This VTR was a very successful component digital recorder. Made by Sony, it ushered in new possibilities for shooting and editing. Much better quality than Quad or 1″, it won over all who wanted top quality. Some of the features are four channels of digital audio, playback of analog Betacam tapes, excellent slo-mo and freeze frame and a reasonable price. It also was small enough to be moved by one person, important if you are doing a remote.
1″ Type “C” VTR
There was a desire to make a VTR that was cheaper than the Quad and offered additional features like picture in shuttle, slo-mo and freeze frame. Many different tape formats were tried but all lacked the broadcast quality that was needed. 1″ Type “C” fit the bill. Excellent quality, long head life, much cheaper than the Quadruplex and it had the stunt features required.
Our VPR-3s originally cost $100,000 each. These contain the Zeus Video Processor that improved picture quality and made dropouts invisible. Many call this model the finest 1″ VTR ever made. With the air guides, your tape floats on air, reducing friction and lessens any damage to your masters.
Analog Audio and Digital Transfers
You’ll get great digital transfers from analog audio using our 16-track, 2″ analog tape. Our Ampex MM-1100 is in great condition and we digitize through our high-quality Focusrite A/D converter. We usually make WAVE files and can put them into a Pro Tools session file. Some other machines include an Ampex 351 tube, full-track mono deck, an Ampex 440B full-track, half-track stereo and four-track on 1/2″. In addition are DAT, ADAT and DA-98 and even broadcast audio cart. See this chart to find out the tape length and time.
I’d suggest not using any consumer tape transports since they will provide inferior results and could damage your tape.
Excellent reproduction of VHS tapes is the goal of our system. This is one of the finest VHS players made, the Sony SLO-5800. It has a built in TBC with noise reduction and image enhancement. For the best S-VHS or standard VHS transfers, we can help make it great. It does not suffer from capacitor failure like so many Panasonic decks.
Of course this VTR makes standard VHS look as good as possible. It also offers Hi-Fi sound and has professional audio and video connectors.
To make a cheaper Betacam VTR, Sony made a digital VTR that has a little less quality, much longer tape length and a lower price. We used these VTRs for the first few seasons of “Big Brother” due to the excellent tape length in the cassette, up to three hours!. It stores video using MPEG 4:2:2 Profile@ML compression and compresses the video signal from approximately 180 Mbit/s to only 18 Mbit/s. It is an excellent player of analog Betacam tapes. Very popular with television news, you’ll see these VTRs all over a newsroom.
We have several of these decks and can pick and choose different models to find which one reproduces analog Betacam the best. Your tapes always get the best service and the best quality.
Invented in 1956 as the first broadcast television format, Quadruplex VTRs were in service until the early 1980s. These machines are difficult to operate and maintain and there are very few companies offering this transfer service today. We currently have five Quad VTRs in-house and are always looking for more. Parts are becoming rare and I bet the tapes will last longer than the machines. If you have Quad tapes still waiting on the shelf today, I’d recommend transfer as soon as possible.