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Media > Video > JVC launches VHS

Spring 1978

The quest for home video
JVC launches VHS in the UK

The first press advertisement for VHS in the UK played on the triple initials of the main broadcasters to position JVC as the 'fourth channel' after BBC and ITV.

Click to download a full-size PDF of the original advertisement
Source: JVC, Terra Media Archives
Click on the picture to download a full-size PDF of the original advertisement (opens in new window)

The text reads as follows:

In spite of anything other manufacturers may say (and they'll be saying plenty in this new video age) those in the know will tell you that JVC have consistently led the field in the development of a TV recorder specially geared for the consumer. Take tape length, for example. First last year in the production of two-hour cassettes, JVC have now gone one better—and produced the first three-hour cassettes on the market.
    So the JVC Video Home System gives you longer running time at, inevitably, more economical running costs.

    You can use the JVC Video Home System to record* any colour or black-and-white programme.
    You can set it to tune into any channel and time it to switch on automatically (and just for a moment, consider the implications of that; you could be out having dinner or flying half-way across Europe and your JVC will be sitting quietly at home recording your telly for you).
    You can watch one programme and record another simultaneously—or you can transform the whole thing into an instant TV studio to make your own programmes.
    And yet the JVC Video System will connect with every standard UHF TV set in the UK and is so brilliantly simple any bright six-year-old could operate it.
    It's also the smallest, lightest, neatest home video recorder you can buy and it records and plays back with all JVC's inimitable quality.
    And, for the 64 dollar question, it's the most economical to run. Under £15 for a three-hour cassette (one-tenth of the price of film!).

*Recording and playback of material may require content. See Copyright Act 1956 and the Performers Protection Act 1958-1972.

As Groucho Marx would have said, 'Go out and get me a six-year old child'—and perhaps that would have been the answer to the wish of George Bush père for his presidential remembrance.
And, of course, the reference to the '64 dollar question' (rather than $64,000) could pedantically be regarded as correct.

JVC's price list issued at the same time.
The quest for home video index

Page created 22 January 2001