1 inch Type C (designated Type C by
SMPTE) is a professional
videotape format co-developed and introduced by
Sony in 1976. It became the replacement in the professional
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
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.
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
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.