YouTube has added a special VHS mode to its videos in celebration of 57 years of the video cassette.
Head on over to YouTube’s own YouTube video channel and play a video, and you’ll notice a new icon in the bottom right of the screen. There’s currently a little video icon which, when clicked, applies a funky retro filter to the video.
Once activated, the video will take on a grainy appearance that those of a certain pre-DVD age will remember. Similarly, if you pause the video you’ll get a familiar distortion effect.
The reason for this retro mode is that today marks 57 years since the appearance of the first commercial video cassette recorder.
The Ampex VRX-1000 was first shown off on April 14 1956 at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention, heralding the availability of (relatively) high quality recording equipment – though it was far removed from the compact, affordable devices that proliferated in the 1980s.
As a picture over on CED Magic shows, the VRX-1000 was the size of a large photocopier, and it cost a cool $50,000.
In order to replicate the VHS experience in a time of crisp Full HD streaming, head on over to the YouTube page and play any one of their spotlighted videos. Then hit the video icon for instant nostalgic bliss/disbelief that the human race ever survived on such low fidelity entertainment.