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Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC) invented the VHS format in mid-1976. Originally the VHS format was released in some overseas markets. The first VHS VCR was the JVC HR-3300. In August 1977, VHS VCRs were introduced in North America, with the release of RCA's VBT200, designed and built by Matsushita Electric (now Panasonic Corporation) (which ironically owned JVC at the time, until 2008). Originally, there were only two speeds. The SP mode, usually 2 hours on a cheap tape, was probably developed by the inventor of the format (JVC). On the other hand, LP (4 hours) (NTSC) was developed by RCA (which owned JVC during the 30s) against JVC's wishes, because JVC wasn't initially responsive to RCA's request, so RCA decided to contract out to Matsushita Electric to develop the speed. As a result, JVC hated the LP (NTSC) mode, referring to it as a "bastard mode." So, later on, JVC decided to develop their own longer-speed mode, called EP/SLP in NTSC markets and LP in PAL markets, resulting in JVC-built VCRs being able to play in the LP (NTSC) mode, but not record in the mode, as a "screw you" to RCA.

Originally, VHS only had the audio tracks in linear. The linear audio on VHS was originally in mono. Later in mid-1981, the linear stereo audio format was introduced to VHS. Linear stereo basically used half the width of the mono track and split it into two audio tracks and was considered an audio format for "bargain basements." In the meantime, Dolby Noise Reduction was introduced to VHS as well. While linear stereo VCRs had Dolby NR, some linear mono-only VCRs also had it. It was basically an audio-encoding format for reducing the hiss and noises of the linear audio track. In 1984, a new stereo audio format was introduced to VHS; it was called Hi-Fi (high fidelity). In 1985, a version of the VHS format called VHS HQ was introduced; this format basically added 10 extra lines of resolution. (the original VHS resolution was 240 lines; VHS HQ is 250). VHS HQ tapes were compatible with non-HQ VCRs.

When Toshiba (formerly Tokyo Shibaura Electric, which co-owned JVC with Nihon Sangyo, now Nissan Motors, during the 40s and early 50s) entered the VHS VCR market in the mid-1980s, all of their VCRs could also play back in LP mode (NTSC), but not record in it. The same thing occured when Sony also entered the VHS VCR market in 1988, with the exception of some of their linear mono-only VCRs manufactured during the early 1990s. In addition, by late 1987, all subsequent VCRs built by Mitsubishi could play back in LP, but not record in it. (Prior to the mid-1980's, Toshiba made Beta VCRs under license from Sony, along with Sanyo Electric, which acquired Fisher in 1975. Sony never licensed Beta to other companies.).

By around 1992, linear stereo was discontinued from the consumer VCR market, but remained in use on the professional VCR market, until the end of VHS production in 2007-2008, and from that point on, all subsequent consumer VCRs could only play the linear track in mono. In the meantime, Hitachi removed LP recording from all subsequent VCRs built by them. Then by the mid-to-late-1990's, Sharp, Lucky-Goldstar (which became the official VCR manufacturer for Zenith Electronics in the early-1990's and acquired Zenith Electronics itself during the mid, late-1990's), Funai Electric and Sanyo Electric also removed LP recording from all subsequent VCRs built by them.

By around 2004, Matsushita Electric/Panasonic also removed LP recording from all subsequent VCRs built by them.

VHS/DVD player combo units continued to be manufactured, until late 2016, with Funai Electric and Panasonic Corporation being the last companies to make them. (Panasonic stopped in the early-2010's).

Today, RCA is just a name badge slapped on imported Chinese-made plastic crap, mostly products sold in Target and Wal-Mart stores. The company itself was reacquired by General Electric Company (who originally owned it from its 1919 foundation up until 1932) in June 1986. In March 1987, General Electric Company consolidated its Richmond, VA consumer electronics division into RCA's Indianapolis, IN operation, and from that point on, the only difference between a GE and an RCA television set made after the consolidation was the name badge. General Electric later sold its consumer electronics division and most of the RCA assets, including trademark rights to the brand and excluding the Government Services division (currently retained), RCA Records and its sub-labels, including RCA/Ariola International and Arista Records (shares sold to Bertelsmann A.G., which owned Ariola Records, in Dec. 1986) and NBC (sold to Comcast Corp. in early-2010s), to Thomson S.A. in December 1987. Thomson later formed Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc. in early-1988. In 1990, the RCA Dimensia line was discontinued in favor of the new brand ProScan. In 2007-2008, Thomson S.A. sold portions of the RCA and ProScan consumer electronics divisions to Alco Electronics Ltd. (also known as Venturer Electronics Inc.), Audiovox Corporation (now known as Voxx International Corp.), Curtis International Ltd. and ON Corporation. In 2010, Thomson S.A. was renamed to Technicolor S.A. and in May 2022, Technicolor S.A. sold its trademark licensing operation to Talisman Brands, Inc. 16:31, 4 October 2022 (UTC)