Different Type of Video Tape Formats

July 6, 2018 at 7:26 pm

As technology keeps on progressing, we’re constantly switching out the old for the new. There have been so many different tape formats and shifts of technology over the years, it’s not easy for anyone to keep track of the model names or equipment needed to play their old videotapes. Hopefully, I have kept track of videotape formats that will help you figure out exactly what kind of tapes we have or had.

First of all what is a videotape?

Videotape is magnetic tape devices which are used for storing video and mostly sound in addition. Information can be stored in the form of either an analog signal or digital signal. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) or, more commonly, videocassette recorders (VCRs) and camcorders. Videotapes can also be used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram.

Now let’s talk what types fall under videotapes:

Learn about different types of videotapes formats as follows from which some of the formats disappeared into history.

These cassettes were Introduced by Olympus in 1969. These were smaller than a standard audio cassette. These cassettes were used for voice recordings and home answering machines. Microcassettes were broadly utilized for dictation and messages in a pocket-sized gadget. They were additionally used to record messages in some telephone answering machines.

Audio Cassette
These cassettes were developed by Phillips and released in 1963-1964. These were the most popular audio recording medium for consumers until the development of CDs.The Compact Cassette position, when at first released, did not offer dependable sound quality and was promoted for recording voice.

audio cassette

VHS (Video Home System) tapes are viewed with VCR (Video Cassette Recorder). VHS-C tapes are a compact version of a VHS and were created to facilitate the design of smaller camcorders and can be inserted inside VHS shell-adapter tapes to allow for VCR compatibility. VHS is utilized by home consumers, and also to a limited extent in television.
VHS tapes record up to 200 minutes in SP mode (or 600 minutes in EP mode) while VHS-C tapes can record 40 minutes in SP mode (or 120 minutes in EP mode).


These 8mm and Hi-8 tapes measure the same dimensions and come in the same cassette casing. Hi8 is the successor to the original Video8 format and is an analog format. The length of the recording of 8mm tapes is 120 minutes in SP mode and 240 minutes in LP mode while Hi-8 tapes display both their running time with a range from 30, 60, or 120 minutes of video in SP mode. 8mm and Hi-8 tapes both are compatible with Hi-8 or Digital-8 cameras, with the assistance of a wire connecting the camcorder to a TV or VCR, or can be transferred to a VHS tape for VCR compatibility. Now preserve your special moments by hi 8 to dvd conversion at Digital Video & film Lab, LLC.

MiniDVs was the first digital format available to customers, this has become the most popular type of videotape format. MiniDV tapes can record 80 minutes in SP mode or 120 minutes in LP mode. MiniDV can likewise be utilized to store different types of information with the help of appropriate format. MiniDV tapes can hold about 13GB of information along this way. Play these tapes on the camcorder and connected by a wire to a TV or computer.

This disc having 8 cm (3 in.) in diameter. These are-recordable 8 cm discs are commonly used in DVD-based camcorders. Depends on the variant, these discs can offer up to 5.2 GB of storage space.

These were a proprietary videotape format introduced in 2001 by Sony. -Physically the smallest of all videotape formats, 70% smaller than a MiniDV cassette. Each cassette can hold up to 60 minutes of video.

3/4 U- Matic
These were developed by Sony and released in 1971 as a professional videotape format. It was among the first video formats to have the videotape inside a cassette, as opposed to the various open-reel formats of the time.