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COULDíVE BEEN A CONTENDER

 

THE V2000/VCC FORMAT

 

WHAT ARE YOU? I was the forgotten video cassette system in the VCR format wars of the early 1980ís

 

WHAT MADE YOU SO SPECIAL?

V2000 or Video Compact Cassette (VCC), was the first and still the only double-sided video cassette, with up to 4 hours recording time per side. However, the really clever bit was dynamic tracking, for noiseless still, slomo and fast picture search.

 

HOW DID THAT WORK?

The recording/replay heads were mounted on slabs of piezo-electric crystal, and they could be moved up and down, to accurately follow the magnetic tracks on the tape. It worked really well, and VHS has only just caught up, with JVCís Dynamic Drum.

 

WHAT ABOUT PICTURE QUALITY

That was good too, and later V2000 machines had stereo hi-fi sound as standard, long before it was a popular feature on VHS video recorders

 

WHEN DID IT GO WRONG?

VHS was already storming ahead, and Betamax was still doing well by the time I arrived on the scene in 1981. Early Philips VCRs were expensive, very unreliable and difficult to use. Grundig machines were a little better, but they were dear too. The only other models were badge-engineered Philips machines from ITT and Pye, they were also very unreliable.

 

HOW DID IT END?

It was all over, bar the shouting, by the mid 1980ís though by that time Philips had sorted themselves out and were making some really cracking V2000 machines. They even developed a portable deck, and there was talk of a compact camcorder cassette, a bit like VHS-C, but lack of interest from Japanese manufacturers and the software industry were the final nails in the coffin.  

 

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” R. Maybury 1997 0711

 

 

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