Digital Video Tape Recorder. Sony showed the first DVTR for commercial use in 1986, working to the ITU-R BT.601 component digital video standard and the associated D1 standard for DVTRs. It used 19 mm cassettes recording 34, 78 or (using thinner tape) 94 minutes of uncompressed video. Due to its relatively high cost, its use was somewhat limited to high-budget projects. Other formats, D2 and D3 that recorded digitized composite PAL and NTSC, offered lower cost solutions at the cost of price ‘coded’ quality.

Thomson’s VooDoo Media Recorder (designated as D6) was the last uncompressed digital videotape recording system.

All subsequent DVTRs record compressed component video. Provided there is no re-coding or transcoding, DVTRs do not suffer ‘generation loss’ due to re-recordings as tape noise, moiré, etc., and dropouts are mostly invisible due to sophisticated correction and concealment techniques. However tape is subject to wear and tear and the resulting errors and dropouts necessitate complex error concealment circuitry. In extreme cases multiple passes can introduce cumulative texturing or other artifacts.

Today, videotape is rarely used as hard disks and solid-state memory are widely used in acquisition, post production and program distribution. However much video archiving makes use of computer tape formats.

See also: Betacam SX, D5, D9, DV, DVCPRO, HDCAM, LTO