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
R. Maybury 1997 0711