Safer at Home – Day Fifteen


April 17, 2020

One of the orders that was dropped off to my studio today was a large crate filled with U-Matic videotapes.

The U-Matic 3/4 inch videotape cassette, made by Sony, was the very first video format to contain the tape within a cassette. Prior to its creation, all videotapes were designed as an open reel or reel to reel format.

Originally planned for consumer use, it did not prove popular in that market due to its high manufacturing cost which resulted in expensive retail equipment. However, industrial and institutional customers had budgets that could afford this new technology so Sony quickly shifted their marketing to target the industrial, professional and educational sectors where it found widespread popularity.

During the 1970s, most local TV news stations adopted them as a time saving replacement for the 16mm film cameras which were being used for on-location news gathering. Since the videotape had immediate playback capabilities as opposed to 16mm film which required development, news stations were able to broadcast their breaking news stories much faster.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of films, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

Happy National VCR Day!


You’ll be forgiven if you let yesterday go by unobserved. Most people do. It wasn’t widely publicized but June 7th was National VCR Day. It was a day to celebrate that wonderful invention, the video cassette recorder.  Don’t have one?  No surprise there. There are few who do these days.

The video cassette recorder was an electro-mechanical device that recorded analog audio and analog video from television on a removable, magnetic tape videocassette.  The images and sound could then be played back at a more convenient time. At the time, the VCR was the main way to watch movies at home, and one could create their own personal movie library.

The first video cassette recorder was introduced in 1956.  The home video cassette format (VCR) was developed in 1970. 

The birth of VCR mass market success boomed in the mid-1970s and continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, most VCR tapes contain the precious memories of families who used the technology to record their children and grandchildren as they grew. But those memories are now locked away as few people have the means to play them back.  At Home Video Studio, we can not only play them… we can convert them to a digital format and give the memories back to the families on a format that they can play, save, enjoy and pass on to the next generation.

Or they could choose to keep those memories on an archaic device that will not even be recognized by future generations. Take a look at this video which was shot three years ago showing children of that time trying to understand how a VCR works. What will children ten years from now make of a VCR tape?

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotape, audio recordings, photos and slides. For more information call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.