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Home VCR: International de facto standard made in Japan

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 1950’s. In 1955, Ken’ichi 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 world’s 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 Japan’s standardization of the system as the EIJA type-1VTR.
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.


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