The Death of VHS: A New Beginning

Video home systems have been around for over four decades, and despite the incredible rise of DVD, Blu-ray and online streaming services, the VCR machine used to play the tapes was still in production up until July 2016, when Funai (the last manufacturer still making the VHS VCR) finally ceased production.

A Brief History

Originally produced by JVC in 1976, the main goal of the VHS was to become an affordable way to play and record video on TVs. There were several other videotape formats brought out both before and after the VHS, including the BETAMAX video which premiered the year before.

Despite the competition, VHS had become the dominant form of video entertainment by the mid-1980s, eventually giving rise to the VHS rental stores which seemed to pop up on almost every corner.

By the late 90s, despite the popularity of VHS, other video formats started to come out with better graphics, storage and playback facilities – and the rise of the DVD began.

Why DVD Won

The VHS tape had overthrown many competitors, so why did DVD suddenly overtake so quickly and so absolutely?

DVD disks offered more storage and therefore longer playback times, much superior graphics and the addition of special menus leading to commentary and bonus features.

In short, the way information is stored and read on a DVD (laser) vs on a VHS (magnetic strip) made DVDs more reliable, better quality, smaller and with more content.

More recently, when computers and laptops started to become the norm for most people, the focus of content shifted from TV to computer and digital – with laptops and computers having DVD and CD drives. The rise of the digital age also saw camcorders and phones store digital video that could then be transferred onto DVD.

What Do I Do With My Old VHS Tapes?

With the VCR machine no longer in production, eventually the ones still in circulation will reach the end of their life, and the VHS will truly be dead. The content you have stored on your VHS tapes, such as weddings, births and other celebrations could be lost forever.

There is a simple solution though – convert your VHS content to DVD and continue to enjoy watching your precious memories on your laptop, DVD player or games console for years to come.

It’s easy to do, doesn’t cost very much and will safeguard your content. Contact us for more information on how you can convert your VHS to DVD, or check out this informative article on how VHS tapes degrade over time.