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  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4. VCR Dream Product
  5. Part 2 VHS arrives; and Beta came too
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  • Sony had launched Betamax and JVC had launched VHS, in 1975, but only in NTSC standard for Japan and the USA. The two camps then spent two years challenging each other with ever longer playing times per cassette, and multiple tape speeds. This confused the US trade and public. But when the time came for a European PAL launch they were both able to offer a simple proposition - 3 hours.

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  • European VHS was unveiled in London, at the Churchill Hotel, in February 1978. The single tape speed for Europe was a compromise between the various NTSC speeds. It was only later that JVC added a half speed, Long Play, option. By then the public understood the general idea of video and was ready for a few improvements.

  • Sony unveiled European Betamax at a Grosvenor House party in April 1978, also with a single tape speed which was a compromise between the various NTSC speeds. Beta was to die before a half speed option was ever needed.

  •  Ferguson clone of the JVC deck

  • Ferguson clone of the JVC deck

  The original JVC 'piano key' VHS VCR  
 
The original JVC 'piano key' VHS VCR
 
       
 
Piano key VHS used with a camera for early home video shooting
Piano key VHS used with a camera for early home video shooting
 
An early Sony Betamax machine Betamax stacker deck for super long play time  
An early Sony Betamax machine
Betamax stacker deck for super long play time
 
Semi-pro VCR  
   
  In-car video VCR sales kit  
 
German company Blaupunkt promoted video for in car viewing
VCRs came with all the cables needed to pug them into a TV and aerial
 
VCR VCR
Soon everyone was selling VCRS
 
VCR VCR
but they all looked pretty much the same
 
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  2. Significantly all these early VCRs had simple timers. It was only later that the manufacturers bewildered the public with increasingly complex systems (Grundig offered a 364 day timer, without ever explaining how pwople could know what would be on TV a year later!) thereby creating a market opportunity for VideoPlus which made setting a timer simple again.

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  4. Videoplus Videoplus    
    VideoPlus
    which made timer-setting simple again
       
    Teletext programmingTeletext programming
     
       
    Rival programming systems which used teletext were not so successful
     

     

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