VHS Tapes as Computer Storage

I’ve heard of cassette tapes being used as storage for some of the older computer, but I’m wondering if VHS tapes can be used for computer storage as well.

In principle, yes. But there’s a reason it never took off. Linus recently did a video on D-VHS, which is exactly that: storage of digital HD video data on a VHS tape. Worth a watch on why it failed.


In theory, but VHS takes up twice as much physical space, slower, and less data can be stored on them.
Not to mention they don’t last as long as the tapes made for data storage vs videos.

And some enterprises still use tapes as long term backup today, but they have fancy auto loader systems and a real need for them.

Video from Gavin from The Slow Mo Guys uploaded a week ago about tape storage.


As others have said, in theory yes.
In practice, you could totally DIY some MicroController/FPGA thing to use VHS as a “USB-ish-device”

You will never reach this level of cool though:



VHS or cassette tapes… it has been and will not be better than LTO.

For fun, you can experiment with some algorithm that crams as much data as possible per second onto the tape in the form of sound, but speed and capacity will be abstract numbers in 2022.


Yeah, there is a reason consumers haven’t seen this in >30 years. Even enterprise is working hard to get out of it.

Maybe a fun technical exercise if you’re into that sort of thing. Otherwise I’d run the other direction as fast as my feet will take me :slight_smile: