What happened to the VCR?

The Videocassette Recorder (VCR) brought joy to millions of homes around the world. No longer would a family need to watch movies in a public cinema. As prices of the VCR dropped, most households experienced a dramatic shift in their family entertainment. Now you could bring the movies into your house!


40 Year History

The Victor HR-3300 was the first VCR to use a Video Home System (VHS) cassette tape. It was introduced in Japan by the president of JVC on September 9, 1976. Since then, hundreds of other models filled homes around the world. The VCR remained the bulwark of home video for 40 years until Japan's Funai Electronics produced the last VCR on July 22, 2016.



Immediate Home Video

Combined with the VCR, the first camcorder allowed consumers to make and immediately enjoy their own VHS home movies. Now families could preserve memories of a wedding celebration, a child's first steps, and video documentaries of all types of events. Nearly one billion VHS cassettes still contain these cherished memories.

A should carried camcorder for VHS cassettes.

VCR Tapes Degrade

Unfortunately, memories on these VCR tapes are going bad. The magnetized tape experiences analog aging, sometimes making the tape completely. Proper storage in a temperature and humidity controlled environment will help to prolong the life of the tape, but experts concur that the magnetized VHS cassette tape was never designed to preserve the content.

Home VHS cassette tapes of various lengths.

Digitize Your VHS Cassettes

VCR tapes are analog technology which may completely degrade within 25-50 years. It's critical you make digital copies of these video memories before they're lost forever. Professional services can digitize your VHS cassette tapes, but you could even do-it-yourself (DIY) if you have the right equipment. Convert VHS to digital MP4 files with at least 720p resolution. Once digitally preserved, family and friends can forever relive these memories of the good old days.

Written by Geoff Weber

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