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videocassette recorder

videocassette recorder (VCR), device that can record television programs or the images from a video camera on magnetic tape (see tape recorder); it can also play prerecorded tapes. A VCR converts the separate audio and video portions of a television or video camera signal to magnetic flux variations to magnetize the tape. The video recording heads move in a direction almost perpendicular to the tape movement, resulting in tracks that run diagonally across the tape width and increasing tape capacity. A camcorder combines a video camera and VCR in a single handheld machine.

The first commercially successful VCR, which used a Betamax format, was introduced in 1975. A competitive format, VHS (Video Home System), was introduced in the same year and became the dominant system. Although both systems use 0.5-in.- (13-mm-) wide tape, they are mutually incompatible; a tape recorded on one system cannot be played on the other. A third system using 0.3-in.-wide (8-mm) tape was introduced in 1984; it is used primarily in camcorders. In 1994 electronics companies agreed on international standards for a digital VCR. The introduction of the DVD (1996) and the recordable DVD (see digital versatile disc) led to a steady shift away from the VCR. By 2003 rentals of DVDs surpassed VHS tapes, and by 2016 manufacturers had stopped producing both Betamax and VHS machines.

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A one-piece hand-held television camera with built-in videocassette recorder, microphone, and battery pack, utilizing a charge-coupled device array as its light-sensitive element.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(CAMera reCORDER) A combination video camera, recorder and player in one unit. Prior to camcorders, the camera and magnetic tape recorder were separate devices cabled together. In 1983, Sony introduced the Betamovie, the first camcorder, which used half-inch analog Betamax videotape cassettes. However, the cassette had to be removed and inserted into a separate videotape player for viewing. Subsequently, camcorders were designed to play as well as record.

Today, tape cassettes are history, and all video cameras are digital camcorders that record onto flash memory cards, hard drives or SSDs. In addition, every modern smartphone is also a camcorder. See SD formats, HD formats, DTV and digital camera.

The First Camcorder
In 1983, Sony's Betamovie was the first combination camera and recorder in one unit. Although camcorders have gotten quite small, broadcast-quality cameras used by major media are still rather large and heavy. (Image courtesy of DrT,

Cam, But No Corder
In 1939, this RCA video camera used the all-electronic Iconoscope picture tube but did not even have a viewfinder. That came later. Videotape recording would not come until 1956. (Image courtesy of Early Television Foundation,
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References in periodicals archive ?
Vang contracted Miami, Florida-based product management services leader Innovation Direct[TM] to represent the Vang Deluxe Outdoorsmen Camcorder to potential licensees for a 2 year period.
Multiple connectivity options allow the footage to be shared on the big screen simply through connecting the camcorder to a compatible HDTV with an HDMI cable.
Most of the new Sony camcorders come with By Pixel Super Resolution digital-zoom technology, first seen in the Sony Cyber-shot TX55 in 2011.
The new, compact XA10 camcorder is yet another tool for professionals who are shooting HD video 'on-the-fly'."
The camcorder can also record full high-definition images when the 3D lens is not attached, Panasonic said, and also features a time lapse recording feature which can play scenes such as a blooming flower at accelerated speed.
The advanced 3MOS System SDT750 camcorder combines with a VIERA 3DTV and Blu-ray Discplayer/recorder as well.
The camcorder offers Full HD resolution (1080p/30fps), embedded video stabilisation and a powerful 10x digital zoom for far-away shots.
Panasonic (NYSE: PC), a provider of imaging resources, yesterday announced pricing for its 2010 range of Standard Definition and High Definition camcorders, with all six models due to be available from mid-March.
<img id="7423" class="imgLeft" src="" alt="" width="220" />The Polaroid V130 Camcorder is a point and shoot camcorder and is blue in color.
Summary: Canon Middle East today extended its LEGRIA high-definition consumer camcorder range, adding two new flagship models with 64GB internal flash memory - enough for over 24 hours of continuous recording.
Summary: Whether you want to record memories or star in your own whacky movie, a camcorder is your best option.