Cartrivision (1972 – 1973)

Cartrivision was introduced in 1972 by Cartridge Television, Inc (CTI) and was one of the first domestic video cassette systems, and the first to offer feature films for rental.

Cartrivision systems were available as television sets with built in video recorder. A monochrome video camera was also available for home use.

Like the Philips’ VCR system, the cassette used two reels of 1/2 inch tape, one on top of the other. To increase recording time to 114 minutes, a skip-field recording system was used that recorded every third frame and played it back three times.

Movies could be rented by post from a catalogue of 200. Rental cassettes were red and could not be rewound by a home Cartrivision machine. Titles for purchase were black, and these could be rewound.

Cartivision machines first became available June 1972, but manufacture ended by July 1973 after poor sales.

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