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...

GoPro HERO4 Session Camera

GoPro HERO4 Session Camera Price Cut From $399 to $199

GoPro HERO4 Session Camera Price Cut From $399 to $199 The GoPro HERO4 Session Camera is the smallest, lightest GoPro yet. It features easy one-button control to power up and capture videos or stills with one press. The camera captures 1080p60; 720p100; and 1440p30 video. This camera is waterproof down to 33 feet so it […]

Read More
New GoPros And A Drone

2 New GoPros And a Drone

GoPro introduces 2 new GoPros and a Drone. The new Hero 5 Black ($399 )includes a 2-inch touch screen display. The new Hero 5 Session ($299) is intended as an entry level camera. Both cameras have built-in waterproof casings, good for up to 10 meters. Both cameras can shoot 4K video at 30 frames. The […]

Read More

Incredible Movi Stabilizer, Game Changer?

The MōVI M10 is produced by Freefly Systems of Seattle WA. The device is a digital, 3-axis, gyro-stabilized camera gimbal.

Read More

YouTube Red Ad-Free

Here’s how YouTube Red describes their new offering: Enjoy ad-free and music videos whenever you sign in to YouTube or a YouTube app—on your mobile device, desktop, or enabled TV. Save videos and songs on your mobile device to watch offline. Connect with your favorite gamers without the ads. $9.99/month 1-month free trial. While we […]

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