How to Identify Video Cassette Tape Formats -

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Video Tape

VHS Video Tape

The Video Home System (better known by its abbreviation VHS) is a video tape recording standard developed during the 1970s by a Japanese company, JVC. It was released to the public during the latter half of the decade. During the late part of the 1970s and the early 1980s, the home video industry was involved in the VHS vs. Betamax war, which VHS would eventually win. Advantages of VHS include longer playing time, faster rewinding and fast-forwarding, and a less complex tape transport mechanism. The open standard used for VHS technology allowed mass production without licensing costs. VHS would eventually succeed as the dominant home video format, surpassing others by the mid-1980s and into the 90s.


Super VHS

Several improved versions of VHS exist, most notably Super-VHS (S-VHS), an analog video standard with improved video bandwidth. S-VHS improved the luminance resolution to 400 horizontal per picture height (versus 250 for VHS/Beta and 500 for DVD). The audio-system (both linear and AFM) is the same. S-VHS made little impact on the home market, but gained dominance in the camcorder market due to its superior picture quality.


VHS-C, S-VHS-C

The Video Home System (better known by its abbreviation VHS) is a video tape recording standard developed during the 1970s by a Japanese company, JVC. It was released to the public during the latter half of the decade. During the late part of the 1970s and the early 1980s, the home video industry was involved in the VHS vs. Betamax war, which VHS would eventually win. Advantages of VHS include longer playing time, faster rewinding and fast-forwarding, and a less complex tape transport mechanism. The open standard used for VHS technology allowed mass production without licensing costs. VHS would eventually succeed as the dominant home video format, surpassing others by the mid-1980s and into the 90s.


Video 8, Hi8, Digital 8 Video Tape


The 8mm video format refers informally to three related videocassette formats for the NTSC and PAL/SECAM television systems. These are the original Video8 (analog) format, launched in the 1980's, and its improved successor Hi8 (both analog and digital), as well as a more recent digital format known as Digital8. Their user base consisted mainly of amateur camcorder users, although they also saw important use in the professional field. In 1985, Sony of Japan introduced the Handycam, one of the first Video8 cameras with commercial success. Much smaller than the competition's VHS and Betamax video cameras, Video8 became very popular in the consumer camcorder market.


Betamax Video Tape

Betamax (sometimes called Beta) was a home videocassette tape recording format developed by Sony, released on May 10, 1975. The cassettes contain 1/2-inch (12.7mm)-wide videotape in a design similar to the earlier, professional 3/4-inch (19.05mm)
U-matic format. The format is generally considered obsolete, though it is still used in specialist applications by a small minority of people.


miniDV Video Tape

The MiniDV format is one of the most commonly used formats for camcorders. Leading manufacturers like Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Sharp, Canon, and many others offer MiniDV camcorders. These camcorders deliver video that is much clearer than analog camcorders. They also offer stronger color reproduction. MiniDV cassettes had been intended for amateur use, but have become accepted in professional productions as well. MiniDV cassettes are used for recording baseline DV, DVCAM as well as HDV.


Micro MV Video Tape

MicroMV was a proprietary videotape format introduced in 2001 by Sony. The cassette is physically smaller than a Digital8 or miniDV cassette. In fact, MicroMV is the smallest videotape format which is 70% smaller than MiniDV. Each cassette can hold up to 60 minutes of video. Micro MV has not been a successful format. Sony was the only electronics manufacturer to sell MicroMV cameras. As of January 2006, Sony has not offered any new Micro MV camcorder models.


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