Tag Archives: Ampex Mark IV

Early Quad Videotape at CBS

Quad Videotape at CBS

Ampex photo: Demo at Conrad Hilton Hotel, Chicago

The Ampex Mark IV 2″ Quadruplex recorder as it was unveiled to a select group of CBS network people and affiliates and during a private showing at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Chicago in April of 1956.

A thunderous round of applause from convention goers several days later greeted the machine’s public debut.


Ampex photo at CBS, Television City, Hollywood

CBS was the first on-air user of the machine, to tape-delay the evening CBS News broadcast with Douglas Edwards on Nov. 30, 1956.

In this photo, CBS Engineer John Radis inspects playback of an evening news broadcast from an Ampex quadruplex videotape recorder at CBS Television City in Hollywood.

Jim Morrison is on the phone to the right of VRX-1000 transport, one of only 16 hand-built machines. The two racks of tube equipment to the left contain the electronics for the recorder.

CBS Television City-Tape Room-Photo on wall of TVC

Photo on CBS-TVC wall

The CBS Television City tape room was responsible for recording network shows “off the line” and replaying them three hours later for West Coast broadcast by the twelve CBS affiliates on that leg of the network.
  By early 1958, CBS was operating a million-dollar videotape facility at its Grand Central Terminal technical center.  Billed as the largest of its kind, the NY center and TVC in Hollywood soon were serving recorded programs to more than half the CBS viewers, according to papers on the IEEE website.

“Jurassic Park” is the lower-level facilty at TVC that houses multiple 2″ Quadruplex machines, 1″ Type C, BetacamSP, Digital Betacam, D-1, D-2 and machines for other broadcast tape formats.

This picture shows the interformat racks with rack-mountable analog and digital decks, routing and patch facilities, picture and QC monitoring.

Tapes can be fed world-wide from here, and there’s at least one in a deck about to hit a bird.

Thousands of hours of Goodson-Todman game show Quad tapes were re-mastered here for use on the Game Show Network.

Come back to see the rest of our TVC tour… and see the reel with the oldest known entertainment program still preserved on Quad… along with the head that recorded the program.