Years Used: 1971 – early 1990′s
History (highlight summary):
- 3/4″ U-Matic 1970
- 3/4″ U-Matic SP 1986
Formats: low-band, high-band, SP
This format was introduced by Sony in 1971. Although introduced as a consumer tape, it actually caught on more as a Pro tape. By the mid ’70′s TV stations started using it. There was also a U-Matic S format (max 20 mins) like the VHS-C tapes….designed for the portable units. Many of the newer frontloading machines can accept the S format tapes without an adaptor (earlier top loading ones required an adaptor). By the early 90′s Betacam SP had more-or-less replaced U-matic.
Over the years improved video deck machines and format changes provided the following Improvements:
- TBC circuitry….drop out compensation.
- Dolby noise reduction
- SP (superior performance) technology…improved video picture
How To Identify The Tape:
The cassette of a U-matic or U-matic SP video tape are the same size. The cassette comes in a large and small size. The cassettes are thicker than a VHS tape and thinner than a Betacam tape. Dimensions for a large tape are: 21.9 cm X 13.7 cm X 3 cm and a small tape are: 18.5 cm X 12 cm x 3 cm.
To convert it into modern media, please contact us here.