Videotape is magnetic tape used for storing video and usually sound in addition. Information stored can be in the form of either an analog signal or digital signal. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) or, more commonly, videocassette recorders (VCRs) and camcorders. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram.

Because video signals have a very high bandwidth, and stationary heads would require extremely high tape speeds, in most cases, a helical-scan video head rotates against the moving tape to record the data in two dimensions.

Tape is a linear method of storing information and thus imposes delays to access a portion of the tape that is not already under the heads. The early 2000s saw the introduction and rise to prominence of high quality random-access video recording media such as hard disks and flash memory. Since then, videotape has been increasingly relegated to archival and similar uses.

Assorted video tapes
An assortment of video tapes

Early formats

The electronics division of entertainer Bing Crosby's production company, Bing Crosby Enterprises (BCE), gave the world's first demonstration of a videotape recording in Los Angeles on November 11, 1951. Developed by John T. Mullin and Wayne R. Johnson since 1950, the device gave what were described as "blurred and indistinct" images using a modified Ampex 200 tape recorder and standard quarter-inch (0.6 cm) audio tape moving at 360 inches (9.1 m) per second.[1][2] A year later, an improved version using one-inch (2.54 cm) magnetic tape was shown to the press, who reportedly expressed amazement at the quality of the images although they had a "persistent grainy quality that looked like a worn motion picture". Overall the picture quality was still considered inferior to the best kinescope recordings on film.[3] Bing Crosby Enterprises hoped to have a commercial version available in 1954 but none came forth.[4]

The BBC experimented from 1952 to 1958 with a high-speed linear videotape system called VERA, but this was ultimately unfeasible. It used half-inch (1.27 cm) tape on 20-inch reels traveling at 200 inches (5.08 m) per second.

RCA demonstrated the magnetic tape recording of both black-and-white and color television programs at its Princeton laboratories on December 1, 1953.[5][6] The high-speed longitudinal tape system, called Simplex, in development since 1951, could record and play back only a few minutes of a television program. The color system used half-inch (1.3 cm) tape on 10-1/2 inch reels to record five tracks, one each for red, blue, green, synchronization, and audio. The black-and-white system used quarter-inch (0.6 cm) tape also on 10-1/2 inch reels with two tracks, one for video and one for audio. Both systems ran at 360 inches (9.1 m/30 feet) per second with 2,500 feet on a reel.[7] RCA-owned NBC first used it on The Jonathan Winters Show on October 23, 1956 when a prerecorded song sequence by Dorothy Collins in color was included in the otherwise live television program.[8][9]

In 1953, Dr. Norikazu Sawazaki developed a prototype helical scan video tape recorder.[10]

BCE demonstrated a color system in February 1955 using a longitudinal recording on half-inch (1.3 cm) tape. CBS, RCA's competitor, was about to order BCE machines when Ampex introduced the superior Quadruplex system.[11] BCE was acquired by 3M Company in 1956.

In 1959, Toshiba released the first commercial helical scan video tape recorder.[12]

Broadcast video


2-inch Quad Tape Reel with miniDV cassette
A fourteen-inch reel of 2-inch quad videotape compared with a modern-day MiniDV videocassette. Both media store one hour of color video.

The first commercial professional broadcast quality videotape machines capable of replacing kinescopes were the two-inch quadruplex videotape (Quad) machines introduced by Ampex on April 14, 1956 at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Chicago. Quad employed a transverse (scanning the tape across its width) four-head system on a two-inch (5.08 cm) tape, and stationary heads for the sound track.

CBS Television first used the Ampex VRX-1000[13] Mark IV at its Television City studios in Hollywood on November 30, 1956 to play a delayed broadcast of Douglas Edwards and the News from New York City to the Pacific Time Zone.[13][14] On January 22, 1957, the NBC Television game show Truth or Consequences, produced in Hollywood, became the first program to be broadcast in all time zones from a prerecorded videotape.[15] Ampex introduced a color videotape recorder in 1958 in a cross-licensing agreement with RCA, whose engineers had developed it from an Ampex black-and-white recorder.[16] NBC's special, An Evening With Fred Astaire (1958), is the oldest surviving television network color videotape, and has been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

On December 7, 1963, instant replay was used for the first time during the live transmission of the Army–Navy Game by its inventor, director Tony Verna.[17]

Although Quad became the industry standard for approximately thirty years, it has drawbacks such as an inability to freeze pictures, and no picture search.[a] Also, in early machines, a tape could reliably be played back using only the same set of hand-made tape heads, which wore out very quickly.[b] Despite these problems, Quad is capable of producing excellent images. Subsequent videotape systems have used helical scan, where the video heads record diagonal tracks (of complete fields) onto the tape.

Many early videotape recordings were not preserved.[c] While much less expensive (if repeatedly recycled) and more convenient than kinescope, the high cost of 3M Scotch 179[13] and other early videotapes ($300 per one-hour reel)[19] 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 kinescopes. It was the four time zones of the continental United States which had made the system very desirable in the first place.

However, some classic television programs originally recorded on studio videotape still exist, and are available on DVD – among them NBC's Peter Pan (first telecast in 1960) with Mary Martin as Peter, several episodes of the Dinah Shore Chevy Show (late 1950s/early 60s), the final Howdy Doody Show (1960), the television version of Hal Holbrook's one-man show Mark Twain Tonight (first telecast in 1967), and Mikhail Baryshnikov's classic production of the ballet The Nutcracker (first telecast in 1977). Recently, a historic videotape emerged: a west-coast, delayed broadcast videotape made of a live telecast of The Edsel Show (1957) was found in the CBS archives and has been digitally transferred.

Types C and B

The next format to gain widespread usage was the 1" (2.54 cm) Type C format, introduced in 1976 (although some sources say 1978). This format introduced features such as shuttling, various-speed playback (including slow-motion), and still framing, but the sound and picture reproduction attainable on the format were of slightly lower quality than Quad (although 1" Type C's quality was still quite high). However, compared to Quad, 1" Type C machines required much less maintenance, took up less space, and consumed much less electrical power.

In Europe a similar tape format was developed, called Type B. Type B machines (also known as BCN) use the same 1" tape as Type C but they lacked C's shuttle and slow-motion options. The picture quality is slightly better, though. Type B was the broadcast norm in continental Europe for most of the 1980s.

Professional cassette formats

A U-matic tape

A videocassette is a cartridge containing videotape. In 1969, Sony introduced a prototype for the first widespread video cassette, the 3/4" (1.905 cm) composite U-matic system, which Sony introduced commercially in September 1971 after working out industry standards with other manufacturers. Sony later refined it 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.

The next step was the digital revolution. Among the first digital video formats was 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 DCT series in 1992. Panasonic trumped D-1 with its D-5 format, which is uncompressed as well, but much more affordable.

The DV standard, which debuted in 1996, 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.

For camcorders, Sony adapted the Betacam system with its Digital Betacam format, later following it up with the cheaper 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.

High definition

The introduction of HDTV video production necessitated a medium for storing high-definition 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 is 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.

Home video


The first consumer videocassette recorders (VCR) were launched in 1971 (based around Sony U-matic technology). Philips entered the domestic market the following year with the N1500.[20] Sony's Betamax (1975) and JVC's VHS (1976) created a mass-market for VCRs and the two competing systems battled the "videotape format war", which VHS ultimately won. In Europe Philips had developed the V2000 format, which did not find favour with the TV rental companies in the UK and lost out to VHS.

At first VCRs were very expensive, and the cassettes were also expensive, but by the late 1980s the price had come down enough to make them affordable to a mainstream audience. Videocassettes finally made it possible for consumers to buy or rent a complete film and watch it at home whenever they wished, rather than simply catching it at a movie theater or having to wait until it was telecast. It gave birth to video rental stores, Blockbuster the largest chain, which lasted from about 1980 to 2005.It also made it possible for a VCR owner to begin time-shifting the recording of films and other television programs straight from the transmission. This caused an enormous change in viewing practices, as one no longer had to wait for a repeat of a program that had been missed. The shift to home viewing also changed the movie industry's revenue streams, because home renting created an additional window of time in which a film could make money. In some cases, films that did only modestly in their theater releases went on to have strong performance in the rental market (e.g., cult films).

VHS became the leading consumer tape format for home movies after the "videotape format war", though its follow-ups S-VHS, W-VHS and D-VHS never caught up in popularity. In early 2000's in the prerecorded video market, VHS began to be displaced by DVD. The DVD format has several advantages over VHS tape. A DVD is much better able to take repeated viewings than VHS tape, which can crack or break, which makes DVDs a better format from a rental store's perspective. As well, whereas a VHS tape can be erased if it is exposed to a rapidly changing magnetic field of sufficient strength, DVDs and other optical discs are not affected by magnetic fields. Even though DVDs do not have the problems of tapes, such as breakage of the tape or the cassette mechanism, DVDs can still be damaged by scratches. Another factor for movie rental stores is that DVDs are smaller and take less space to store. DVDs offer a number of advantages for the viewer: DVDs can support both standard 4x3 and widescreen 16x9 screen aspect ratios and DVDs can provide twice the video resolution of VHS. As well, a viewer who wants to skip ahead to the end of a movie can do so much faster with a DVD than with a VHS tape (which has to be rewound). DVDs can have interactive menus, multiple language tracks, audio commentaries, Closed Captioning and subtitling (with the option of turning the subtitles on or off, or selecting subtitles in several languages). Moreover, a DVD can be played on a computer.

Due to these advantages, by the mid-2000s, DVDs were the dominant form of prerecorded video movies in both the rental film and new movie markets. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, though, consumers continued to use VCRs to record over-the-air TV shows, because consumers could not make home recordings onto DVDs. This last barrier to DVD domination was broken in the late 2000s, with the advent of inexpensive DVD recorders and other digital video recorders (DVRs). DVR devices, which record shows onto a hard disk or flash storage, can be purchased from electronics stores or rented from cable or satellite TV providers. Despite the mainstream dominance of DVD, VHS continues to have a role. The conversion to DVD has led to the marketplace being flooded with used VHS films, which are available at pawnshops and second-hand stores, typically for a lower price than the equivalent film on a used DVD. As well, due to the large number of VHS players in schools and libraries, VHS tapes are still produced for the educational market. As of November 2014, at least one Public Library in the Detroit, Michigan area has discontinued lending out VHS prerecorded movies. In July 2016, the last known manufacturer of VCRs, Funai, announced that it was ceasing VCR production.[21]

Consumer and "prosumer" camcorders

DV tape sizes 2
DV cassettes
Left to right: DVCAM-L, DVCPRO-M, DVC/MiniDV

Early consumer camcorders used full-size VHS or Betamax cassettes. Later models switched to more compact formats, designed explicitly for smaller camcorder use, like VHS-C and Video8. VHS-C is a downsized version of VHS, using the same recording method and the same tape, but in a smaller cassette. It is possible to play VHS-C tapes in a regular VHS tape recorder by using an adapter. After Super VHS had appeared, a corresponding compact version, Super VHS-C, was released as well. Video8 is an indirect descendant of Betamax, using narrower tape and a smaller cassette. Because of its narrower tape and technical differences, it is not possible to develop an adapter from Video8 to Betamax. Video8 was later developed into Hi8, which provides better resolution similar to Super VHS.

The first consumer-level and lower-end professional ("prosumer") digital video recording format, introduced in 1995, used a smaller Digital Video Cassette (DVC).[22] The format was later renamed MiniDV to reflect the DV encoding scheme, but the tapes still carry "DVC" mark. Some later formats like DVC Pro from Panasonic reflect the original name. The DVC/MiniDV format provides broadcast-quality video and sophisticated nonlinear editing capability on consumer and some professional equipment and has been used on many films, like Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (2001, shot on a Canon XL1) and David Lynch's Inland Empire (2006, shot on a Sony PD170)

In 1999 Sony backported the DV recording scheme to 8-mm systems, creating Digital8. By using the same cassettes as Hi8, many Digital8 camcorders were able to play analog Video8/Hi8 recordings, preserving compatibility with already recorded analog video tapes. As of 2008, Digital8 camcorders have been removed from the equipment offered by Sony.

Sony introduced another camcorder cassette format called 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. In the late 2000s, MiniDV and its high-definition cousin, HDV, were the two most popular consumer/pro-sumer tape-based formats. The formats use different encoding methods, but the same cassette type. Since 2001, when MicroMV was presented, no new tape form factors have been introduced - with HDV (High Definition Video) offering consumers a bridge on HD video on MiniDV tape.

Future of tape

With advances in technology, videotape has moved past its original uses (original recording, editing, and broadcast playback) and is now primarily an archival medium. The death of tape for video recording was predicted as early as 1995, when the Avid nonlinear editing system was demonstrated storing video clips on hard disks. Yet videotape was still used extensively, especially by consumers, up until about 2004, when DVD-based camcorders became affordable at consumer level and domestic computers had large enough hard drives to store an acceptable amount of video.

Consumer camcorders have switched from being tape-based to tapeless machines that record video as computer files. Small hard disks and writable optical discs have been used, with solid-state memory such as SD cards being the current market leader. There are two primary advantages: First, copying a tape recording onto a computer or other video machine occurs in real time (e.g. a ten-minute video would take ten minutes to copy); since tapeless camcorders record video as computer-ready data files, the files can simply be copied onto a computer. Second, tapeless camcorders, and those using solid-state memory in particular, are far simpler mechanically and so are more reliable.

Despite these conveniences, tape is still used extensively with filmmakers and television networks because of its longevity, low cost, and reliability. Master copies of visual content are often stored on tape for these reasons, particularly by users who cannot afford to move to tapeless machines. Professional users such as broadcast television were still using tape heavily in the mid- to late 2000s, but tapeless formats like DVCPRO P2, XDCAM and AVCHD, are gaining broader acceptance.

While live recording has migrated to solid state (Panasonic P2, Sony SR MASTER or XDCAM-EX), optical disc (Sony's XDCAM) and hard disks, the high cost of solid state and the limited shelf life of hard-disk drives make them less desirable for archival use, for which tape is still used. As of 2016, some news and production camera crews still have cameras that use tape formats, even in HD.


  1. ^ In fact, the quadruplex format can only reproduce recognizable pictures when the tape is playing at normal speed.[18]
  2. ^ Later machines had longer life and used delay lines to compensate for the differences in the four heads.
  3. ^ 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 videotape of an entertainment program known to exist (and the second-oldest color videotape known to survive, the oldest being the May 1958 dedication of the WRC-TV studios in Washington, D.C.). In 1976, NBC's 50th anniversary special included an excerpt from a 1957 color special starring Donald O'Connor; despite some obvious technical problems, the color tape was remarkably good.


  1. ^ "Tape Recording Used by Filmless 'Camera'", The New York Times, Nov. 12, 1951, p. 21.
  2. ^ Eric D. Daniel, C. Denis Mee, and Mark H. Clark (eds.), Magnetic Recording: The First 100 Years, IEEE Press, 1998, p. 141. ISBN 0-07-041275-8
  3. ^ "Tape-Recorded TV Nears Perfection", The New York Times, Dec. 31, 1952, p. 10.
  4. ^ "New Deal on TV Seen at Parley", The New York Times, May 1, 1953, p. 30.
  5. ^ "Magnetic Tape Used By RCA to Photograph Television Program", The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 2, 1953, p. 1.
  6. ^ "Color TV on Tape", Popular Mechanics, April 1954, p. 157.
  7. ^ Stewart Wolpin, "The Race to Video" Archived 2011-04-04 at the Wayback Machine, Invention & Technology, autumn 1994.
  8. ^ "TV Goes to Tape", Popular Science, Feb. 1960, p. 238.
  9. ^ Ed Reitan, RCA-NBC Firsts in Color Television (commented) Archived 2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ SMPTE Journal: Publication of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Volume 96, Issues 1-6; Volume 96, page 256, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
  11. ^ Daniel et al., p. 148.
  12. ^ World's First Helical Scan Video Tape Recorder, Toshiba
  13. ^ a b c "Charles P. Ginsburg". Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Vol. 7. 1994: The National Academies Press, Washington DC.
  14. ^ Ampex Corporation, Ampex Chronology Archived 2007-07-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Daily N.B.C. Show Will Be on Tape", New York Times, Jan. 18, 1957, p. 31.
  16. ^ "Industry Agrees to Standardize Tape Recording on Ampex Lines", Billboard, Oct. 28, 1957, p. 3.
  17. ^ "He Invented Instant Replay, The TV Trick We Now Take For Granted", Morning Edition, NPR, January 20, 2015
  18. ^ Wink Hackman; Expert training for Sony MVS users worldwide Retrieved September 19, 2015
  19. ^ Elen, Richard G. "TV Technology". BFI Screenonline.
  20. ^ "Philips N1500, N1700 and V2000 systems". Rewind Museum. Vision International. 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  21. ^ Sun, Yazhou; Yan, Sophia (2016-07-22). "The last VCR will be manufactured this month". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  22. ^ "DVC Product Probe".

External links

Akai videotape format

The 1/4 inch Akai is a portable helical scan EIA and CCIR analog recording video tape recorder (VTR) with two video record heads on the scanning drum. The units were available with an optional RF modulator to play back through a TV set, as well as a detachable video monitor. The Akai Electric Ltd. VTR plant was in Tokyo, Japan.


Beta (UK: , US: ; uppercase Β, lowercase β, or cursive ϐ; Ancient Greek: βῆτα, translit. bē̂ta or Greek: βήτα vita) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 2. In Ancient Greek, beta represented the voiced bilabial plosive /b/. In Modern Greek, it represents the voiced labiodental fricative /v/. Letters that arose from beta include the Roman letter ⟨B⟩ and the Cyrillic letters ⟨Б⟩ and ⟨В⟩.


Betamax (also called Beta, as in its logo) is a consumer-level analog-recording and cassette format of magnetic tape for video. It was developed by Sony and was released in Japan on May 10, 1975. The first Betamax device introduced in the United States was the LV-1901 console, which included a 19-inch (48 cm) color monitor, and appeared in stores in early November 1975. The cassettes contain 0.50-inch-wide (12.7 mm) videotape in a design similar to that of the earlier, professional 0.75-inch-wide (19 mm), U-matic format. Betamax is obsolete, having lost the videotape format war to VHS. Despite this, Betamax recorders would not be discontinued until 2002, while new Betamax cassettes were available until March 2016, when Sony stopped making and selling them.Like the rival videotape format VHS (introduced in Japan by JVC in October 1976 and in the United States by RCA in August 1977), Betamax has no guard band and uses azimuth recording to reduce crosstalk. According to Sony's history webpages, the name had a double meaning: beta is the Japanese word used to describe the way in which signals are recorded on the tape; and the shape of the lowercase Greek letter beta (β) resembles the course of the tape through the transport. The suffix -max, from the word "maximum", was added to suggest greatness.

In 1977, Sony issued the first long-play Betamax VCR, the SL-8200. This VCR had two recording speeds: normal, and the newer half speed. This provided two hours' recording on

the L-500 Beta videocassette. The SL-8200 was to compete against the VHS VCRs, which allowed up to 4, and later 6 and 8, hours of recording on one cassette.Sanyo marketed a version as Betacord, which also was casually called "Beta". In addition to Sony and Sanyo, Beta-format video recorders were manufactured and sold by Toshiba, Pioneer, Murphy, Aiwa, and NEC. The Zenith Electronics Corporation and WEGA Corporations contracted with Sony to produce VCRs for their product lines. The department stores Sears (in the United States and Canada) and Quelle (in Germany) sold Beta-format VCRs under their house brands, as did the RadioShack chain of electronic stores. Betamax and VHS competed in a fierce format war, which saw VHS win in most markets.

DCT (videocassette format)

DCT is a digital recording component video videocassette format developed and introduced by Ampex in 1992. It was based on the D1 format, and unlike the uncompressed recording scheme of D1, it was the first digital videotape format to use data compression. Like D1 (and D2), it uses a similar cassette loaded with 3/4" (19mm) width tape.

One of the models of VCR released for the format was the Ampex DCT-1700D.

The type of data compression used by the format, discrete cosine transform (DCT), shares the same acronym as the format, but the meaning is different for the latter (the format's acronym meaning Data Component Technology).DST (Data Storage Technology), a data-only version of DCT, was also developed by Ampex at the same time for the backup and archiving of data from servers and other enterprise-oriented IT systems.

Dex, Lies, and Videotape

"Dex, Lies, and Videotape" is the sixth episode of the second season and eighteenth overall episode of the American television drama series Dexter, which first aired on 4 November 2007 on Showtime in the United States. The episode was written by Lauren Gussis and was directed by Nick Gomez.

Friends (season 8)

The eighth season of Friends, an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, premiered on NBC on September 27, 2001. Friends was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The season contains 24 episodes and concluded airing on May 16, 2002. This season had an average of 24.5 million viewers, and was the most watched TV show of the 2001–02 television season.

IVC videotape format

IVC 2 inch Helical scan was a high-end broadcast quality helical scan analog recording VTR format developed by International Video Corporation (IVC), and introduced in 1975. Previously, IVC had made a number of 1 inch Helical VTRs. IVC saw a chance to make a VTR that would have the quality of the then-standard 2 inch Quadruplex videotape format but with the advantages of helical scan. They then developed a VTR using this technology, the IVC Model 9000.


Kinescope , shortened to kine , also known as telerecording in Britain, is a recording of a television program on motion picture film, directly through a lens focused on the screen of a video monitor. The process was pioneered during the 1940s for the preservation, re-broadcasting and sale of television programmes before the use of commercial broadcast-quality videotape became prevalent for these purposes.

Typically, the term can refer to the process itself, the equipment used for the procedure (a 16 mm or 35 mm movie camera mounted in front of a video monitor, and synchronized to the monitor's scanning rate), or a film made using the process. Kinescopes were the only practical way to preserve live television broadcasts prior to the introduction of videotape in 1956. A small number of theatrically released feature films have also been produced as kinescopes.The term kinescope originally referred to the cathode ray tube used in television receivers, as named by inventor Vladimir K. Zworykin in 1929. Hence, the recordings were known in full as kinescope films or kinescope recordings. RCA was granted a trademark for the term (for its cathode ray tube) in 1932; it voluntarily released the term to the public domain in 1950.

Mac DeMarco

McBriare Samuel Lanyon "Mac" DeMarco (born Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV, April 30, 1990) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. DeMarco has released three full-length studio albums, 2 (2012), Salad Days (2014), and This Old Dog (2017), as well as two mini-LPs: his debut Rock and Roll Night Club (2012) and Another One (2015). His style of music has been described as "blue wave" and "slacker rock", or, by DeMarco himself, "jizz jazz".

Out of the Trees

Out of the Trees is a 1975 television sketch show pilot written by Graham Chapman, Douglas Adams and Bernard McKenna that was broadcast on BBC 2 in 1976. The show shared some of the stream-of-consciousness style of Monty Python's Flying Circus, of which Chapman was a member. Actors included Mark Wing-Davey and Simon Jones.

The concept of the show was, according to Chapman, to follow the exploits of two modern-day linguists who would travel around a Britain gripped in rapid decline. The linguists would comment upon the origins of a word or phrase, which would then be the genesis of a sketch. Although two scripts were written (the second a collaboration between Chapman and David Yallop), only one episode was ever filmed. It was broadcast only once by the BBC, with little promotion, at 10pm on Saturday 10 January 1976 opposite Match of the Day, and so was seen by relatively few people.

The videotape recording of the show has since been wiped, as used to be common for archived BBC shows, due to the relatively high cost of videotape at the time. The film segments shot in outdoor locations survive, and consist of a sketch titled "Severance of a Peony", and some inserts intended for an item about Genghis Khan. The former was included on the DVD for Adams's 1981 TV series adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and also appeared, rewritten as an anecdote, in Chapman's book A Liar's Autobiography. Rewrites of the Genghis Khan sketch appear in some editions of Adams's posthumously published work The Salmon of Doubt as the short story "The Private Life of Genghis Khan".

It was reported in 2005, by a representative posting on the forum at the archive television website The Mausoleum Club, that a videotape made by Chapman on an obsolete format had been given to the National Film Television and Videotape Archive. It was restored, a process which took 2 years and shown at the National Film Theatre on Saturday, 2 December 2006 as part of the Missing Believed Wiped event.

Quadruplex videotape

2-inch quadruplex video tape (also called 2″ quad, or just quad, for short) was the first practical and commercially successful analog recording video tape format. It was developed and released for the broadcast television industry in 1956 by Ampex, an American company based in Redwood City, California. The first videotape recorder using this format was built and created in the same year. This format revolutionized broadcast television operations and television production, since the only recording medium available to the TV industry before then was film used for kinescopes, which was much more costly to utilize and took time to develop at a film laboratory. In addition, kinescope images were usually of obviously inferior quality to the live television broadcast images they recorded, whereas quadruplex videotape preserved almost all the image detail of a live broadcast.

Since most United States West Coast network broadcast delays done by the television networks at the time were done with film kinescopes that needed time for developing, the networks wanted a more practical, cost-effective, and quicker way to time-shift television programming for later airing on the West Coast than the expense and time consumption of the processing and editing of film caused. Faced with these challenges, broadcasters sought to adapt magnetic tape recording technology (already in use for recording audio) for use with television as well.

The term "quadruplex" refers to the use of four magnetic record/reproduce heads mounted on a headwheel spinning transversely (width-wise) across the tape at a rate of 14,400 (for 960 recorded stripes per second) rpm for NTSC 525 lines/30fps-standard quad decks, and at 15,000 (for 1,000 stripes per second) rpm for those using the PAL 625 lines/25fps video standard. This method is called quadrature scanning, as opposed to the helical scan transport used by later videotape formats. The tape ran at a speed of either 7.5 or 15 in (190.5 or 381.0 mm) per second for NTSC 525/30 video recording, or 15.625 in (396.875 mm) per second for PAL 625/25 video; the audio, control, and cue tracks were recorded in a standard linear fashion near the edges of the tape. The cue track was used either as a second audio track, or for recording cue tones or time code for linear video editing.A typical 4,800 ft (1,463 m) reel of 2 in (51 mm) quad tape holds approximately one hour of recorded material at 15 inches per second.

The quadruplex format employs segmented recording; each transversely recorded video track on a 2-inch quad videotape holds one-sixteenth (NTSC) or one-twentieth (PAL) of a field of video. (For NTSC systems, the math suggests 15 transverse head passes, each consisting of 16 lines of video, are required to complete one field.) This meant that 2-inch quad did not support "trick-play" functions, such as still, shuttle, and reverse or variable-speed playback. (In fact, the quadruplex format could only reproduce recognizable pictures when the tape was playing at normal speed.)) However, it was capable of producing extremely high-quality images containing about 400 horizontal lines of video resolution, and remained the de facto industry standard for television broadcasting from its inception in 1956 to the mid-1980s, when newer, smaller, and lower-maintenance videotape formats superseded it.There were three different variations of 2-inch quad:

Low-band, which was the first variety of quad introduced by Ampex in 1956,

High-band, which used a wider bandwidth for recording video to the tape, resulting in higher-resolution video from the video tape recorder (VTR), and

Super high-band, which used a pilot tone for better timebase stability, and higher coercivity tape.Most quad machines made later in the 1960s and 1970s by Ampex can play back both low and high-band 2-inch quad tape.

Rodney King

Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012) was a construction worker turned writer and activist after surviving an act of police brutality by the Los Angeles Police Department. On March 3, 1991, King was violently beaten by LAPD officers during his arrest for fleeing and evading on California State Route 210. A civilian, George Holliday, filmed the incident from his nearby balcony and sent the footage to local news station KTLA. The footage clearly showed King being beaten repeatedly, and the incident was covered by news media around the world.

The four officers were tried on charges of use of excessive force; three were acquitted, the jury failed to reach a verdict on one charge for the fourth. Within hours of the acquittals, the 1992 Los Angeles Riots started, sparked by outrage among African Americans over the verdicts and longstanding social issues. The rioting lasted six days, during which 63 people were killed and 2,373 were injured; it ended only after the California Army National Guard, the United States Army, and the United States Marine Corps provided reinforcements to re-establish control.

The federal government prosecuted a separate civil rights case, obtaining grand jury indictments for violations by the four officers of King's civil rights. Their trial in a federal district court ended on April 16, 1993, with two of the officers being found guilty and sentenced to prison. The other two were acquitted of the charges. The city of Los Angeles awarded King $3.8 million in damages, in a separate suit. He struggled to start a business, but was not successful. In 2012, he was found dead in his swimming pool two months after publishing his memoir.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (styled as sex, lies, and videotape) is a 1989 American independent drama film that brought director Steven Soderbergh to prominence. The plot tells the story of a troubled man who videotapes women discussing their lives and sexuality, and his impact on the relationships of a troubled married couple and the wife's younger sister.

The film won the Palme d'Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, and was influential in revolutionizing the independent film movement in the early 1990s. In 2006, Sex, Lies, and Videotape was added to the United States Library of Congress' National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Type A videotape

1 inch type A (designated Type A by SMPTE) is a reel-to-reel helical scan analog recording videotape format developed by Ampex in 1965, that was one of the first standardized reel-to-reel magnetic tape formats in the 1 inch (25 mm) width; most others of that size at that time were proprietary. It was capable of 350 lines.Type A was developed as mainly an industrial and institutional format, where it saw the most success. It was not widely used for broadcast television, since it did not meet Federal Communications Commission (FCC) specifications for broadcast videotape formats; the only format passing the FCC's muster at the time was the then-industry-standard 2-inch quadruplex.

The Type A format received broad use by the White House Communications Agency from 1966 to 1969. The WHCA, under U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, used the format to videotape television broadcasts off the air or from direct White House feeds. The WHCA recorded programs and events including television appearances by President Johnson, special news broadcasts and news interview programs. Beginning on April 1, 1968, the WHCA taping system was expanded to also include daily morning and evening news programs, both network and local. When U.S. President Richard M. Nixon succeeded Johnson in office in 1969, the WHCA's Type A recording system was continued until it was gradually phased out, later that year, in favor of a recording system using a 2 inch format.Early VTRs were black-and-white (B/W) only, later VTRs supported color television, with a heterodyne playback. Still later units had time base correction playback, like the VPR-1 that could be used at television station and post-production houses.

The VPR-1 had several problems, it did not record the vertical blanking interval, which is why it was not compliant to FCC broadcast standards. The video quality was not as good as other broadcast VTRs. Thus Sony and Ampex agreed to make a SMPTE approved type C format VTR (which was based on Type A). Hitachi also later made a C format VTR.

Type B videotape

1 inch type B VTR (designated Type B by SMPTE) is a reel-to-reel analog recording video tape format developed by the Bosch Fernseh division of Bosch in Germany in 1976. The magnetic tape format became the broadcasting standard in continental Europe, but adoption was limited in the United States and United Kingdom, where the Type C videotape VTR was met with greater success.The tape speed allowed 96 minutes on a large reel (later 120 minutes), and used 2 record/playback (R/P) heads on the drum rotating at 9000 RPM with a 190 degree wrap around a very small head drum, recording 52 video lines per head segment. Video is recorded on an FM signal with a bandwidth of 5.5 MHz. Three longitudinal audio tracks are recorded on the tape as well: two audio and one Linear timecode (LTC) track. BCN 50 VTRs were used at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.The format required an optional, and costly, digital framestore in addition to the normal analog timebase corrector to do any "trick-play" operations, such as slow motion/variable-speed playback, frame step play, and visible shuttle functions. This was because, unlike 1 inch type C which recorded one field per helical scan track on the tape, Type B segmented each field to 5 or 6 tracks per field according to whether it was a 525 (NTSC) or 625 (PAL) line machine.The picture quality was excellent, and standard R/P machines, digital frame store machines, reel-to-reel portables, random access cart machines (for playback of short-form video material such as television commercials), and portable cart versions were marketed.Echo Science Corporation, a United States company, made units like a BCN 1 for the U.S. military for a short time in the 1970s. Echo Science models were Pilot 1, Echo 460, Pilot 260.

Type C videotape

1 inch Type C (designated Type C by SMPTE) is a professional reel-to-reel analog recording helical scan videotape format co-developed and introduced by Ampex and Sony in 1976. It became the replacement in the professional video and broadcast television industries for the then-incumbent 2 inch quadruplex videotape (2 inch Quad for short) open-reel format, due to the smaller size, comparative ease of operation (vs. 2 inch) and slightly higher video quality of 1 inch type C video tape recorder (VTR). 1 inch type C required less maintenance downtime than quadruplex videotape, the VTR did need the use of a TBC to provide a stable picture video signal.

1 inch Type C is capable of "trick-play" functions such as still, shuttle, and variable-speed playback, including slow motion. 2 inch quadruplex videotape machines lacked these capabilities, due to the segmented manner in which it recorded video tracks onto the magnetic tape. Also, 1 inch Type C VTRs required much less maintenance (and used less power and space) than did 2 inch machines.

1 inch Type C records composite video at a very high video quality that is superior to contemporary color-under formats such as U-matic, and of comparable quality to analog component video formats like Betacam and MII. Both analog component formats were notoriously fussy and trouble-prone, so in practice Type C gave a stable, more reliable picture than the broadcast quality analog cassette-based videotape formats. Because television was broadcast as a composite signal, there was no real downside to Type C in television broadcasting and distribution.

1 inch tape gained numerous uses in television production including outside broadcasts where it was used for instant replays and creating programme titles. 1 inch machines were considerable smaller and more reliable than preceding two inch versions and were seen by operators as a major technological breakthrough. Due to this smaller size, it was possible for OB crews to transport and use multiple machines, allowing for much more complex editing to be done on site for use within the programme.. The quality and reliability of 1 inch Type C made it a mainstay in television and video production in television studios for almost 20 years, before being supplanted by more reliable digital videocassette formats like DVCAM, D-1, D-2, and DVCPro. 1 inch Type C was also widely used for the mastering of early LaserDisc titles. It was replaced in that role by the digital D-2 videocassette format in the late 1980s.


U-matic is an analogue recording videocassette format first shown by Sony in prototype in October 1969, and introduced to the market in September 1971. It was among the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette, as opposed to the various reel-to-reel or open-reel formats of the time. Unlike most other cassette-based tape formats, the supply and take-up reels in the cassette turn in opposite directions during playback, fast-forward, and rewind: one reel would run clockwise while the other would run counter-clockwise. A locking mechanism integral to each cassette case secures the tape hubs during transportation to keep the tape wound tightly on the hubs. Once the cassette is taken off the case, the hubs are free to spin. A spring-loaded tape cover door protects the tape from damage; when the cassette is inserted into the VCR, the door is released and is opened, enabling the VCR mechanism to spool the tape around the spinning video drum. Accidental recording is prevented by the absence of a red plastic button fitted to a hole on the bottom surface of the tape; removal of the button disabled recording.

Video tape recorder

A video tape recorder (VTR) is a tape recorder designed to record and playback video and audio material on magnetic tape. The early VTRs are open-reel devices which record on individual reels of 2-inch-wide (5.08 cm) tape. They were used in television studios, serving as a replacement for motion picture film stock and making recording for television applications cheaper and quicker. Beginning in 1963, videotape machines made instant replay during televised sporting events possible. Improved formats, in which the tape was contained inside a videocassette, were introduced around 1969; the machines which play them are called videocassette recorders. Agreement by Japanese manufacturers on a common standard recording format, so cassettes recorded on one manufacturer's machine would play on another's, made a consumer market possible, and the first consumer videocassette recorder was introduced by Sony in 1971.

Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus

Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus (VERA) was an early analog recording videotape format developed from 1952 by the BBC under project manager Dr Peter Axon.

In order to record high frequencies, a tape must move rapidly with respect to the recording or playback head. The frequencies used by video signals are so high that the tape/head speed is on the order of several meters per second (tens of feet per second), an order of magnitude faster than professional analog audio tape recording. The BBC solved the problem by using 52-centimetre (20 in) reels of magnetic tape that passed static heads at a speed of 5.08 metres per second (16.7 ft/s).

VERA was capable of recording about 15 minutes (e.g. 4,572 meters) of 405-line black-and-white video per reel, and the picture tended to wobble because the synchronizing pulses that keep the picture stable were not recorded accurately enough.

In order to cope with 625-line PAL or SECAM colour transmissions VERA would likely have required an even faster, and possibly unfeasible, tape speed.

Development began in 1952, but VERA was not perfected until 1958. It was given a live demonstration on-air in Panorama on April 14, 1958; Richard Dimbleby, seated by a clock, talked for a couple of minutes about the new method of vision recording with an instant playback, and then the tape was wound back and replayed. The picture was slightly watery, but reasonably watchable, and instant playback was something completely new.

However, by this time it had already been rendered obsolete by the Ampex quadruplex video recording system. This used 5-centimetre (2.0 in) wide tapes running at a speed of 38 cm (15 in) per second. The rapid tape-to-head speed of quadruplex videotape was achieved by spinning the heads rapidly on a drum: the system used, with variations, on all video tape systems ever since, as well as DAT.

The BBC scrapped VERA and quickly adopted the Ampex system. It has been suggested that the BBC only continued to develop VERA as a bargaining tool, so it would be offered some of the first Ampex machines produced in unstated exchange for abandoning further work on a potential rival.

Video recorded to film

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