SVHS & VHS Video Formats
VHS Format Information:
Videotape Format: VHS
In use: 1976-Present
Recording mode: Helical scan, two fields per head rotation. Analog video and analog audio (stereo tracks and Hi-Fi available on some models.) Digital video and audio on later models.
Tape width: 12.7 mm (1/2")
Features: May be the most recognized and used videotape format ever. As a cassette based machine, found widespread use amongst the consumer starting in the late 1970s.
Videotape longevity: Unknown.
Notes on the VHS format... In the early days of ½” home recorders, Sony Betamax was the first to the market in 1975, with VHS following in 1976. Many considered Betamax superior in quality, but VHS could offer longer recording time and faster rewind. The VHS format was licensed to many more manufacturers than Betamax. By the 1980s, VHS was the dominant seller. Even Sony began to manufacture VHS machines in 1988.
VHS may not be known as a high quality recording scheme, but it certainly became widely accepted for consumer recording tasks. Educational, industrial, and even broadcasters used VHS in a variety of settings. Over the years, various improvements enhanced the quality of video (VHS HQ, SVHS) and audio (stereo linear tracks, Hi-Fi). D-VHS was a digital video format version made available in the late 1990’s, and ADAT provided a means of recording multiple tracks of digital audio on a VHS cassette.
The VHS cassette was the basis for continued product development, such as the “M” format and MII.
As existing VHS tapes begin to age, and VHS machines become less and less available, the vast amount of television programming and home recordings residing on VHS may be at risk. This may be particularly problematic with consumer recordings that may not be currently properly stored or cared for, thereby possibly accelerating the deterioration of the tapes themselves. With proper care and handling of VHS, augmented with time base correction and image improvements, VHS material can, in most cases, be migrated to new media with excellent results.