Video Archiving - Restoration - Remastering - Duplication - Transfer - Vintage - Antique - Conversion
Funai introduced the Compact Video Cassette (CVC) format in 1984.
The main selling point was that the small cassette size enabled a compact portable deck design capable of full color, as shown here. The format however was initially limited to a 30 minute recording time and used V30 CVC cassettes which was adequate for field recording but somewhat limited for situations not requiring portability. Later Funai released the V60 cassettes that allowed up to 60 minutes of recorded material.
The cassettes used 1/4" tape, which was more prone to dropouts than wider tape formats. Lower head writing speeds owing to a smaller head drum, resulted in lower signal to noise ratios. Even so, picture quality was similar to that of early VHS machines.
The supplied camera was it's real "Achilles heel" so to speak.. It employed an early color vidicon tube instead of a much better Saticon. When fed a broadcast quality composite video signal, the deck actually did a reasonably good job of reproducing the content.
The tape cassettes for the day were wonderfully small: measuring about 4.124" x 2.625" x .5" high - or roughly the same size as a standard compact audio cassette. In fact, at first glance, the cassettes are often confused with standard audio compact cassettes, as they are of similar size and appearance.
All CVC machines were manufactured by Funai who designed the hardware and owned the format patent. Under licensing agreement, many units were re-badged and sold under the Technicolor label. In an ironic twist: today, there are more surviving Technicolor tapes and decks, than there are Funai branded machines. Regardless of how they were badged and marketed, all came off the same Funai production line.
Perhaps a bit ahead of it's time; the format today is considered very rare and in immediate danger of extinction.
We were fortunate to acquire two brand new unopened units about 3 years ago, when a warehouse manager contacted us wondering if we might be interested in acquiring two brand new unopened units discovered in a corner. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity.... What a find !
1/4" Quarter Inch Tape
Head Helical Scan
Tape speed: 1.26 ips (32.1 mm/sec)
Video S/N: 43 dB (Y channel)
Resolution: 240 lines
Audio S/N: 40 dB
Audio Freq Response: 100Hz to 8 kHz
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