videocassette recorder

an electronic apparatus capable of recording television programs or other signals onto videocassettes and playing them back through a television receiver. Also called VCR
[1970-75]

* * *

also spelled  video cassette recorder (VCR) 

      electromechanical device that records, stores, and plays back television programs on a television set by means of a cassette of magnetic tape. A videocassette recorder is commonly used to record television programs broadcast over the air or by cable and to play back commercially recorded cassettes on a television set.

      Prototypes of videocassette recorders were developed in the l960s, but the first relatively convenient and low-cost VCR was introduced by the Sony Corporation in 1969. With the subsequent development of the Betamax format by Sony and the VHS format by the Matsushita Corporation in the 1970s, videocassette recorders became sufficiently inexpensive to be purchased by millions of families for use in the home. Both the VHS and Betamax systems use videotape that is 0.5 inch (13 mm) wide, but the two systems are mutually incompatible, and a cassette that is recorded on one system cannot be played back on the other system. A third system using 0.3inch- (8-millimetre-) wide tape was introduced in early 1985.

      A videocassette recorder can have from two to as many as seven tape heads that read and inscribe video and audio tracks on the magnetic tape. Most VCRs have fast-forward and reverse controls and a timer that enables television programs to be recorded automatically, and they can record a program on one television channel while a viewer watches a program on another channel of the same television set.

      Colour home movies can be made with the use of a camcorder system; this consists of a videocassette recorder that is connected to a relatively light and simple video camera. One camcorder system uses 8-millimetre videotape, and other portable video systems are available for filming outside of the home or studio.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • videocassette recorder — n. a device for recording on and playing back videocassettes …   English World dictionary

  • Videocassette recorder — VCR redirects here. This article is about videocassette recorders in general. For other uses of VCR , including the Philips VCR ( N1500 ) video format, see VCR (disambiguation). The videocassette recorder (or VCR, more commonly known in the UK… …   Wikipedia

  • videocassette recorder — noun a magnetic tape recorder for recording (and playing back) TV programs • Syn: ↑VCR • Hypernyms: ↑tape recorder, ↑tape machine * * * noun, pl ⋯ ers [count] : vcr …   Useful english dictionary

  • videocassette recorder — noun Date: 1976 VCR …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • videocassette recorder — noun A device that can record broadcast television programmes, or the images from a video camera for subsequent playback through a television set Syn: VCR …   Wiktionary

  • videocassette recorder — vid′eocassette record er n. rtv See VCR • Etymology: 1970–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • videocassette recorder — TV (VCR) Multifunction machine intended primarily for recording and playback ofvideotape stored in cassettes …   Audio and video glossary

  • videocassette — (n.) 1971, from VIDEO (Cf. video) + CASSETTE (Cf. cassette). Videocassette recorder is from 1971, now usually VCR (also 1971) …   Etymology dictionary

  • recorder — /ri kawr deuhr/, n. 1. a person who records, esp. as an official duty. 2. Eng. Law. a. a judge in a city or borough court. b. (formerly) the legal adviser of a city or borough, with responsibility for keeping a record of legal actions and local… …   Universalium

  • recorder — noun 1) he put a cassette in the recorder Syn: tape recorder, cassette recorder; VCR, videocassette recorder, videotape recorder; DVD recorder, digital recorder 2) a recorder of rural life Syn: record keeper, archivist, annalist …   Thesaurus of popular words

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.