These days, most content is streamed or played on Blu-ray discs. But there was a time when videotapes were the media of choice. Mental Floss takes a trip in the wayback machine to tell the story of VCRs, the epic war between Betamax and VHS, and how the technologies changed everything for visual entertainment.
THE BEST Vhs
Go back to the 1990s with this fast-paced party game inspired by the iconic video rental chain Blockbuster. The game asks players to act out, describe, and quote scenes from 200 classic movies. Naturally, it comes in a Blockbuster VHS tape case. For 4 to 12 players.
Anyone who lived through the 1990s can tell you that watching movies on videotape was a decidedly lower quality experience than today’s HD and UHD technologies enable. Tom Scott met up with the team from Red Giant to learn how their software can make modern footage look like it was recorded on VHS.
Take a trip back to the 1980s and 1990s with a visit to the Internet Archive’s awesomely retro collection of VHS tapes. The catalog features over 20,000 digitized recordings of old video tapes, ranging from cartoons to workout videos, and everything in-between. While there are some classics, there’s also just a whole lot of weird stuff.
Etsy store NancysJars makes LED night lights out of old VHS tapes. You can customize the LEDs and the picture. The latter doesn’t have to be from a movie, but if it is the shop will do its best to use a tape of that movie to make the night light. It’s powered by AAA batteries.
(PG-13, Gore) Streaming video is killing movie posters and covers. But Entertain the Elk argues that that shouldn’t be the case. He uses arresting VHS covers of horror movies to point out the ways that art and captions can convince viewers to give a film a shot.
The 8-Bit Guy wanted to know if VHS tapes actually made for horrible videos. He compared three versions of Back to the Future: a 1080p digital copy, the same 1080p copy recorded on a high quality VHS tape, and a VHS release from 1985. TL;DW: Noise. So much noise.