Happy Birthday to the VCR!
Introduced on September 9, 1976, the first Videocassette Recorder (VCR) was highly disruptive consumer technology. It also brought pure joy to millions of households around the world. No longer would a family need to watch movies in a public cinema. As prices of the VCR dropped, most households experienced a dramatic shift in their family entertainment. Now you could bring the movies to your home!
The Victor HR-3300 was the first VCR to use a Video Home System (VHS) cassette tape. It was introduced in Japan by the president of JVC on September 9, 1976. Since then, hundreds of other models filled homes around the world. The VCR remained the bulwark of home video for 40 years when Japan's Funai Electronics produced the last VCR on July 22, 2016.
Combined with the VCR, the first camcorder to use VHS allowed consumers to make and enjoy their own movies. Now you could preserve the priceless memories of your wedding celebration, your child's first steps, and video documentaries of aging relatives no longer with us. In America, over one billion VHS cassettes still contain these cherished memories.
Unfortunately, memories on these VHS cassette tapes are going bad. The magnetized tape experiences analog aging, sometimes making the tape completely unreadable within 25 years. Proper storage in a temperature and humidity controlled environment will help to prolong the life of the tape, but experts concur that the magnetized VHS tape was never designed to preserve your precious memories.
Some people convert their VHS cassettes to a Digital Video Disc (DVD) to upgrade access to their memories. Indeed, the plastic DVD will last longer than the magnetized mylar tape in a VHS cassette. However, video transfer to DVD is a fool's errand. Although digital, the DVD format is proprietary, singular, non-portable, and not easily backed up, viewed, edited, or shared like other formats.
This problem is why Heirloom was created in 2019. Technology today offers amazing options for finally Preserving Priceless® memories. The solution is the durability, accessibility, and computability of the cloud. Not only does the cloud allow you to enjoy your memories from any device, but you are 411 times more likely to get hit my a meteor than to lose a single file on the cloud.