VHS Background & History
VHS is short for Video Home System, developed by JVC in or about the 1970s. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that Australian families would extensively adopt the format for recording and viewing videos. VHS was the most popular format in the days’ someone would go to a video store or a video library like Blockbuster to rent the latest films for watching at home.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Garry Maddox recently wrote, in the early part of the 21st century, it’s believed nearly 90% of Aussie households had a video cassette recorder (VCR). And many homes had 2 or 3 VCR’s to play all sorts of videos at home.
Many family videos, weddings and birthday parties of Australian families used the VHS format. Most homes had a VHS player in the 1990s and early 2000s, so it was easy to share videos with family and friends. That means there are countless homes that have old family movies on VHS. Some of these tapes can be 30 years or older. And they won’t last forever.
Michelle Arrow from the Sydney Morning Herald recently referred to VHS and the home VCR writing in an article, “There’s no back-up copy’: Australian treasures are on the brink of destruction”. This is not only true for Australian families with their own precious family memories, but also a lot of Australian historical content held be the National Archives of Australia.
Some of the largest manufacturers in the world made VHS machines. These were often VHS players, recorders and cameras. These companies included JVC, Sony, Panasonic, Teac and Samsung. And there were even more companies producing VHS tapes with probably the most popular VHS tape manufacturer was BASF.