Room 11 exhibit 1
Akai VT100
FORMAT: 1/4"  
DATE: 1967

[2005: £?]


Strictly speaking this isn't a domestic machine, but the miniature 1/4" tape format was obviously intended to make the unit smaller and more practical, so perhaps they hoped it would find a mass-market niche. Anyway, it's a cute and interesting machine so I've decided to stretch a point and include it.
As far as I know Akai were the only company to try 1/4" reel-to-reel tape; all other reel-to-reel VTRs were 1/2". Naturally the smaller tapes mean that it is incompatible with other machines, but to be honest even two supposedly compatible EAIJ machines of the same era often wouldn't play each others tapes successfully.

Like all VTRs the user has to lace the tape up by hand. Actually it's quite simple on this machine, and there's a handy diagram to follow inside the lid.

The tape is the same size as standard reel-to-reel audio tape - I'd love to know what kind of results you'd get using audio tape in this machine. Obviously it wouldn't record a fully-detailed video signal; audio tape is designed for a far smaller bandwidth and dynamic range. But I wonder if you'd get any picture at all?
The controls are fairly normal, and apart from that the only other feature of the VTR is a battery gauge. The stationary heads are easily accessible at the front of the tape path, for easy cleaning.

The monitor can be removed for ultimate lightness, and connects directly to the VTR, with no messy fly-leads.