THE HISTORY OF VHS
The VHS format is now obsolete two times over, but its influence on the entertainment industry is undeniable. It brought home video into the mainstream for the first time and changed the way we think about viewing movies more than any other home video format.
VHS stands for Video Home System and was the consumer standard for video cassette tapes for decades.
For a bit of context, magnetic tape video recording was used in the television industry beginning in the 1950s, but it wouldn't be mainstream for home use until the 1970s.
The first commercially successful Video Tape Recorder was released in 1956 by the AMPEX corporation and it was called the AMPEX VRX-1000.
Eight years later in 1964, a Japanese company called JVC (Victor Company of Japan) entered the fray with their own videotape recorder. It was dubbed the DV220 and was their standard until the 1970s.
Then in 1969 JVC began a collaboration with two other Japanese electronics giants, Sony and Matsushita Electric, who later became Panasonic. The goal was to create a video recording standard for all of Japan. The result was a format called U-matic that released in 1971. Unlike the more common reel-to-reel systems of the time, it contained the tape in a cassette. It wasn't that successful, partly because the machine cost $1400 and blank tapes were thirty bucks. There were no prerecorded movies sold for the format, it was strictly for recording television.
After this, Sony and Matsushita decided to work on their own formats. The latter started work on the short-lived VX format, but Sony began to work on Betamax, the main competitor to VHS.