The Physics
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Speed of Videotape

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Videotape. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: from Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service. May 2005. "The transverse format achieves 1,500-in.-per-minute head-to-tape speed, necessary for high picture quality" 0.635m/s
(head to tape speed)
Technical Reference: Videotape recording formats [pdf]. January 2000.
Head to tape speed 41.27 m/s
Tape thickness 38 microns
Linear Tape Speed 397 mm/s
"The first commercially adopted VTR format, Introduced by Ampex in 1956. Very high head tape speed was necessary to achieve the necessary high frequency response despite the limited short wavelength response of the conventional ferric oxide tapes available at the time."
41.27 m/s
(head to tape speed)
(linear tape speed)
Tim Stoffel. Videotape formats. October 2004.
Head to Tape Speed 9.9 m/s
Tape Thickness 8.8 microns
Playing time 3.5 hrs
9.9 m/s
(head to tape speed)
0.018831 m/s
(linear tape speed)

Videotape is a means of recording television pictures accompanying sound onto magnetic tape, which in 1956 became famous after being introduced by Ampex in the United States. Ampex created Quadruplex, the first practical professional videotape machine. The first practical professional videotape machines in America were useful for recording the large amount of information used in television pictures and were called "Transverse Videotapes". Transverse videotapes achieve speeds of 1,500 inches per-minute on average (head-to-tape speed) which is equal to 0.635 m/s. As time progressed, methods of development improved the quality of the videotape. An example of such methods is "striping" or "Helical Scan". A helical scan video head rotates against the moving tape and is a method of recording higher bandwidth signals on video recorders and digital audio tape. Helical formatted videotapes are most common and are used in VCRs. This method creates a more clear sound and picture of the videotape and is recorded as linear speeds.

Natalia Maldonado -- 2005