Talk:Videocassette recorder

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Market dynamics[edit]

This article fails to point out some market dynamics and corporate politics behind it. Someone in business school should write a paper about what happened.

Betamax failed because it was a SONY format. All other manufacturers in the market banded together to reject it. They rather adopt an inferior format than to let SONY had its way. It was unthinkable how stupid the decision was because the VHS format (250 lines) has less resolution than the broadcast TV in NTSC (350 lines). Compared to S-VHS (400 lines) or LD or DVD, the VHS is pathetic.

You can see the similar situation in the "religious" war between the MOTIF and OpenLook GUI for the X-Windows in computer. OpenLook was clearly a better designed GUI. Since it was supported by Sun Micros and AT&T at the time, all other computer companies went for an alternative as long as it is not from the two giants.

~~Beta failed (in the western world) because its blank tapes could only record for five hours max, and Sony did not market the product effectively: their ads appealed to the congoscenti rather than to mass market. Beta was, however, popular in certain Asia-Pacific and Latin-American countries.~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:02, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Separate article for video tape[edit]

Video tape should not redirect here; it existed for over a decade before the video cassette and deserves its own article. -- Infrogmation 00:12 May 6, 2003 (UTC)

Video tape now has a separate article. — Walloon (talk) 16:38, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


I think the intro should be re-written - it's a bit silly going into detail about the different speeds of VHS tapes in this part of the article. Actually I'm not sure if that should be here at all and should be best left to VHS. This article should be by no means be specific to the VHS system - there's at least 10 other different tape formats that VCRs have used in the past couple of decades, be them consumer or professional formats. --Zilog Jones 22:01, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Redirection issues[edit]

Excuse me, but why was videocassette recorder redirected to video cassette recorder. videocassette is one word not two. video cassette recorder is the wrong name for the article. videocassette recorder is right. — 15:32, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Excuse me, but what are you talking about? The title of this article is Videocassette recorder, and it does not redirect anywhere. There is no article titled Video cassette recorder. There is an article titled Video Cassette Recording, which which is about "VCR" an early domestic video format designed by Philips. The company always spelled "video cassette" as two words. Philips later abandoned the trademark, and "VCR" has become a generic term. — Walloon 00:08, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Did This Even Happen?[edit]

"In November 2004, Dixons, the largest electrical retailer in Britain, announced that it was to phase out sales of VCRs entirely."

Dixons and Currys in Ireland are still selling VHS VCRs anyway - I don't know about UK stores. --Zilog Jones 22:09, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Dixons website in the UK still sells them (as of 09/05); on the BBC last year, they stated that they 'expected to be sold out by Christmas'. I think the fact they're still selling them stretches the credibility of this claim too far, and it has been removed. The news reports *did* smack somewhat of a publicity stunt; make up your own mind!
Fourohfour 19:48, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Recording Times[edit]

What I would find really, extremely useful is a table showing all the different types of tapes, both PAL and NTSC, and their recording time on EP, SP, LP etc. I have had great difficulty finding such a resource on the web. From experience I now know some of them, but if anyone with more knowledge could make such a table, I for one would really appreciate it. --newsjunkie 16:02, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

History rewritten[edit]

I have categorised the history section, and tidied it up a bit. This is a generic article, and as such the history section should provide an overview, placing the *main* developments and features in context. It was evolving into a series of mini-articles about the particular formats, and in the process becoming too detailed for its intended purpose. (Each of the formats has its own page anyway, so there is a place for such detail).

Also, I believe that it's acceptable to say "cassette" instead of "videocassette" and "VCR" instead of "videocassette recorder", so long as it's clear from the context what is meant.

Anyway, no massive changes made, and no specific criticisms against any one contributor intended; I find that there is a tendency (particularly with technical articles) for edits which may individually be fine to add up to something that is a mass of detail, and failing in its purpose as a result. Fourohfour 13:23, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Double-decker video recorders[edit]

Does anyone remember the double-decker VCR? They were advertised on TV in the UK sometime during the 80's I think, but how popular were they? As the name implies, it was a VCR able to take 2 video tapes within the 1 unit. What caused their demise? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I remember seeing ads for Amstrad models in newspapers, but only once or twice during the late 80s/early 90s. Googling, I find that apparently an 'Orion' model (Argos/Index own-brand IIRC) was also released. This latter machine must be more recent; silver was virtually non-existent in consumer electronics for a long time until the industry decided en-masse that it was fashionable again one weekend in the late 1990s.

But my point was that they aren't and never were common; if the idea had been popular, Amstrad would have continued making them, and others would have widely copied the idea. Perhaps the question should be "Why didn't they really take off in the first place?".

Guessing, it's possibly because (if the 'Orion' is anything to go by), they were the size of two ordinary videos placed atop one another, and they'd probably cost approaching twice the cost. And although two separate recorders may have worked out *slightly* bulkier and more expensive, they have the advantage that you can use them entirely separately (e.g. kids room, second living-room, etc.), or pack the second one away when not in use. So, as a "value-added" replacement for an ordinary recorder, they're too large/expensive, and as a replacement for a two-recorder setup they lack flexibility. It's not like the "televideo" which despite the obvious drawbacks, has convenient niches; e.g. neat unit for watching in kitchen, easy setup/move around in corporate environment. In short, the double decker sounds good on paper, but when you stop and think about it, the market doesn't sound nearly so great.

But this is all speculation, and shouldn't go on the main page.

Fourohfour 12:46, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I think double-decker versions should be mentioned on the main page, without too much speculation. Even a quick mention would be ok, wouldn't it? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .
Yes; I put it in (new 'Variants' section) and noted its existence, but no more. I don't want that section to turn into a bloated analysis anyway. BTW, please sign your comments by placing four tildes (~~~~) at the end; this will be replace by the signature. Fourohfour 11:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

We used to have a dual vcr where the tapes were side by side —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:43, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

GO-Video was the first (only?) company to sell dual deck VHS VCRs in the USA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


I notice the caption on the stamp was changed so that we are "illustrating the stamp in question", hence making it "fair use".

I am not a lawyer, but despite the change, I'm not convinced that this would stand up to U.S. "fair use" laws. The question is whether we are genuinely describing the stamp, or using it as an illustration.

Anyhow, it's a nice enough stamp, but should it be the first (and hence "main") picture in the article, or would a good photograph of a VCR not be better? And yes, I'm well aware that whilst there are *countless* equipment shots (including, I'd guess, those of VCRs), the number of professional or near-professional standard ones is *far* lower. Fourohfour 13:05, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Stamps from the U.S. Postal Service are not under copyright. In fact, federal copyright law prohibits the U.S. government from holding any copyrights on its own behalf. -- Walloon 16:40, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
U.S. Postal Service#Copyright and reproduction --jiy (talk) 08:36, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
The article linked to says that post-1978 stamps are under copyright and that written permission is required for their use; therefore, my original reservation about its use seems to apply after all. Fourohfour 10:48, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
No, that USPS article linked as a source does not say that post-1978 stamps are under copyright. That word does not appear anywhere in the USPS article. Title 17 of the U.S. Code says about the U.S. Government and copyright: "Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government…" — Walloon 13:56, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Old Images[edit]

hey, the images are rather old, would not it be better if we add some newer ones? — 09:19, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


"Speed Play"[edit]

"One feature still not seen today on VHS VCRs, or DVD players, was Beta's 'speed play', which allowed the viewing of programs at twice normal, but with clipped rather than 'chipmunk' voices."

Assuming "clipped" means "audio playback at normal pitch", I don't think this is totally true. I've seen at least one DVD player (actually a DVD recorder) that does render audio during double-speed playback with normal pitch--it's slightly distorted, but speech is intelligible. -- 07:21, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

This is also an error I've seen. At least the 'DVD players' should be deleted from that sentence. 18:50, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

"Main article"[edit]

Should we include

Main article: Video 2000

and the like in each of the format sections, to emphasise that more detailed articles are available? Or would this just add more clutter than it was worth? Any thoughts? Fourohfour 21:05, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I've done this now. Fourohfour 18:08, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

22X Fast Forward[edit]

My Akai vcr VS-G280 has fast forward speeds of 7,11 and 22x but did the standard vhs machine in general have an industry wide 1x speed at all.Atirage 16:31, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

The "speeds" are multiples of the normal playback speed. Or that's what I'd assumed- what else would they be? Fourohfour 16:53, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

How does it work?[edit]

This was a very interesting article but, it fails to mention how the VCR actually works! 14:51, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

TV quality[edit]

...television sets of the time were rather poor in quality - limited to barely 3 megahertz bandwidth and 240 horizontal resolution...

This sounds like NTSC; was beta quality similar to VHS when viewed on PAL or SECAM?

Apepper 13:14, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

NTSC sets need comb filters to get over 220/240 lines, they didn't come into common use until late '80s

Copy Protection[edit]

I think all VCR have video AGC which is the attack vector of Macrovision. The difference is whether VAGC is done at the horizontal or vertical rate. If it's done at the horizontal rate Macrovision can only affect one line but at the vertical rate it can affect one field. I have seen VCR modifications that change the R-C time constant in the VAGC circuit by changing a resistor or capacitor to minimize the effect of Macrovision and they work, but only in older machines with discrete components. An EE friend of mine says Sony changed VAGC in Beta machines from horizontal to vertical right at the time when Macrovision was introduced. Collusion? Any comments? Also, I would suggest changing "unwatchable" to "annoying" or "very annoying." Unwatchable is a videophile term. If everyone was a videophile we would never have had Beta or VHS in the first place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stclifford (talkcontribs) 07:37, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Digital VHS[edit]

Nothing about Digital VHS? JVC tried to launch D-VHS a couple years ago. Prior to that, there was a digital satellite reciever with a built in digital VHS recorder, but using a proprietary format- not JVC's D-VHS.

S-VHS MiniDV combo[edit]

JVC, Matsushita and one other company made several dual deck VCRs with an S-VHS and a MiniDV transport. Some models had a 1394 Firewire port for copying video to a computer. I've never been able to find out if any of them can remotely control and digitize directly from the S-VHS transport.

a not so important drawback[edit]

Another important drawback of DVD recording is that one single layer DVD is limited to around 120 minutes of recording if the quality is not to be significantly reduced, while VHS tapes are readily available up to 210 minutes (standard play) in NTSC areas and even 300 minutes in PAL areas.

i admit it's been a long time since i used VHS, but i remember the recording quality being much lower than either broadcast (PAL) TV or DVD. in fact, if one were to record VHS-quality video on a DVD, i suspect a lot more than 300 minutes of video could be stored. this sentence should probably be reworder to reflect that, but i'm not sure what a good phrasing would be. kate.

I would also dispute those recording times. I have never seen a VHS tape that could record more than 160 minutes of NTSC in stores. I did recently find a T200 tape on Amazon, but it costs $30! I wouldn't call that "readily available", when T120 tapes cost ~$2. Were they once less expensive? — Ken g6 (talk) 17:31, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

VCR is a VTR[edit]

The lead claims that VTR refers only to open-reel video tape recorders. It is my understanding that a VCR is a type of VTR. I'm sure that different people have different opinions about this. If we're going to belabor this point, it needs to be supported by some quality citations. --Kvng (talk) 17:51, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. I'm not an expert of VTRs or VCRs, but me and my classmates are doing a reverse-engineering project on VCRs and hopefully we can verify the differences between the two. Dudeaga (talk) 20:21, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

The term "VTR" is widely used to refer to any device that records videotape, open or closed reel, so you folks are correct. A VCR is a VTR; the only difference is that in a VCR the tape must be in a cassette. I've removed the paragraph. NTox · talk 06:30, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: 'Not moved. Consensus is against a move. Dpmuk (talk) 22:25, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Videocassette recorderVCRSimple title. The device is nearly always referred to as a VCR and the long "videocassette recorder" is rarely used in speech. Voortle (talk) 21:06, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Support Compare to DVD or VHS. --BDD (talk) 22:56, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Common name. Common sense. LCS check (talk) 23:21, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No comparison to DVD or VHS, both of which most people would have a hard time knowing what the letters stand for. VCR's are not even used very much any more. Apteva (talk) 23:50, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. To me, as a Briton, VCR is an Americanism. It may be "nearly always referred to as a VCR" in America, but America is not the whole world. We in Britain generally call it a video recorder or just a video. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:14, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. As I stated above, simple title. Most links to here are from VCR also. Voortle (talk) 18:55, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per VHS and DVD. RightGot (talk) 21:21, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
    • As I stated above, this is not a valid argument. DVD and VHS are used everywhere. VCR, however, is the common American term, but is not universally used. -- Necrothesp (talk) 22:29, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. (talk) 01:53, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. VCR is less recognisable; the longer name is descriptive and more likely to be understood. VHS and DVD are more recognisable, as they are well known from their logos, and unlike VCR, which is an abbreviation of a description, these are names of standards. "Video Home System" isn't well known, and there is more than one version for DVD. Peter James (talk) 22:47, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. VCR is an abbreviation. VHS and DVD are the standard terms. (talk) 13:34, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per above. RightGot (talk) 16:20, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Article should have the full name, not the acronym (which is already a redirect so easily found). Sionk (talk) 22:42, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose The acronym was not widely used in many countries, in contrast to DVD (which has never actually stood for anything) or VHS. Timrollpickering (talk) 14:36, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


The usage of VCR (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views) is under discussion, see Talk:VCR (disambiguation) -- (talk) 11:39, 14 May 2013 (UTC)