Although the first system no longer exists, VCR is still the popular acronym to use when talking about any home video devices. The next home system to become popular was from well known manufacturer Sony; it was in 1975 and was the Betamax system (sometimes called the Beta). Sony intended the system to become the singly used system by home audiences and so attempted to get other electronics manufacturers to agree.
They failed in their goal when a Japanese company called JVS declined and developed their own home video system, VHS. This came out in 1976 and a war began between the two formats as both fought for control of the market. Betamax was a better format when it came to picture quality, although VHS won the battle because it was easier to transport, could fast forward and rewind quicker and had a longer playing time. Betamax slowly dropped off the market and the only people left using it were die hard enthusiasts, VHS won the war and became a standard site in homes for more than ten years.
A VHS tape is simply a plastic clamshell connected by screws with half inch magnetic tape that winds between two spools on either end. You insert the VHS into your VHS player which extracts the tape from the cassette and places it around the head drum. The drum then decodes the information kept on the tape and turns it into video and sound on your screen.
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