VT on TV

Until the arrival of file servers, playout devices and the like, VT machines transmitted the nation's television programmes - generally without fault - but they rarely made appearances themselves. To start off this new section, VT on TV, here are some short clips from TV programmes featuring video tape recording technology. In each case click the still for the short video clip.

NBC video tape UFO
The first clip is from an epsiode of 'Banacek' made in 1972. The location appears to be the NBC videotape area at Burbank - possibly where 'Rowan & Martin' was made. Hopefully someone can update us with the true location! In this episode Banacek is trying to find out why a football player 'vanished' during a game and is looking for the TV recording. The pictures should make some of you 'oldies' feel very much at home. This clip is from the an episode of UFO made in 1970. The machine is, of course, purely fictional, but many of you will have worked at SHADO HQ - the series was filmed at Elstree!
The two stills above come from a programme about lost tapes of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in Australia. This is the closing sequence, enjoy the nostalgia but watch the last thirteen seconds! - Many thanks to Pete Christy for spotting it (he can't remember where!). Both stills play the same clip
The Two Ronnies The Two Ronnies
These two stills, on a similar theme to the Pete & Dud clip, come from the opening titles of "The Two Ronnies, the studio recordings" which was transmitted just before Christmas 2010. Click on either still to play the clip (1'40") which has contains various gallery, TK and VT shots, and take note of what happens when the immortal "Run VT" comes from the gallery.
Capricorn One IVC 9000
This picture (from Labguys World - see our Links page) shows the deck, and, just under the open cover, the large gauges which are visible in the movie clip
This still is from the world of movies. It is from "Capricorn One" (1978) whose plot revolves around a faked Martian landing. Here a journalist played by Elliott Gould examines tape from the returning spacecraft. What VT machine is it though? Could it be an IVC9000 (see right)? Click on the picture above for actual movie sequence.

The image on the right is a still frame from the title sequence of a programme made in 1994 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Open University.

Very detailed and pretty accurate as well, it seems sophisticated for the early 90s - to play the entire title sequence click the icon below.


VR2000 still

The area also appeared on several occasions in Swap Shop, the Saturday morning children's programme hosted by Noel Edmonds. Follow Swap Shop for some clips.
Around 1975 Peter Bruce made a short film about Match of the Day which also featured some shots in the Basement and of the VR3000 at the OB.
During the 1979 General Election, News produced a film documenting a "Day on the Hustings". This 50 minute film included sequences in News VT and the Basement which you can find in Election 79.
In 1981 Ampex produced a promo celebrating the 25th Anniversary of videotape ™, follow Ampex 25th for an edited version.
Steve Newnham has sent an ex-VHS copy of "A Good Job With Prospects" - one of a Schools series transmitted in 1984 - featuring Steve & Steve Fuller editing in VT11 & 12. Also appearing is Bob Neal, Engineering Recruitment Officer. The VT section was recorded in VT 13.
Alex Gregory hasalso sent me a couple of clips from "Open Air", a Manchester programme, from 1994 when they visited the Archives in Windmill Road. The second clip gives a good layman's explanation of preservation and why things were wiped when we were young!
And, finally, a link to a You Tube video of a visit to an Australian VT area in 1994 - I just love the ACR25s! (I wish we'd had one)