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...

Logmar Super 8 Film Camera

First New Super 8 Camera in 30 Years Features Film AND Digital Technology

New Super 8 Film Camera with XLR audio and digital technology. First new Super 8 in 30 years.

Read More

A Brilliant Marketing Video For Young Girls

Barbie dolls have often been criticized as a poor role model for young girls. There were comments about Barbie’s unrealistic body standards and a Computer Engineer Barbie who required the help of her male counterparts to get rid of a virus. And there were many other accusations made against Mattel who produced the Barbie doll. […]

Read More
NTSB says drones subject to FAA

NTSB says Drone Flights Subject to FAA Regulations

NTSB says drone flights are subject to FAA regulations. Disappoints aerial videographers who fly quadcopters and fixed wing model aircraft.

Read More
2015 Oscar Nominations

2015 Academy Award Nominations

2015 Academy Award Nominations, Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Cinematography, Short Film, Editing, Screenplay, et al.

Read More


Facebook Comments

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