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The S-VHS Format

S-VHS (Super VHS) was introduced in 1987 to fill a gap in the market between casual home users and video professionals. S-VHS uses both higher resolution (400 lines) and higher bandwidth than VHS, resulting in a significantly better picture quality. S-VHS also uses s-video connections, separating chrominance and luminance signals.

The transition to S-VHS required new equipment — both tapes and recorder/players. S-VHS equipment is backwards-compatible, meaning that S-VHS machines can play VHS recordings but VHS machines cannot play S-VHS.

Note: The S-VHS-C format is the compact version of S-VHS and uses a similar adaptor to the VHS-C adaptor.

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