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Ampex Video Recorder VR1000


Video Recording

  • Ampex Video Recorder VR1000
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  • Creator:

    Ampex Corporation

  • Date:


  • Description:

    Ampex VR1000 2 inch quadruplex video recorder (tape transport only shown here), from 1959.

    For years broadcasters had dreamed of a magnetic tape recorder which would record TV programmes. Several companies (including the BBC) had built prototype machines which proved impractical. In 1956 the Ampex Corporation in the USA unveiled the world's first practical video recorder, the VR1000. It recorded a black and white picture on a 2 inch wide video tape and initially had a recording time of 60 minutes per reel. The picture was recorded across the tape from top to bottom using four heads on a rotating drum (Quadruplex recording).

    What you see here is only about a third of the equipment. There are two massive racks containing all the system electronics. This machine changed forever the way in which TV programmes were made.