result of years of development - much of it in secret from JVC executives. JVC engineers Yuma Shiraishi and Shizuo Takano led the effort in developing the VHS tape format in 1971.[4] The project started off by designing guidelines for VHS, creating a matrix on a blackboard called the VHS Development Matrix. Included in the matrix is a list of objectives in building a home video recording unit.[5] The HR-3300 is a result of these objectives.

Soon after the Matrix was produced, the commercial video recording industry in Japan took a financial hit. As a result, JVC cut its budgets and restructured its video division - even going as far as shelving the VHS project. However, despite the lack of funding for the VHS project, Takano and Shiraishi continued to work on the project in secrecy within the video division. By 1973, the two engineers successfully produced a functional prototype of the HR-3300.[5]

The HR-3300 is JVC's initial release of its VHS technology. Other manufacturers took the JVC open standard and developed their own products.


Inside the JVC HR-3300U.

Being the very first VHS-based VCR, the HR-3300 is the result of the VHS Development Matrix in terms of ease of servicing. This is the only JVC-manufactured VCR that did not use any integrated circuits or miniaturized parts. Literally, the parts in this VCR can be purchased at any electronics parts store. Virtually all of the parts that make up this VCR are still available today.

Format VHS standard
Recording system Rotar, slant azimuth two-head helical scan system
Video signal system NTSC-type color signal
Tape width 12.7 mm (0.5 inches)
Tape speed 33.35 mm/s (1.31 ips)
Maximum recording time 120 min. with T-120 cassette
Power requirements 120 VAC, 60 Hz
Power consumption 28 watts, or 35 watts when automatic thermal heating is activated
Input 0.5 to 2.0 Vp-p, 75 ohms unbalanced
Output 1.0 Vp-p, 75 ohms unbalanced
Signal-to-noise ratio More than 42 dB
Horizontal resolution More than 220 lines (color mode)
Input Mic: -67 dB
  10 k-ohms unbalanced
  Line: -20 dB
  50 k-ohms unbalanced
Output level 0 dB, high impedance load
Output impedance 1 k-ohm, unbalanced
Signal-to-noise ratio More than 40 dB
Frequency response 50 Hz to 10,000 Hz
Dimensions 45.3 cm(W) x 14.7 cm(H) x 33.7 cm (D)
Weight 13.5 kg (30 lbs)


  1. ^ a b "Always Helpful! Full of Information on Recording Media "Made in Japan After All"". Nipponsei.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  2. ^ "JVC HR-3300". Totalrewind.org. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  3. ^ "VHS方式家庭用ビデオ(HR-3300)" [VHS Video Home System (HR-3300)]. kahaku.go.jp. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  4. ^ Pollack, Andrew (1992-01-20). "Shizuo Takano, 68, an Engineer Who Developed VHS Recorders". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  5. ^ a b "VHS STORY - Home Taping Comes of Age". Rickmaybury.com. 1976-09-07. Retrieved 2011-07-11.