One of the earliest formats to hold videotape inside a cassette, making a break from the most popular reel-to-reel formats of the time, the release of U-matic video cassettes in 1971 signposted a video-recording revolution in the TV and film industry that helped pave the way for more the more widely used Betamax and VHS videocassettes, and the explosive popularity of home-video entertainment. There were, however, many issues with U-matic tapes. As well as being easily prone to damage and producing distorted images, U-matics also had trouble reproducing the colour red. The colour issue was so renowned that TV and film studios often discouraged on screen talent from wearing red clothing.
Despite its issues, lack of mainstream consumer appeal and eventual obsolescence, many long-running TV and film studios still have stacks of U-matic tapes along with their recorders to replay footage from their heyday.