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Ampex VR1000 video recorder, c 1956.

Ampex VR1000 video recorder, c 1956.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm


In 1952, Ampex, an American manufacturer of broadcast audio tape recorders, hired a team that included Charles Ginsberg (b 1920) and Ray Dolby (b 1933), to look into video recording. The biggest problem they encountered was how to handle tape speed due to the high speeds involved. This problem was solved using a rotating head; a solution which was kept secret until their demonstration in April 1956. The first broadcast by CBS took place seven months later. By 1958 a version of the video recorder was available in the UK.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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