In order to meet at increasing demand for digitally archiving very early low-guage video formats we need old technology!
Our latest acquisition is a Sony CV-2100ACE 1/2″ Helical Helical Scan B&W EIAJ VTR (Video Tape Recorder) dating from 1971. This is the exact same model as the first videotape recorder I ever used as a student in Plymouth in 1973. It replays and records Sony EIAJ “Low Density” video tapes and what’s absolutely amazing about this machine is that it still works after being in storage at the University of Reading (UK) for over 30 years!
What we’re finding is that the very old reel-to-reel helical scan half-inch videotape reels is that in almost every instance the tape itself requires lengthy heat treatment – known as “tape baking” in order to restore the tape binder – the layer of glue that binds the magnetic recording layer to the polyurethane backing. Over time, this layer absorbs moisture and causes the tape to stick to the playback heads and create massive problems. This condition, known in the audio and video industry as Sticky Shed Syndrome which requires a lengthy baking of the tape dehydrate the tape in order to re-bind the two layers. In our recent experience, this can take up to four days to achieve before the tape can be laced up onto a VTR and played reliably without squealing like a pig!
Tape Baking is something that we offer as well, of course. Please contact us to discuss methods and prices.