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Compact Video Cassette

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Title: Compact Video Cassette  
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Subject: Video, Recording, Funai, HD NVD, Digital Multilayer Disk
Collection: 1980 Introductions, Discontinued Media Formats, Recording, Video Storage
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Compact Video Cassette

Technicolor Compact Video Cassette (CVC)
Technicolor Compact Video Cassette (CVC)
Media type Magnetic Tape
Encoding NTSC, PAL, SECAM
Read mechanism Helical scan
Write mechanism Helical scan
Standard Interlaced video
Developed by Funai, Technicolor
Usage Home movies

Compact Video Cassette (CVC) was one of the first analog recording videocassette formats to use a tape smaller than its earlier predecessors of VHS and Betamax, and was developed by Funai Electronics of Japan for portable use. The first model of VCR for the format was the Model 212, introduced in 1980 by both Funai and Technicolor as they had created a joint venture to manufacture and introduce the format to the home movie market. The system, which included the VCR and a hand held video camera, was very small and lightweight for its time.

The CVC format used a cassette slightly larger than an audio cassette (approximately 105x66x13mm) and was loaded with 6.5mm magnetic tape. Unlike most other video cassette formats that have two spools of fixed diameter, the cassette was smaller as the space vacated by one spool was used as the other spool filled up, similar to a standard audio cassette. The initial V30 tapes ran for 30 minutes, then later V45 (45 minute) and V60 (60 minute) models were introduced. The format was released for NTSC, PAL and SECAM television systems (with cassettes labelled "VExx") and, like most analogue systems, tapes had to be played on machines using the same TV system as the recording.

Funai 212 came with a JVC model GX-44E hand held Vidicon tube camera with a zoom lens. Model 212D was the NTSC version and 212E was PAL for Europe. The deck and electronics from the 212 were also used to build the model 335 Technicolor Video Showcase, which included a colour video monitor, speaker and contained an internal 12V battery. A lightweight television tuner pack was available to enable the 212 to record off-air television programming, but since it contained no timer it was not possible to set it for unattended recordings. Grundig also produced a CVC-format VCR for the PAL market, the VP100, based on the 212E but smaller. The VP100 weighed only 2.3 kg with battery, and had a separate power pack. Model 212 was also available in France as a SECAM recorder, the variant letter for this model is unknown. SECAM tapes play in monochrome on PAL players.

Technicolor hoped that CVC would compete with 8mm film. But the Vidicon tube used for the bundled camera had poor low-light sensitivity, limiting its usefulness for home indoor use. Worse, the quality of the tape stock was low and prone to dropouts (appearing as lines of white snow in the video) during video playback, which showed up more than on wider tape formats. As the decks aged, the mechanism's loading ring would frequently fail to complete its intended travel, so rendering the unit unusable.

Specifications

Siemens CVC Videocassette Recorder
Technicolor CVC Videocassette recorder with monitor at DC Video [1],

External links

  • Photo of 212D and 335E machines with carry cases at video99
  • rewindmuseum.com Photo of the Model 212D
  • gifford.co.uk Photo of the 212E
  • labguysworld.com Funai Model F212A picture
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