Digital Audio VHS

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I just saw this and I was reminded of an old thread here back in 2017 in relation to the Carpenters Vinyl Collection, and people were surprised that VHS had been used for digital audio, and even U-Matic and Betamax.

 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
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There certainly were some interesting tape formats over the years. I still remember a co-worker's husband used to tape local bands and orchestras as a second job, and he was one of the early adopters of a portable Betamax with the Sony PCM-F1 A/D converter that tethered to it.

I more remembers S-VHS tapes being used for the ADAT digital multitrack recorders. In fact, the best S-VHS tape I ever bought were surplus ADAT tapes--the shells were sturdy, as was the tape stock. It made the best S-VHS recordings as compared to the consumer brands I had tried--never had a dropout. I know ADAT wasn't always the most reliable--even the band I work with had trouble with theirs back in the day, as they used to record their own live gigs often (for reference), and the keyboard player used it in his home studio (in his garage) for recording band demos.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Well on the video side anyway, VHS/S-VHS, was also used for D-VHS and Digital-S/D9. And, at least for D-VHS, (I couldn’t find the D9 GB) the largest tape (DF-480/ST-240) could hold 50GB of information. So even on the audio side, just as a storage medium, you would have A ton of room for uncompressed audio on 1 tape vs a computer from 1981 like the Vic-20. There’s a reason computers like the Vic used cassettes are first (an audio cassette could hold upto 600Mb on a streamer).
 

KentTeffeteller

Well-Known Member
Only VHS digital audio machine really was that Technics. If you had an early generation VHS recorder (pre HQ) you could use one with a Sony PCM-F1 processor. But that system worked better with Beta or U-Matic due to more stable tracking. That said, D-VHS did have PCM audio but uncommon due to being late in the era of videotape.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Only VHS digital audio machine really was that Technics. If you had an early generation VHS recorder (pre HQ) you could use one with a Sony PCM-F1 processor. But that system worked better with Beta or U-Matic due to more stable tracking. That said, D-VHS did have PCM audio but uncommon due to being late in the era of videotape.
D-VHS could also hold Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1 audio. As far as I’m aware, D-VHS never got to the point of having PCM 5.1, although that may’ve been on JVC’s drafting board, just like incorporating 1080p was on the drafting board. The JVC HM-DH5U had HDMI, so PCM 5.1 would’ve been possible in future models.
 
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