First Color Videotape 1958

This video is the oldest surviving color videotape recording. A camera crew recorded this on May 22, 1958, and even though the cold war was raging, these were simpler times. In the video President Dwight Eisenhower dedicates NBC’s WRC-TV new color television studios in Washington D.C.

The color is turned on at 1:23. They used 2 inch wide videotape which played in a two-inch quadruplex videotape machine. Quad employed a transverse four-head system which scanned the two-inch tape across its width. Separate linear heads recorded the sound track.

Before Videotape

Before videotape the only way to record a TV show was with a kinescope which was a film recording. The film was broadcast using a live video camera focused on the film screen. The invention of 2 inch videotape led to a much better way to record and save a performance. Many kinescopes of early TV shows have been preserved and are available on YouTube. The next color videotape format would not come until 1976-78. This was 1 inch videotape.

Today videotape is rarely used for recording, editing or playback, but it is still used as an archival medium. Tapeless machines now record video as computer files to hard disks, optical discs and to solid-state memory such as SD cards which is the current market leader. Tapeless machines have many advantages, one of the chief advantages is that there is much less mechanics. This makes them more reliable as there are no tape mechanisms to jam, break or go out of alignment.

Tape is still used by filmmakers and TV networks because it is inexpensive, reliable and it lasts. Masters of TV shows and other productions are often stored on tape for these reasons, but tapeless formats like DVCPRO P2, XDCAM and AVCHD, are gaining broader acceptance for production and storage. However, the high cost of solid state and the limited shelf life of hard-disk drives makes them less desirable for archival storage. The last VCR was manufactured in July 2016.


Keep Reading...

Brilliant Video Sells Used Honda for $20,000

    This video has had over 6 million views in two weeks. They were asking $500 for the car. They received from Carmax a hilarious-but-real offer to buy the car for $20,000. They accepted and sold the car to Carmax. Here’s the Carmax video that bid $20,000 for the car.

Read More
google earth

Google Earth Gets Major Update

Before you check out the new Google Earth, make sure you are first running Google Chrome on your desktop or Android on your phone. iOS will be available soon. Last year Google released a VR version of Google Earth. This new version is no longer a separate app, but a web site https://www.google.com/earth/ . This […]

Read More
Commercial Drone Use Now Legal

FAA Approves Drone Use For Real Estate Company

The FAA approved a realtor to use a drone for promoting real estate. He is authorized to use a specific drone. He must

Read More

Unusual, Interesting Things To Do With Your Go Pro

Interesting things to do with a small video camera.

Read More


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award