YouTube has added a VHS mode to certain videos on the site in order to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the first commercial video cassette recorder. Users and visitors will be able to view select content with the sort of grainy feel that was characteristic of the vintage tapes of old.
Just like Google has its doodles – the one for today pays tribute to Swiss mathematician and physicist, Leonhard Euler – the video sharing website is having a little bit of fun. And since it hasn’t officially revealed a list of content compatible with the new feature, finding videos with the option will be hit and miss.
And there’s no information on whether this feature will be available on the site’s videos just for today, or whether a select few, possibly those which showcase the funk, will have this option for a long time to come. Those who want a nostalgic visual treat will have to dig around on the site like there’s no tomorrow.
When viewing certain videos, a VHS button is available at the bottom right next to the quality settings button. On switching this mode on, videos will have a typical grainy effect, a kind of physical noise. This effect even lasts when the video is paused, giving a shaky (and annoying), but completely distorted image on the screen.
The site’s official Google Plus account has a post that says, ‘Not too long ago, the video tape was the media of choice for living rooms around the world.’ Well, it was a long time ago when VHS was the talk of the town, with such a huge number of people switching to digital forms of entertainment from DVD to Blu-ray format.
And now with 4K Ultra HD TVs starting to make their way through the population, we’re not sure quite how this feature will fit into the lives of people. Still, it is a nice throwback to a time of which most of us have fond memories. And while the gramophone and accompanying vinyl records are making a slow but steady comeback, it’s highly unlikely that folks will start to re-adopt VHS because of its vintage feel.