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The third way in the early 80's home video format wars. Created by Philips after both Beta and VHS, V2000 was almost entirely limited to European users, and eventually lost to VHS.

It was, basically, a Gigantic compact cassette*, which Philips had introduced a decade earlier, and thus had twice the capacity of a VHS or Beta tape of the same (physical) length. It could play back from or record to either side.

If any Americans reading this are interested in getting a V2000 player, don't bother; no NTSC V2000 decks were ever made, only PAL. Also, the machines were prone to 'eating' tapes: a clear plastic film was attached to each end of the tape, and a light bulb + photocell combination was used to determine where the end of the tape was. If the light burned out, or in the case of LEDs, jarred loose, and you continued moving the tape past the end, the machine, which had no way to detect tension on the tape, would pull the tape apart.

Philips development of the format ceased in 1986, marking the end of V2000.

*Yes, a 'giant compact' anything is a contradiction. I originally linked to audio cassette, but that isn't there.

Editor's note: see also Video Compact Cassette.

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