The Bing Crosby VTR
Bing Crosby VTR deck

John Mullin of Bing Crosby Enterprises described the equipment:-

"The tape drive mechanism ... occupies a floor area of 40 x 26 inches. It operates the tape at 100 inches per second, and it can accommodate reels of tape which provide for over 16 minutes of continuous running time, thus allowing sufficient overlap time for starting a second machine on a half-hour programme. Whereas we started with one inch tape and have recently been recording the same definition on one-half inch tape (standard coercivity iron oxide), we are now (1954) able to record such a picture on three-eighths inch tape, running at the same speed. Our first successful demonstration of magnetic video recording was in November of 1951. Quality was negligible. The demonstration was made with equipment which was virtually basic. A standard recorder (an Ampex) was speeded up to what we considered to be an unreasonably high speed. A narrow gap head was employed and the video thereby recorded and reproduced by direct methods. In eleven brief months we had advanced to our multiple track system and a point where obscure sign lettering was readable and the identity of personalities in long shots was possible. Thus it was our proud knowledge that Wayne Johnson of our staff recorded and played back, on October 3, 1952, the first high resolution motion picture ever reproduced by means other than photography."