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The Video Home System (better known by its abbreviation VHS) is a consumer-level analog recording videotape-based cassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC). The 1970s was a period when video recording became a major contributor to the television industry. Like many other technological innovations, each of several companies made an attempt to produce a television recording standard that the majority of the world would embrace. At the peak of it all, the home video industry was caught up in a series of videotape format wars. Two of the formats, VHS and Betamax, received the most media exposure. VHS would eventually win the war, and therefore succeed as the dominant home video format, lasting throughout the tape format period. In later years, optical disc formats began to offer better quality than video tape. The earliest of these formats, Laserdisc, was not widely adopted, but the subsequent DVD format eventually did achieve mass acceptance and replaced VHS as the preferred method of distribution after 2000. Source: Wikipedia contributors. "VHS." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 29 Nov. 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2013 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHS>.
The Video Home System, first released in September 1976, better known by its abbreviation VHS, is a recording and playing standard for video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by JVC (with some of its critical technology under lucrative licensing agreements with Sony) and launched in 1976. VHS officially stands for Video Home System, but it initially stood for Vertical Helical Scan, after the relative head/tape scan technique. Some early reports claim the name originally stood for Victor Helical Scan System.
Learn more about the JVC VHS vs. Sony's Betamax competition in the marketplace.
The VHS VCR was a mainstay in the TV-equipped living room for more than 20 years from its introduction. The home television recording market, as well as the camcorder market, has transitioned to digital video based recording. The introduction of the DVD format to American consumers in March 1997 started VHS' market share decline
How to Store VHS Tape
Before storing your VHS tapes, make sure they are fully rewound with a good even winding tension. (A poor winding tension is recognized by bumps or gaps in the wound tape.) If a tape has been stopped in the middle, forward to the end of the tape before rewinding it to get an even tension. Never eject a tape in the middle. VCR's will sometimes damage a tape during the loading and unloading process when the arms reach in and pull the tape around the VCR heads.
Do not leave your tapes in the VCR. Store your VHS tapes in hard plastic containers to protect them from dust and debris, and shelve them upright like a book. Keep your tapes in a cool dry location, below 73 F and 50% relative humidity, and avoid large fluctuations in these conditions. Your tapes should be shelved away from heat, sunlight, electric motors, playback equipment, televisions, speakers, and other electrical equipment.
Source: Russell,K. L. ."How to Preserve VHS Tapes" Yahoo! Voices.2009. <http://voices.yahoo.com/how-preserve-vhs-tapes-2577842.html>.
How to Preserve VHS Tape
The following tips are from K. L. Russell. VHS tapes are not the most stable method of preserving video footage. Generally, VHS tapes will last only 15 years or so before they begin to deteriorate, and that is under the best possible storage conditions. Here are some vital tips for preserving your valued VHS tapes:
Build an Archive If you are unable to have your VHS tapes transferred to disc immediately, it's a good idea to duplicate them. You should keep a copy for viewing purposes and store the master copy in a different location (and extra copies elsewhere, depending on how much you value the tape) in case of fire or natural disaster. Some popular choices are safe-deposit boxes, vacation homes, or with other family members. If you want to free up space in your home, The Chicago Film Archives is a non-profit organization that accepts donations of many home movies and amateur films in an effort to conserve a visual historical record of everyday life in the Midwest.
Keep an Eye on the Future Remove the record tab on all your VHS tapes to prevent accidental re-recording. Never touch the tape inside the cassette, and keep handling of archives to a minimum. To be on the safe side, periodically make copies of your digital duplicate to ensure the disc can be read, just in case it becomes lost, damaged, or corrupted.
Keep Your VCR in Good Condition With the rise of the DVD and the steady decline of VHS, it's a good idea to get the service manuals and a stock of critical spare parts for a high quality VCR if you intend to be able to play your VHS tapes in a few years. You might even consider a buying a spare VCR, just in case.
Protect the VCRs with dust covers. Dirt and dust in the machine can cause scratches to your VHS tapes. Keep the storage and playback areas free of food and drink, smoke, and other contaminants, and use a quality cloth-and-alcohol VCR cleaning system according to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule.
Common Problems There are three problems that commonly occur with VHS tapes: a sticky residue or powder on the tape, physical damage from the VCR, and deterioration of the tape itself (from the oxide flaking off the basefilm). While each of these problems may be temporarily reversed, it is important that you do not try to play, repair, or recover a damaged tape yourself. Seek professional help immediately to recover and copy your tape.
Following these suggestions will help prolong the life of your VHS tapes, but it is highly recommended you transfer any home recorded videos to DVD if you want to preserve them. Source: Russell,K. L. ."How to Preserve VHS Tapes" Yahoo! Voices.2009.