real video

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Joined Aug 1, 2013
60 years ago today, AMPEX introduced professional grade, broadcast quality, FCC compliant video recording and playback at the NAB convention in Chicago. At the SMPTE annual meeting earlier that year, RCA presented the results of their development efforts and concluded that the technology was not yet available for a practical system. AMPEX had been working on it for over five years in total secrecy, and surprised everyone. The day the convention opened they filed a stack of patent applications and copyrighted the term Videotape.

How long did the development take? Well, since you asked, there was a high school kid working there part time who had a flair for circuit design. He worked on the project while in college, skipped so many classes at San Jose State that he lost his deferment, was drafted into the army for two years, got out and went back to AMPEX, picked up where he left off, and solved a signal drift problem with a new approach to generating FM that became the industry standard for all video recorders for the next 25 years. He was the baby on the development team, and at the time his title was “Consultant” because he did not have a degree. One year after Videotape was introduced, he received a BSEE from Stanford and won a Marshall Scholarship for a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge. While working for the United Nations in India he had an idea about hi-fi audio, so he returned to England and started a company. The Dolby Theater in LA is named after Raymond Milton Dolby - analog god.



Joined Sep 25, 2013
After Ampex left the area, their enormous sign stayed up, visible from 101 for many years. It rivaled the Circle Star Theater as a drunkards's landmark