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  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4. VCR
  1. Part 4 Tape, picture quality and the end of an era
  2.  
  3.  

  4. Tape cassettes became a mass produced commodity, competing on price and giummick marketing.

Tape promotion Tape promotion    
3M Scotch ran many promotions
including money giveaways
   
Tape promotion Tape promotion
like this
and this
3M Scotch tape promotion
and this
and this

 

       
and this      
  1. Polaroid tape engineer    
     
    Polaroid went late into video
       
     X ray photo of VHS cassette Kodak tape
     
    So did Kodak
    Head clearner tape Tape lab engineer
    Tape cleaners were a contentious issues - did they help or damage the precision heads? JVC initially tried to stop them, then sold them
    A JVC engineer checks the tape

       Some companies sold 'double decker' tape decks to make copying easier - and predictably upset the movie studios.  

Double decker VCR Double decker VCR
Double-decker Amstrad VCR
This double-decker from the USA
  1. Shortly before the final curtain came down on Beta, Sony tried to boost Beta's fortunes with Super Beta, which gave clearer pictures. This seemed a pointless exercise because engineers had always agreed that Beta pictures were better than VHS pictures anyway.

Super Beta      
Super Beta
     
  1. JVC also learned the hard way that the public is not overly interested in picture quality.  Super VHS, launched in 1987, gave better pictures than standard VHS. But S-VHS failed as a table top format and was used mainly in top end camcorders.

     
    S-VHS test card   S-VHS test card  
    Test card images used to show how clear S-VHS pictures were
    But no-one much cared
     

     JVC came up with VHS-C, a small version of the VHS cassette which made it easier to build small camcorders. The C-cassettes played in home recorders in an adaptor cassette or modified tape drawer.  

  2. VHS-C    
    VHS-C cassette mechanisms

    VHS-C    
    Sony backed the smaller Video 8 cassette for camcorders and home decks too.
  3. Video 8

    VHS-C    
     Video 8 cassette
    A V8 portable player
       
    VHS-C  

     

  4. V2000 V2000    
    Philips and Grundig lauched V2000, a flip over format but it belly-flopped and they both had to adopt VHS
         

     The coming of DVD, recordable DVD, low cost hard disc PVRs and solid state memory cards killed all the VCR formats. This was particularly damaging for JVC which had earned vast revenue from making the key components for VHS VCRs and from patent royalties.

  5.  



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