Type C videotape

Type C videotape
SONY BVH 2000.jpg
Sony BVH-2000 1 inch VTR
Media typeMagnetic Tape
EncodingNTSC, PAL
Read mechanismHelical scan
Write mechanismHelical scan
Developed bySony
UsageTelevision production

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, and did not require time base correction to produce a stable 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.[1]. 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.

Some Ampex models

  • VPR-2 1976, studio model
  • VPR-20 1977, Portable[2]
  • VPR-2A studio model
  • VPR-2B studio model[3]
  • VPR-80 studio model
  • VPR-6 studio model
  • SMC-60 slow Motion system
  • VPR-3 studio model, with air system like AVR-1
  • XVR-80 wideband VTR
  • VPR-5 portable made in jointly with Nagra
Other Languages
Deutsch: 1 Zoll C
español: 1" tipo C
日本語: 1インチVTR
русский: Формат Ц