Home VCRs

Finding the right player to view your classic collection of films and TV shows can be an exciting hunt, since they are no longer manufactured. There are many models and brands of home VCRs available, and this will help address questions that may come up when looking for them.

How does a VCR player work?

VHS cassettes get inserted into the player to view a movie on a connected TV. Blank cassettes can also be used on some VCRs to record video as well. VCR players work with VHS cassettes to play videos on your TV. Here is how a player works:

  • VHS cassette inserted into the player. A lever in the VCR opens the VHS to expose the magnetic plastic, so the VCR can play the video.
  • Magnetic plastic is read by recorder heads. These recorder heads convert the stored audio and video information into a signal that the television can broadcast.
When was the first VCR invented?

The first commercially available Video Cassette Recorder was invented by Ampex Corporation in 1956. Their first model was the VRX-1000 that was marketed towards television networks.

How does a video cassette work?

The cassettes that you purchase for your VCR have video and audio signals stored on plastic magnetic film. The tape is wrapped around two reels and gets fed through a drum inside the VCR, which in turn translates the information into the film that you will see on the TV.

How should you store your VHS films?

Taking care of your films can ensure that you will be able to watch them on your VCR for many years. Here are some tips for handling and maintaining your cassettes:

  • Store the films in a cool, dry, place with little exposure to sunlight. This will help slow down the degradation of the magnetic tape inside of the films.
  • Rewind your tapes in your VCR. The magnetic tape gets stretched over time when left unwound. Once they are rewound, store them in their case vertically to keep out dust and keep the films safe.
  • Do not touch the magnetic plastic. Dirt, oil, and other particles can transfer from your hands. Refraining from touching them will keep them from degradation.
When was the last year they made VHS?

2006 was the last year that VHS movies were released. Many of these releases coincided with DVD releases as well. Many major retailers had already stopped carrying VHS videos and made the switch to DVD only. When Blu-ray and HD DVD came out later in the year, it further pushed these sales out of the market.