MNHK Museum of Broadcasting
Progress of VTRs for Broadcasting Program Production
- Appearance of the VTR
- When NHK began television broadcasting in 1953, programs were broadcast live.
Video recording became possible in 1956 when AMPEX Corporation in the United States announced a two-inch VTR. This device resulted in a great change in program production methods. The NHK Technical Research Laboratories (currently the NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories) began research on VTR tape drive mechanisms, magnetic heads, and other devices in 1955 and provided technical assistance to domestic manufacturers.
- Evolution of the VTR
- Over time, VTRs became smaller and lighter as the tape width was reduced from 2 inches to 1 inch, and then to ¾ inch and ½ inch, and the mechanism was changed from open reel to cassette, making the equipment easier to handle. For news reports, film cameras were used from the beginning of television broadcasting, but in late 1970, with the emergence of compact electronic cameras combined with compact VTRs, we entered the age of electronic news gathering (ENG). In the 1980s, cameras integrated with VTRs in a single unit came into common use.
- Digital VTR
- The recording format also evolved from analog to digital, enabling multiple edits without loss of image quality. When HD production began in 1982, the
VTR used for HD was a large stationary machine that used reels of 1-inch tape, but great progress was made toward a more compact form and integration
with the camera in each successive generation.
In the exhibit, we will look back at the equipment that was used as the VTR changed over time.