Browse Definitions:
Definition

VCR (videocassette recorder)

Contributor(s): Vern Piantanida

A VCR (videocassette recorder) is an electromechanical device for recording and playing back full-motion audio-visual programming on cassettes containing magnetic tape. Most videocassettes have tape measuring 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) in width. The most common application of the VCR is its use by consumers for the purpose of playing and recording television (TV) programs and for creating home video recordings. A TV camera equipped with a VCR is called a camcorder . The abbreviation VCR can also stand for videocassette recording.

The first VCRs were designed and built in the 1960s, and became available to the public around 1970. The technology rapidly evolved and the equipment came down in price, so by the mid-1970s it was within the reach of the average consumer. Today there are two major types of VCR technology in use, known as VHS (Video Home System) and Betamax . Both types were developed in Japan, VHS by Japan Victor Company (JVC) and Betamax by Sony. VHS systems are far more popular among home TV viewers. Betamax equipment is still used by some professional production engineers, many of whom believe that Betamax offers better image quality. The Betamax tape takes a more direct path through the recording and playback apparatus than a VHS tape, so recording and playback operations are faster and more convenient with Betamax than with VHS. But less wear occurs on a VHS tape, so VHS cassettes last longer. Also, VHS cassettes have more capacity (in terms of recording time) than Betamax cassettes.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the VHS and Betamax formats became competitive. For complex legal reasons, VHS captured the home video recording and reproduction market. By 1993, Betamax was essentially obsolete among consumers in the United States. In recent years, the use of video tape has become less common because of the widespread availability and popularity of DVD technology.

This was last updated in March 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • supercookie

    A supercookie is a type of tracking cookie inserted into an HTTP header by an internet service provider to collect data about a ...

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service attack occurs when an attack originates from multiple computers or devices, usually from multiple...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

SearchStorage

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close