AfterDawn: Glossary


VHS stands for Vertical Helix Scan or Video Home System. The video casette format and technology was introduced by JVC in 1976.

The first camcorders recorded to analog Videotape, and supported either VHS or BetaMax, the two competing consumer formats at the time. Later, the compact VHS-C and 8mm (Video8) formats dominated the market, and were eventually supplemented with the higher quality S-VHS-C and Hi8 formats. With the development of affordable digital Camcorders, even the highest quality analog models eventually disappeared.

VHS and Betamax
Until the DVD player took over as the standard home video format, the VHS (Video Home System) analog videotape format was common to find in most homes. VHS succeeded Sony's Betamax as the standard for home video. Although Betamax, which was based on Sony's professional videotape technology, was first on the market and considered by many to be superior, a number of factors led to VHS dominating the market, and Sony's decision to discontinue Betamax in the early 1980s. The underlying technology behind Betamax continued in Sony's Video8 and Hi8 compact Camcorder videotape formats. A compact VHS format, VHS-C, was also used for camcorders.

The VHS standard was the most popular physical video format for almost three decades until in June 2003 the DVD became more popular in the US. In 2006, many studios dropped releases for VHS in favor of DVD and Blu-ray and the format is slowly dying off although many still have huge collections.


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