Storage over the years

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Storage over the years

Postby Harry Dalek » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:22 pm

The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Steve Anderson » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:41 pm

Very interesting Harry! I didn't quite realise how many formats there were. However, he's omitted the 2" Ampex Quadruplex format (possibly because he had no example to show). It was the first professional videotape format..I remember installing a few of these at the BBC far too many decades ago...for archive retrieval and copying onto newer formats, so they were only used in playback mode.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadruplex_videotape

Also 'VERA', the BBCs own format which was the first video tape machine to be put live on air. It never achieved production status and maybe only 2-3 machines were ever built...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCyxPLXLaKA

https://www.facebook.com/BBCArchive/vid ... 788276889/

The presenter is Richard Dimbleby CBE.

Note the 'jumps' on scene changes, very little was synchronised within the TV studio in those days so scene changes were kept to a minimum.

Unfortunately these machines were eventually plundered for their parts and none survive.

Steve A.

vera.pdf
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Harry Dalek » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:31 pm

Steve Anderson wrote:Very interesting Harry! I didn't quite realise how many formats there were. However, he's omitted the 2" Ampex Quadruplex format (possibly because he had no example to show). It was the first professional videotape format..I remember installing a few of these at the BBC far too many decades ago...for archive retrieval and copying onto newer formats, so they were only used in playback mode.


No worries Steve i found 2 of those reel to reel video tapes over the years one sold to an English collector i think i still have the other one have to have a look i am not sure its 2 inch might been a touch thinner both were in a big case .
Yes makes you wonder where its all going, i recall now they can laser encode what ever on quartz and the information with last hundreds of years .
And he left out Phonovision and a few video formats..
Sounds like if you don't loose it is its only problem to out last every thing ~!
https://www.zmescience.com/research/tec ... age-52543/
The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:17 pm

Generally there were two open-reel tape sizes for professional video recording, 1" (25.4mm) and 2" (50.8mm). The 2" came first with the Ampex Quadraplex machines, later Bosch, Ampex and Sony introduced the 1" machines. The most common format was the C-format used by Ampex and Sony, the incompatible Bosch format was called 'M' if I remember correct. There were one or two others but they never gained traction.

The professional cassette-based versions were the analogue Betacam (not Betamax), and the Digicam (digital), the cassettes looked the same but the tape formulation was Cobalt-based, not Ferric. Also the Hi-band Umatic (3/4") which faded rapidly when the Betacam cassettes were introduced.

Steve A.
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Harry Dalek » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:13 pm

Steve Anderson wrote:Generally there were two open-reel tape sizes for professional video recording, 1" (25.4mm) and 2" (50.8mm). The 2" came first with the Ampex Quadraplex machines, later Bosch, Ampex and Sony introduced the 1" machines. The most common format was the C-format used by Ampex and Sony, the incompatible Bosch format was called 'M' if I remember correct. There were one or two others but they never gained traction.

The professional cassette-based versions were the analogue Betacam (not Betamax), and the Digicam (digital), the cassettes looked the same but the tape formulation was Cobalt-based, not Ferric. Also the Hi-band Umatic (3/4") which faded rapidly when the Betacam cassettes were introduced.

Steve A.


I always recall the B/w reel to reel video player recorder our high school had in the 70s had me very interested but never got the chance to touch ! i think Troy on the forum has one .
Yes so Many formats for Video back then makes you wonder if its all ended up in land fill by now .

I Still have a u matic sony recorder player just takes the Bigger U matic cassettes i have a few of both ,those that had the tapes before me it was either sport or church groups that recorded stuff ...never found any thing that interesting on them .
I also have 2 super VHS pro machines standard play but you can adjust the speed with a dial control ...
i started off with video 2000 great quality but the cogs that moved that tape were brittle and always broke loading the things ,i remember getting my first beta machine next VCR system i owned and was shocked at how bad the quality was against the video 2000 format .
The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:41 pm

I bought an S-VHS camcorder, a S-VHS editing machine and edit controller sometime in the 90's. And although the luminance bandwidth was increased to 4MHz as opposed to around 2MHz, the colour-under system was the same as standard VHS, so there was still the same 'smearing' in heavily colour-saturated scenes as standard VHS. Somewhat disappointed...Now a smartphone can do much better at a fraction of the price...

Steve A.
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Harry Dalek » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:14 am

Steve Anderson wrote:I bought an S-VHS camcorder, a S-VHS editing machine and edit controller sometime in the 90's. And although the luminance bandwidth was increased to 4MHz as opposed to around 2MHz, the colour-under system was the same as standard VHS, so there was still the same 'smearing' in heavily colour-saturated scenes as standard VHS. Somewhat disappointed...Now a smartphone can do much better at a fraction of the price...

Steve A.


So with VHS SVHS which never really took off they were still doing a catch up quality wise to what was about in the 70s the Quality of Umatic and Video 2000 always looked better to me ,every thing now pretty much just a curiosity
The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Steve Anderson » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:01 pm

Well, even without the chroma upgrade it deserved S-VHS was much better than standard VHS. Most camcorders, including mine used standard VHS-C or in my case, also S-VHS-C cassettes, otherwise the camcorder would have been quite large and heavy. The difference between the two is shown here...
VHS_vs_MiniDV.png

To play the S-VHS-C cassette in a standard/full-sized S-VHS machine they supplied an adapter into which the S-VHS-C cassette fitted and emulated a standard/full-sized S-VHS cassette.
Adapter.jpg
Adapter.jpg (7.49 KiB) Viewed 551 times

The VHS-C/S-VHS-C cassettes were limited to 90 minutes in standard-play mode, which is usually enough for a days outing. Even so, carrying a spare or two of such a small cassette was no problem. The camcorder battery would have probably given up part way through the second cassette anyway..

Steve A.

The other advantage if you were a keen editor (me) was the S-VHS standard included VITC (Vertical Interval Time-Code) which recorded every frames recording time and date to 1/25th of a second for PAL as well as identifying each field within the usually blank lines at the start of each field. This made frame-accurate editing so easy. Another advantage was the Y/C in/out which kept the luma and chroma signals separate eliminating cross-colour and other PAL encoding/decoding artifacts. Not as good as full YUV, but a step in the right direction.

Quite a few TV stations used S-VHS for news gathering before the advent of analogue Betacam (Not Betamax).

Now S-VHS, like VHS, is a dead format...
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Harry Dalek » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:19 pm

Yes you really needed the correct tapes for S VHS and you could see the difference ! no good using a Standard VHS any case you could use the tape in a standard VHS and just use a much better tape ! i still have a few of those . Yes i have the smaller VHS C also infact just about every camera system cassette and tiny dvd ...thank goodness they went to sd card those mechanical beasts just not meant for a camera recording idea
I think even Beta had some high grade tapes towards the end ...i Still have 99.9% of every video tape i ever bought hopeless hoarder i am ! funny the machines not so ..The VHS still turn up now and again Beta hardy ever and very very lucky to see a old Umatic ..
The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Steve Anderson » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:19 pm

Like VHS/S-VHS the U-matic had two variants, the standard U-matic was used in industry, education and occasionally domestically. There was a Hi-Band version used for broadcasting, U-matic-SP, (Special Performance), Chromium/Cobalt based tapes and both the luminance and colour bandwidths increased, it was a dramatic improvement in its day.

Steve A.

I forget to mention the professional models either had external timebase correctors, in later versions they were internal to the machine.

A Sony U-Matic-SP BVU-850 edit recorder, the professional versions were 19" rack mounting, usually two players (occasionally three) and one edit recorder, all controlled from an edit controller within a console/desk.
Sony-BVU-850-U-matic-SP-Edit-VTR-VCR-Umatic.jpg
Sony-BVU-850-U-matic-SP-Edit-VTR-VCR-Umatic.jpg (34.52 KiB) Viewed 534 times

These machines (and many others) also had an RF in/out as well as PAL/NTSC/SECAM (model dependent), On the machine it was called 'DUB in' or DUB out'. When editing the player would output the detected RF off-tape, timebase correct it, then feed it to the recorder which would record it on the new/edited tape. This bypassed the encode/decoding of the signal to/from PAL (or whatever) with all its artifacts.

But it was cuts only, no special effects, no cross-fades, wipes or the like. but 'cutting' is the vast majority of editing, especially in news or sports where there isn't the time for all that stuff. For that 'clever' stuff you need a vision mixer too and probably DVE gear (Digital Video Effects).
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Re: Storage over the years

Postby Harry Dalek » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:43 pm

Here's my U matic ,i was thinking it was dead for some time but it was just a switch in side that controls the eject moving the gear to get the tape out it came back to life worked ever since ...well last time i ran it that could be another story now ./
Never looked to the multi system switch side of it as i only had Pal tapes...i got this at a reuse shop 10 bucks fair few years ago now .
I forgot to say the U matic video head from my other U matic vcr is now used in the current project ,it was a tape muncher from the mid or early 70s it was so heavy i could hardly lift it got scrapped years ago got sick of lifting it and it munching my tapes which are not easy to come by ! :roll:
Only good thing about it was it took both size U matic Tapes .
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The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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