This ad appeared in the May 1962 issue of
"Broadcast News," a trade publication published by RCA


The caption reads: TAPE SERVICES- Reeves Studio in New York uses RCA Color TV Tape Recorders in its elaborately equipped tape plant. Reeves is also equipped with RCA Color Camera and Color TV film System to put inserts into Color Tape.


Because an RCA competitor, Ampex Corporation, had a registered trademark on the name "Video Tape," RCA called their system "TV Tape" and "Television Tape" in print advertising such as the this and on the machines themselves. The two companies were the only ones who designed and manufactured 2" quadruplex video recorders. Interestingly, RCA routinely used the word "videotape" in articles about their "TV Tape" recorders in the "Broadcast News" magazine. In the late 1950's, RCA and Ampex agreed on compatibility standards so that tapes were interchangeable between the brands. Ampex lost the battle to retain the rights to the name "Video Tape" and RCA and eventually other manufacturers used "videotape" at will.

A little known fact not publicized by RCA is that early NBC color recordings (1958 and early 1959) were recorded on Ampex VR 1000 monochrome VTR's modified with RCA Labs-designed color circuits. Early in 1959 the two companies compromised on a different color recording format and the early "RCA Labs" color tapes were obsolete and could only be played on a very few of the Ampex-RCA Labs VTR's. RCA sold color VTR's before Ampex did by offering a color upgrade kit for their TRT-1B VTR (as seen in the ad above).

Today neither RCA or Ampex makes equipment for broadcast even though they were THE dominant players in the 1950's-70's.


Visit my Color Television Home Page

Learn more about the Color Television Revolution

See videos of the original NBC peacocks and ABC and CBS color presentation logos

See photos from my boyhood tour of KARD-TV in 1964

See photos of NBC Color City Studios in Burbank, California in 1955

See photos of my TK- 41 color television camera

Take a tour of KSTP-TV in 1962 and see my TK-41 camera in service when it was new

Watch the oldest surviving color videotape...the dedication of NBC's Washington, DC color studios in 1958

Watch An Evening With Fred Astaire the oldest surviving color videotape entertainment program - November 1958

Watch the oldest surviving videotape recording The Edsel Show - October 1957


Want to read more about early color television? Check out these links:

Read NPR's coverage of color TV's 50th anniversary

visit the late Ed Reitan's website - a very informative site about early color TV

visit Bobby Ellerbee's fascinating and compreshensive television history website Eyes Of A Generation

visit Chuck Pharis's site to see his collection of antique TV cameras and other early broadcast equipment

visit Barry Mishkind's website to see the RCA Television Equipment Archive

visit Steve Dichter's CT-100 website to see Steve's vintage color television page

comments? send me an email


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