The household diffusion ratio for home VCRs now
exceeds 80% of total households, and the home VCR is one of many
devices developed in Japan that later became an international
de facto standard.
Development of home VCRs started at the beginning of 1950s.
In 1955, Kenichi Sawazaki from Toshiba invented a helical
scanning system, and a competition ensued with the development
of a rotary 2-head system by Kenjiro Takayanagi of Victor Company
of Japan (JVC). Meanwhile, NHK began studies on head, tape, and
signal processing, with the aim of developing a VTR system for
broadcasting. This work contributed not only to the development
of VTR systems for broadcasting, but also to later development
of home VTRs.
The worlds first home VTR system was marketed by Sony in
1965, followed by other manufacturers introducing theirs with
separate specifications. However, the popularity of the system
was limited due to its complex open-reel mechanism and high price.
The situation did not change even after the Electronic Industries
Association of Japans standardization of the system as the
The full-scale popularization of the VCR occurred after the release
of the beta system, which used a small videocassette, in 1975,
and the VHS system in the following year.