|During the course of the 1970's, Philips, in Holland, and their German associates Grundig continued to
develop the VCR format, increasing both the record/playback time and the quality of the images, and adding more and more
features to their already sophisticated machines.
This development spawned VCR-LP and
SVR, but by the end of the seventies
Philips were promising the imminent arrival of a remarkable new format. This was called VCC, for Video Compact Cassette,
but is more usually known as Video 2000.
(Philips also invented the standard music cassette format, which they called ACC -- Audio Compact Cassette. This name didn't catch on either!)
|Despite missing several launch dates, when V2000 finally arrived in 1980 it was indeed as revolutionary as they had
promised. Alone of all video cassette formats, VCC tapes could be turned over, just like audio tapes. This meant that
a cassette almost exactly the same size as a VHS tape could hold six or even eight hours, in total. A later version with
long play increased this to a staggering 16 hours!
V2000 machines were also extremely sophisticated, using microprocessor control for all manner of trick-play and programming features. Perhaps the most advanced feature of all was Dynamic Track Following, or DTF; this was an automatic tracking system which moved the heads as they scanned each track:
|The head chips were mounted on the drum on tiny chips of piezo-electric crystal. This crystal changes shape when
an electric current is passed through it, so by applying the appropriate signal, the heads could be kept in the
perfect position at all times. Consequently, V2000 decks needed no Tracking control, and could produce a perfect,
noise-free picture at all speeds, in both directions (even playing in reverse), and on recordings made on other machines
which were out of alignment.
This system is amazingly sophisticated for 1980, and has only appeared on modern VHS decks in the last few years. But problems with the development of this system was one of the reasons that the launch of V2000 was late.
|By the time the format was finally on sale, the machines seemed expensive and lacking in features when compared to the VHS and Betamax machines of the era. Video 2000 never gained the popularity it deserved, and in 1985 the format was officially abandoned, becoming the first casualty of the Format War.|