Video Home System (VHS)
Eventually, Japan began working on a prototype for a home-based recording device that would require a particular tape format. This was in 1971, and various delays didn't get a video home recorder in America until the mid to late 1970s. However, a format war developed between which tape would be utilized: Betamax or VHS.
Even into the mid 1980s, many people who went to rent movies then will remember seeing a choice between renting a VHS tape or Betamax. Ultimately, VHS became the standard up until the DVD superseded the format in the mid 2000s.
How a VHS Tape Works
In America, the NTSC format was quite different from the PAL format seen in the United Kingdom. In the UK, recording lengths were a little longer in standard mode.
As overplayed VHS tapes aged, it was possible for the tape to become brittle and break. Also, much like audio cassette tapes, old and overplayed VHS tape can loop up inside the casing and require some considerable time to fix. VHS can still hold up well if not played hundreds of times over a period of 20 years and stored in a dry cool place. Unfortunately, many people understandably played their VHS movies until they wore out.
The Evolution of VHS
Other formats included VHS-C (for compact) that were smaller size VHS tapes suited for camcorders. These didn't record with as much time as a standard tape. Even so, the portability stayed popular for a number of years.
Bridging the gap between VHS and high-definition was a High Definition VHS (W-VHS) that was only available in Japan up until the late 2000s. It could record 720p and 1080i analog resolution in tape format.
Today, VHS is no longer supported by any major company, and there isn't a single studio movie being sold in the format. Now it strictly finds life in the collectors market where artwork on the box of studio-released VHS films becomes a real draw.