3/4” U-matic Transfers

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Audio & Video, Blog0 comments

One of the most common specialty formats we transfer to DVD or file is 3/4” tape, also known as U-matic or ‘three-quarter-inch’.

It’s a pretty large tape format, much bigger generally than a VHS tape which utilizes ½” tape. It was produced in 1971 for consumer use, this format actually failed here but saw a lot of success on the commercial side of things. In the 1970’s the format was utilized for broadcast television. That’s why most of my customers who still retain these types of tape were either actors or industry professionals seeking to revamp their reel or to backup the tapes which do deteriorate over time

In fact, this type of tape is one of the most problematic formats. Perhaps it’s because of it’s age. It is a higher quality format than say VHS but it does tend to deteriorate. I have seen many many tapes that no longer play or get stuck in the machine. Tapes that may have only been played once. Then again, I also see pristine tapes from the 70’s come through here without a problem.

The main decision you want to make is whether to go to digital file or DVD. That really depends on your use. If you want to store the file, either way is fine. If you want to watch it I recommend the DVD. If you want to edit the footage or incorporate it into your reel or some other compilation, the file is the way to go in which case you’ll require a storage device such as a thumb drive or hard drive depending on running time. I can even help you upload a file to the web to share with friends or colleagues. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding 3/4” tape or any other formats.