Video is one of the most widely-used formats for creating moving images, by both amateurs and professionals alike, and it’s surprising how strictly standardized it is, considering the numerous manufacturers in constant competition. Take, for example, the lowly VHS cassette. Despite the many different makes and models of VHS cassette recorders, and the multitude of different VHS cassette manufacturers, any standard VHS cassette can be used in just about any VHS recorder. It’s a similar story with playback—intercontinental issues aside (you can’t necessarily play a European VHS in a U.S. recorder, for reasons that will be covered later)—a VHS recorded on one machine will play as intended on any other machine.

There are many different video ...

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