Transfer 2" Quad Video Tape

Transfer 2" Quad Video Tape Information:

DC VIDEO provides the highest quality 2" quad videotape transfers and video reformatting possible using the third generation Ampex AVR-1, AVR-2, and AVR-3 videotape recorders. Color and black & white programs on these obsolete videotape formats will look amazing clear and sharp using our proprietary process of tape restoration, transfer, and digitization. By applying clean analog to digital conversion techniques, the composite video signal in NTSC, PAL, or SECAM will be decoded to one or several of a variety of new, updated formats such as Digital Betacam, DV Cam, DVD, or data files such as QuickTime or .AVI on hard drives or LTO digital tape. NTSC/PAL/SECAM color standards along with 525/625 line systems are fully supported in 2" quad with standards conversions if requested.

The workflow for all 2" quad transfers begins with a physical tape inspection. At this time, telltale signs of tape damage, dirt, mold and mildew plus the dreaded glue foam flange syndrome may become evident. Once the tape has been cleaned, baked (where needed) and repacked along with flange readiness, the transfer is started. Our third generation Ampex machines far exceed the performance of earlier models of videotape players due to advances in electronics and tape transports. Aging videotapes, some exceeding 50 years old, require smooth and gentle handling by experienced personnel who know the fragile state that exist on many of these one-of-a-kind recordings. Knowing what to do on a moments notice should a problem occur is one of the keys to a successful tape transfer. Each videotape is setup individually using standard practices. In the absence of color bars and tone as a test signal off-tape, a subjective determination of what constitutes good audio and video quality is made using calibrated CRT color monitors and calibrated waveform/vectorscope displays. All observations of picture and audio content in made in a controlled environment (a quiet setting with balanced lighting) so as to fully monitor all content in detail. If something unusual is observed, it is noted for further review and re-transferred if warranted. Once a successful video transfer has been made, digital videotape clones, additional files, and other misc. dubs can be made from this new digital master. At this point, the client is contacted for last minute delivery spec. changes, labeling, and shipping options.

Videotape Format: 2” Quadruplex (Known as Two Inch Quad)

In use: 1956-1985 approx. (much longer in some smaller markets)

Recording mode: Analog audio/video. Transverse scan, segmented picture.

Videotape Width: 2"

Features: Good quality analog video. Mono audio (although some third generation machines had stereo capability). Had a cue channel/time code track. Costly to purchase, operate, and maintain. Required skilled operators.

Existing machine longevity: Very low.

Videotape Longevity: Very low.

Prior usage: Broadcast and closed circuit mastering, duplication, field recording, & post production. Was the first and only viable broadcast standard for over twenty years.

Notes on 2" Quad...With an immediate need to replace filmed kinescope recordings, the Ampex Corporation introduced the two inch quad machine in 1956 (the VR 1000). The enthusiasm for this new invention was overwhelming, and machines could not be manufactured fast enough. The “miracle of videotape” had been born. RCA started building prototypes ( TRT X) in 1957, and eventually Toshiba and Bosch-Fernseh also manufactured their own. Early machines tended to have maintenance issues, incompatibly problems, but improvements were made in leaps and bounds. RCA demonstrated color capability in 1958. All machines recorded a low band video standard, eventually leading to a low band color standard (which suffered through limitations), but not before RCA had experimented with its own color recording standard, which was incompatible with Ampex. In 1964, Ampex introduced high band color in the second-generation machines (VR 2000), which greatly improved performance. With the widespread use of color broadcasting, and the growth of video tape productions and commercials, among other uses, two inch quad videotape continued to gain popularity with quality and operational improvements, well into the late 70’s, when one inch type C finally became a workable alternative for many of quads production and post production tasks. The last of the 2" quad use generally was considered to be the random access capability of the commercial quad cart machines (Ampex ACR 25, RCA TCR 100), some of which continued to operate well into the 1990’s.

Archival, Rare and Obsolete Videotape Remastering, Restoration and Duplication Services