When the VHS first hit the market, it was an instant hit. The hard plastic made it difficult to damage the item, you could record up to 6 hours of video onto it, and fast-forwarding or rewinding was a breeze. The VHS completely changed the way people recorded their moments, and allowed for a much longer shelf-life of those stored moments. Here, we’ll talk about the rise of the VHS, it’s plateau at the top, and the inevitable fall of this trailblazing gizmo.
VHS: The Rise
VHS hit the market in the United States in 1977 after a press conference in Chicago, and the public immediately sang its praises. For the first time, people were offered an affordable and easy way to capture entire events. Instead of only being able to record for a matter of minutes, you were able to record up to 6 hours of video and audio. You could also tape over images that you recorded but no longer needed, you could rewind and fast-forward, and the tapes themselves were hardy and reasonably priced.
VHS: The Plateau
With the popularity of VHS growing exponentially, it’s no wonder that Sony tried to compete with their own product, the Betamax. However, there was no real threat to the VHS reign, and it came out as the obvious winner between the two. As a matter of fact, according to records at the time the VHS format took roughly 40% of Sony’s business away in its first year. By the late 1980’s, an estimated 90% of VCR market in the United States was based on the seemingly invincible VHS format.
VHS: The Fall
Although roughly 95 million Americans still owned and preferred VHS-format VCR’s as late of 2005, the decision to make VHS obsolete didn’t come from the public themselves but rather Hollywood. Hollywood stopped releasing their films on the VHS format, with the last Hollywood release being “A History of Violence” in 2006. This decision signed the death warrant for VHS, and instead promoted the purchase of DVD’s and eventually Blu-rays. However, it’s not uncommon for many people to still have their old VHS tapes, and many are even seen as collector’s items in this day and age, with Disney VHS being a highly sought after collectible among enthusiasts.
Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience. We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past. If you’d like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.