Tape recording equipment is designed to record audio and video images. For recording speech or music, cassette recorders, and micro cassette recorders may be used. This type of equipment is not only for home use, as many federal and government agencies often use surveillance equipment, such as telephone recording devices. Additionally, there are accessories such as cassette tapes and micro cassette tapes that are used for smaller recorders. Many consumers who enjoy creating home video, have used recording equipment known as camcorders since the 1970s.
Most audio tape recorders will require a cassette tape that measures .08 inches (0.2 centimeters). The speed in which a tape records at is typically under two inches (5.1 centimeters) per second. Due to a poor ratio of signal to noise, audio cassette tape recording equipment will be unable to filter out noise from most recordings. When first introduced as a practical type of equipment, most people were satisfied with being able to record audio with the use of cassette tapes. As new technology was introduced, tape recording equipment seemed to falter in comparison with modern inventions such as digital voice recorders that do not require tapes, and mini disc recorders that use small discs to record on.
Some people prefer to use micro cassette recorders as a type of portable and lightweight tape recording equipment. The micro cassette recorders require a smaller version of a cassette tape, known as a micro cassette tape. Many of these devices are voice activated and very convenient for taking along to class or business meetings.
Video cassette recorders (VCRs) were very popular during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. The home VCR requires a video home system (VHS) tape to record audio and video on. This machine was popular for recording video and audio by connecting it directly to a home television using cables. Although once considered a very practical way to record television programs and watch VHS movies, the VCR has become obsolete in favor of newer technology, such as the digital versatile disc (DVD) recorder and Blu-Ray Disc™ recorder.
Although most modern camcorders use digital technology to record video images, camcorders are still being manufactured as tape recording equipment. A camcorder that requires the use of a VHS tape is known as a VHS camcorder. This device can record home movies and video using an ordinary VHS tape. All camcorders have the option of recording audio as well as video images.