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This article was published on April 15, 2013

YouTube celebrates the 57th anniversary of its ancestor, the VCR, with fuzzy VHS mode

YouTube celebrates the 57th anniversary of its ancestor, the VCR, with fuzzy VHS mode Image by: Lusoimages
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Google is well known for celebrating both high-profile and obscure anniversaries (Bernardo Alberto Houssay’s 126th Birthday, anyone?) and it seems that its YouTube division is no different. The 57th anniversary of the first video cassette recorder is being celebrated today with a VHS tape icon in the bottom-right corner of videos hosted by the service.

Here’s how the company describes the new (well, not-so-new) feature:

On select videos, you’ll find a VHS button in the bottom right of the player–just click to turn back the clock and enjoy the static and fuzzy motion of the VHS era.

VHS Mode

Wikipedia tells us that the first VCR was the Ampex VRX-1000, launched in 1956. Early VCRs were enormous beasts that looked nothing like the compact VHS units many reading this will have grown up with. Okay, YouTube adding a videotape icon to its videos for a day is hardly earth-shattering news but it’s a nice nod from a leader in the current video landscape to one of its earliest ancestors.

You can expect the video icon to be visible throughout the day, Pacific time today.

Here’s one video you can watch with the warm fuzz of a VHS player, YouTube’s own ‘Rewind YouTube Style 2012‘ (it doesn’t seem to work on embeds, so you’ll need to click to go to YouTube, and then select the VHS icon).

See also: Every character counts: Google secures new URL shortener domain, YT.be

Catch the latest Google news right now at TNW Google.

Thumbnail image credit: Thinkstock