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Encyclopedia > Videotape
Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed
Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed

Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. In virtually all cases, a helical scan video head rotates against the moving tape to record the data in two dimensions, because video signals have a very high bandwidth, and static heads would require extremely high tape speeds. Video tape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs or, more common, video cassette recorders (VCRs)) and video cameras. Tape is a linear method of storing information, and since nearly all video recordings made nowadays are digital, it is expected to gradually lose importance as non-linear/random access methods of storing digital video data are becoming more common. Download high resolution version (800x616, 59 KB)Description: Photograph of bottom side of a VHS cassette with tape exposed. ... Download high resolution version (800x616, 59 KB)Description: Photograph of bottom side of a VHS cassette with tape exposed. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Vertical Helical Scan, better known by its abbreviation VHS (and often confused to be Video Home System) is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by... Compact audio cassette Magnetic tape is a non-volatile storage medium consisting of a magnetic coating on a thin plastic strip. ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... The head drum of a Hi-Fi NTSC VHS VCR; three of the six heads face the reader. ... The video cassette recorder (or VCR, less popularly video tape recorder) is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. ... Sony DV Handycam A camcorder is a portable electronic device for recording video images and audio onto an internal storage device. ...

Contents

History

Open reel

The first practical professional videotape machines were the Quadruplex machines introduced by Ampex in the United States in 1956. Quad employed a transverse (scanning the tape across its width) four-head system on a two-inch (5.08 cm) tape, and linear heads for the soundtrack. The BBC experimented with a high-speed linear videotape system called VERA, but this was ultimately unfeasible. It utilized 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) tape traveling at 200 inches (5.08 m) per second. 2 Quadruplex (also called 2 Quad, or just quad, for short) was the first practical and commercially successful videotape format. ... Ampex is based in Redwood City, California. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion... VERA (Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus) was an early videotape format developed by the BBC in the 1950s. ...


Although Quad became the industry standard for 20 years, it had drawbacks such as an inability to freeze pictures, no picture search, and in early machines, a tape could only reliably be played back using the same set of hand-made tape heads, which wore out very quickly. Despite these problems, Quad could produce excellent images. Unfortunately, very few early videotapes still exist. The high cost of early videotapes meant that most broadcasters erased and reused them, and (in the United States) regarded videotape as simply a better and more cost-effective means of time-delaying broadcasts than the previous kinescope technology, which recorded television pictures onto photographic film. It was the four time zones of the continental United States which had made the system very desirable in the first place. However, some early broadcast videotapes have survived, including The Edsel Show, broadcast live in 1957, and 1958's An Evening With Fred Astaire, the oldest color broadcast videotape known to exist (the oldest color videotape is the May 1958 dedication of the WRC-TV studios in Washington, DC). Subsequent videotape systems have used helical scan, where the video heads record diagonal tracks (of complete fields) on to the tape. Kinescope (IPA: [], []) originally referred to the cathode ray tube used in television monitors. ... The title image from The Edsel Show The Edsel Show was an hour-long television special broadcast live on CBS in the United States on October 13, 1957, intended to promote Ford Motor Companys new Edsel cars. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fred Astaire and Barrie Chase on the cover of TV Guide the week of the special A sound recording of the show was released as an LP on the Chrysler Corporation label An Evening with Fred Astaire was a one-hour television special starring Fred Astaire, broadcast on NBC on... WRC-TV NBC4 is an NBC owned and operated television station in Washington, DC. Owned by NBC Universal, the station broadcasts its analog signal on channel 4 and its digital television signal on channel 48. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United...

Type B video tape
Type B video tape

The next format to gain widespread usage was the 1" (2.54 cm) Type C format from the middle of the 1970s onwards. It introduced features such as shuttling and still framing, but the sound and picture reproduction attainable on the format were of just slightly lower quality than Quad (although 1" Type C's quality was still quite high). However, unlike Quad, 1" Type C machines required much less maintenance, took up less space, and consumed much less electrical power. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 353 × 359 pixelsFull resolution (353 × 359 pixel, file size: 34 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Open reel tape, Type B I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 353 × 359 pixelsFull resolution (353 × 359 pixel, file size: 34 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Open reel tape, Type B I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... 1 inch Type C (designated Type C by SMPTE) is a professional open-reel videotape format co-developed and introduced by Ampex and Sony in 1976. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ...


In Europe a similar tape format was developed, called Type B. Type B machines (also known as BCN) used the same 1" tape as Type C but they lacked C's shuttle and slow-motion options. The picture quality was slightly better, though. Type B was the broadcast norm in continental Europe for most of the 1980s. 1 inch type B (designated Type B by SMPTE) is an open-reel videotape format developed by Bosch in Germany in 1976. ... The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ...


The first video cassettes

Then, in 1969, Sony introduced the first widespread video cassette, the 3/4" (1.905 cm) composite U-matic system, which it later refined to Broadcast Video U-matic or BVU. Sony continued its hold on the professional market with its ever-expanding 1/2" (1.27 cm) component video Betacam family (introduced in 1982), which, in its digital variants, is still among the professional market leaders. Panasonic had some limited success with its MII system, but never could compare to Betacam in terms of market share. For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Composite video is the format of an analog television (picture only) signal before it is combined with a sound signal and modulated onto an RF carrier. ... Sony U-matic VTR BVU-800 A U-matic tape U-matic is the name of a videocassette format developed by Sony in 1969. ... Three cables, each with RCA plugs at both ends, are often used to carry analog component video Component video is a video signal that has been split into two or more components. ... Sony Betacam-SP VTP BVW-65 Betacam and VHS size comparison Betacam SP L (top), Betacam SP S (left), VHS (right) The early form of Betacam tapes are interchangeable with Betamax, though the recordings are not. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Panasonic is an international brand name for Japanese electric products manufacturer Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. ... Note: The MII video tape format is not to be confused with Panasonics M2 videogame console The official logo for the MII videocassette format (courtesy Panasonic) MII is a professional videocassette format developed by Panasonic in 1986 as their answer & competitive product to Sonys Betacam SP format. ...


Home VCRs

The first domestic videocassette recorders were launched in the late 1960s (based around U-matic technology), but it was not until Sony's Betamax (1975) and JVC's VHS were launched in the 1970s, that videotape moved into the mass market, resulting in what came to be known as the "videotape format war", which VHS finally won. VHS is still the leading consumer VCR format, since its follow-ups S-VHS and D-VHS never caught up on popularity. It has, however, been displaced in the prerecorded video market by the nonlinear and disc based DVD, although like vinyl records may not become completely obsolete owing to the large number of videocassettes owned by consumers. The videocassette recorder (or VCR, more commonly known in the British Isles as the video recorder), is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable videotape cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Sony U-matic VTR BVU-800 A U-matic tape U-matic is the name of a videocassette format developed by Sony in 1969. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Vertical Helical Scan, better known by its abbreviation VHS (and often confused to be Video Home System) is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by... The videotape format war was a period of an intense format war of rival incompatible models of video cassette recorders in the 1970s and early 1980s. ... The video cassette recorder (or VCR, less popularly video tape recorder) is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. ... Introduced in Japan in 1987, S-VHS (Super VHS) was an improved version of the VHS standard for consumer video cassette recorders. ... D-VHS logo D-VHS is a digital video format developed by JVC, in collaboration with Hitachi, Matsushita and Philips. ... DVD (commonly known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... 33⅓ LP vinyl record album The vinyl record is a type of gramophone record, most popular from the 1950s to the 1990s, that was most commonly used for mass-produced recordings of music. ...


The size of a standard VHS tape cassette is 1" x 4" x 7 1/2". Following in the footsteps of standard VHS came other consumer videotape formats such as 8mm video, Hi8, and digital 8, VHS-C (compact) and S-VHS-C.


Going digital

The next step was the digital revolution. Among the first digital video formats Sony's D-1, which featured uncompressed digital component recording. Because D-1 was extremely expensive, the composite D-2 and D-3 (by Sony and Panasonic, respectively) were introduced soon after. Ampex introduced the first compressed component recording with its Ampex DCT series in 1992. Panasonic trumped D-1 with its D-5 format, which was uncompressed as well, but much more affordable. A digital system is one that uses discrete values (often electrical voltages), especially those representable as binary numbers, or non-numeric symbols such as letters or icons, for input, processing, transmission, storage, or display, rather than a continuous spectrum of values (ie, as in an analog system). ... Sonys D1 format was the first major professional digital video format, introduced in 1987. ... D2 is a professional digital video tape format created by Ampex and other manufacturers through a standards group of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and introduced at the 1988 NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention as a lower-cost alternative to the D1 format. ... D3 is a professional digital video tape format. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Tha D can refer to: The Highpriest of the contemporary modern day religious faction, Tha Brotherhood of D This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Consumer videotape options expanded to include digital in 1996 with the debut of the DV standard, which has become widely used both in its native form and in more robust forms such as Sony's DVCAM and Panasonic's DVCPRO as an acquisition and editing format. However, due to concerns by the entertainment industry about the format's lack of copy protection, only the smaller MiniDV cassettes used with camcorders became commonplace, with the full-sized DV cassettes restricted entirely to professional applications. A MiniDV tape For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... A MiniDV tape For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO HD refer to digital videotape formats using the DV codec, and devised by Panasonic. ... Copy prevention, also known as copy protection, is any technical measure designed to prevent duplication of information. ...


For camcorders, Sony adapted the Betacam system with its Digital Betacam format, later following it up with the more low-cost Betacam SX and MPEG IMX formats, and the semiprofessional DV-based DVCAM system. Panasonic used its DV variant DVCPRO for all professional cameras, with the higher end format DVCPRO50 being a direct descendant. JVC developed the competing D9/Digital-S format, which compresses video data in a way similar to DVCPRO but uses a cassette similar to S-VHS media. Betacam is a family of half-inch professional videotape formats developed by Sony from 1982 onwards. ... Betacam and VHS size comparison Betacam SP L, Betacam SP S, VHS Betacam is a family of half-inch professional videotape formats developed by Sony from 1982 onwards. ... Betacam and VHS size comparison Betacam SP L, Betacam SP S, VHS Betacam is a family of half-inch professional videotape formats developed by Sony from 1982 onwards. ... A MiniDV tape For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... A MiniDV tape For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... A MiniDV tape For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO HD refer to digital videotape formats using the DV codec, and devised by Panasonic. ... A MiniDV tape DV (disambiguation). ... Victor Company of Japan, Limited ) (TYO: 6792 ), usually referred to as JVC, is an international consumer and professional electronics corporation based in Yokohama, Japan which was founded in 1927. ... Digital-S or D-9 is a 4:2:2 digital video format from JVC. It is very similar to DVCPRO50, but records on videocassettes in the S-VHS form factor. ... Introduced in Japan in 1987, S-VHS (Super VHS) was an improved version of the VHS standard for consumer video cassette recorders. ...


High definition

The introduction of HDTV production necessitated a medium for storing high-resolution video information. In 1997, Sony bumped its Betacam series up to HD with the HDCAM standard and its higher-end cousin HDCAM SR. Panasonic's competing format for cameras was based on DVCPRO and called DVCPRO HD. For VTR and archive use, Panasonic expanded the D-5 specification to store compressed HD streams and called it D-5 HD. Projection screen in a home theater, displaying a high-definition television image. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Betacam and VHS size comparison Betacam SP L, Betacam SP S, VHS Betacam is a family of half-inch professional videotape formats developed by Sony from 1982 onwards. ... Betacam and VHS size comparison Betacam SP L, Betacam SP S, VHS Betacam is a family of half-inch professional videotape formats developed by Sony from 1982 onwards. ... A MiniDV tape Digital Video (DV) is a video format launched in 1996, and, in its smaller tape form factor MiniDV, has since become one of the standards for consumer and semiprofessional video production. ... Panasonic D5 HD VTR AJ-HD3700H A Cassette Tape for D5 HD(Medium) D5 is a professional digital video format introduced by Panasonic in 1994. ...


Camcorders

In camcorders, however, the field has generally been more diverse; early camcorders generally took full-sized VHS or Betamax tapes, but the greatest popularity for some time shared by the 8 mm video format (later replaced by Hi8 and its DV hybrid relative Digital8) and VHS-C (compact) tape. MiniDV is now the most popular format for tape-based consumer camcorders, providing near-broadcast quality video and sophisticated nonlinear editing capability on consumer equipment; however, though intended as a digital successor to VHS, MiniDV VCRs are not widely available outside professional circles. Sony tried to introduce a new camcorder tape with MicroMV, but consumer interest was low due to the proprietary nature of the format and limited support for anything but low-end Windows video editors, and Sony shipped the last MicroMV unit in 2005. For high definition, the most promising system seems to be HDV, which uses MiniDV media to store a roughly broadcast-quality HDTV data stream. 8mm Camcorder mini-DV Camcorder A camcorder is a portable electronic device (generally a digital camera) for recording images and audio onto a storage device. ... A Video8 cassette The 8mm video format refers informally to three related videocassette formats for the NTSC and PAL/SECAM television systems. ... A 8mm Camcorder The 8mm Video Format (official name: Video8) is a type of video cassette recorder and video tape. ... A MiniDV tape For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... Digital-8 (or D8) is a consumer digital videotape format developed by Sony in the late 1990s. ... VHS-C is the compact VHS format used for portable video recorders. ... MICROMV camcorder and tape (top) compared to miniDV and Hi8 tapes MicroMV was a videotape format introduced in 2001 by Sony. ... High Definition Video (HDV) is a video format designed to record compressed HDTV video on standard DV media (DV or MiniDV cassette tape). ... Projection screen in a home theater, displaying a high-definition television image. ...


There has been a trend, largely spearheaded by Hitachi, Panasonic, and Sony, to sell consumer camcorders based on optical discs rather than tape. Most common are DVD recordable camcorders, which are common among point and shoot users due to the ability to take a disc out of the camcorder and drop it directly into a DVD player, much like VHS-C on the analog side. However, professionals consider DVD media to be too inflexible for easy editing, and Sony's ultra-high-end XDCAM system, using Sony's Professional Disc for Data system, is designed for easier editing than DVD media. It has been suggested that Hitachi Works be merged into this article or section. ... Panasonic is an international brand name for Japanese electric products manufacturer Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The optical lens of a compact disc drive. ... DVD recordable and DVD rewritable refer to DVD optical disc formats that can be recorded (written, burned), either write once or rewritable (write multiple times) format written by laser, as compared to DVD-ROM, which is mass-produced by pressing. ... A point and shoot camera, also called a compact camera, is a still camera designed primarily for simple operation. ... VHS-C is the compact VHS format used for portable video recorders. ... XDCAM Disc XDCAM is an optical disk based professional video system introduced by Sony in 2003. ... PDD, ProDATA or Professional Disc for DATA is a recordable optical disc format which was introduced by Sony in 2003. ...


See also

A video tape recorder (VTR), is a tape recorder that can record video material. ...

Other uses

  • Videotape is the title of a Radiohead song.

Radiohead are an English rock band from Oxfordshire, initially formed in the mid-1980s under the name On a Friday. ...

External links

  • The Loss of Early Video Recordings
  • Overview of different kinds of tape formats
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Videotape

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For a locally produced, old, or out-of-print videotape, proper care is the only way to guarantee the ability to view the tape in the future.
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