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Youtube celebrates 57th birthday of videotape recorder

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Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 2.15.01 PMNearly 60 years ago the the first commercial video tape recorder was released, for most people it’s hard to remember a time when videos and television weren’t a part of our daily lives.  Now almost everyone has a video camera in one form or another, primarily on cell phones.  But have we all forgotten the quality we had to deal with on this early technology? If you have, Youtube can help you out with that.

In celebration of the 57th Birthday of the first videotape recorder, the Ampex VRX-1000, Youtube has a new feature “VHS Mode” on some videos. The VRX-1000 didn’t resemble the VHS tapes we’ve all known and loved, it was a reel to reel system that used magnetic tape.  Cassette tapes didn’t begin popping up until the early 1970s and even they weren’t very widespread until the 1980s.  While this is a temporary and just for fun feature, it really reminds us of just how far we’ve come.  Static, poor definition, and tons of visual noise is what we used to have to deal with (anyone remember the tracking dial?), and while the Youtube feature is somewhat exaggerated, it still helps us all to look back.  The VHS mode is only enabled on certain videos and most likely only for a limited time.

“In celebration of the 57th birthday of the first commercial video cassette recorder, check out a fun VHS mode for the YouTube player to relive the magic feel of vintage video tapes. On select videos, you’ll find a VHS button in the bottom right of the player–just click to turn back the clock and enjoy the static and fuzzy motion of the VHS era,” Youtube stated in one of their posts.  Just remember, all of this video technology we use and enjoy on a daily basis is thanks to these early devices that revolutionized the way we are able to view and experience videos.  In order to view this mode, you must visit the videos on youtube directly.  Here is a video with this feature enabled, be sure to pause the video for even more fun!

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