YouTube Adds a 'VHS Mode' for VCR's 57th Birthday

Credit: Google

Say the words "VCR" or "VHS" to a teen or child today and they might give you a blank look. They know little about the tapes, the static that was caused when you'd fast forward or rewind, or having to rewind in general. But today, YouTube is bringing a bit of that VHS and VCR history to something they do know - YouTube.

In celebration of the 57th birthday of the first commercial VCR, Google's YouTube team has added a special Easter egg to the site for the day. "VHS Mode" or "Tape mode" allows you to add static to your HD YouTube videos. On select videos, there is a small tape icon on the left corner of the player box - select it and not only will some small static appear over the video, but when you pause it will enhance the static.

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On April 14, 1956 the Ampex VRX-1000 - the first commercial videotape recorder was demoed at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention. According to CED Magic, the VRX-1000 was renamed the Mark IV and was sold for $50,000. Today you can buy a VCR for as low as $69 though the tapes are rapidly fading from the scene.

And today you can apply the "Tape Mode" to select YouTube videos, including YouTube classics like "Double Rainbow," and " Otters Holding Hands," for free. Unfortunately, you can't watch PSY's new hit "Gentleman" with the fuzzy layer.

Oh, and don't forget: be kind, rewind.

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