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.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • payload (computing)

    In computing, a payload is the carrying capacity of a packet or other transmission data unit. The term has its roots in the ...

  • passphrase

    A passphrase is a string of characters longer than the usual password (which is typically from four to 16 characters long) that ...

  • Web application firewall (WAF)

    A Web application firewall (WAF) is a firewall that monitors, filters or blocks traffic to and from a Web application. WAFs are ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is defined as an architecture that couples compute with storage in order to reduce data movement. In doing ...

  • data deduplication

    Data deduplication -- often called intelligent compression or single-instance storage -- is a process that eliminates redundant ...

  • public cloud storage

    Public cloud storage, also called storage-as-a-service or online storage is a service model that provides data storage on a ...

Close