The first successful and practical attempt at a domestic video system was Philips' VCR format, which was advertised in 1972 in the specialist press, and was available to the general public by 1974.
Although the VCR machines were expensive, they were genuinely practical for home use, and more than a few were bought by (wealthy) technology fans. However, the format found its main home in colleges and industry, where the combination of quality and simplicity of operation (compared to the reel-to-reel VTRs of the same era) overrode the expense. In fact for these customers the VCR format was relatively economical, and in all 35,000 VCR machines were sold.

During the course of the 1970s Philips, in Holland, and their West German associates Grundig continued to develop new derived formats, increasing both the record/playback time - from the original 45 minutes to 4 hours - and the quality of the images, and adding more and more features to their already sophisticated machines.
The eventual culmination of this development was the Video 2000 format, which is covered in Room 6. But first let's look in detail at these wonderful machines from Holland, which are some of my favourites...