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Old 11-28-2018, 06:44 AM
davidjplant davidjplant is offline
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Bunch of U-matic (I think) tapes found


I'm new to this forum and know next to nothing about this subject so first of all thanks for accepting my registration and thanks in advance for anyone who is able to help with this!

My work has come across a collection of these tapes and we're wondering if there's any value - money or as collectors items - in them or whether we should just bin them.
There are some in boxes labelled KCA-60K, others that are labelled Kavicon Cued - for Kavicon playback control. Not all of them have this Kavicon label on them
The tapes on some of them look like they might be degraded, don't know if you can make out the white stuff on the reel in the photo.

The titles don't look like much but we wondered if they might be either:
  • Tapes that were originally used in broadcast
  • Original recordings of these movies
  • A master copy for reproducing tapes?

Some of them have new labels stuck over the old ones so these have definitely been recorded over at some point.

That's all I've been able to establish so far! Sorry that the details are so vague but other than Google I've got no other reference for information at the moment. All I know is the place they come from sold DVDs and *may* not have been 100% above board with some of their operations!

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Old 11-28-2018, 08:05 AM
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dishdude dishdude is offline
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That white stuff on the tape is mold, they're garbage.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:27 AM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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3/4 cassettes topped out at either 60 or 90 minutes (probably 60) so it took two tapes for a movie playback. Based on the label, it looks like the system cued up tape 2 (precisely) and automatically rolls it at the right time. Probably triggered a switcher, too.

I imagine they leverage the traditional film reel break points, which have a bit of slop built-in for operator inattention.

(A work colleague years ago developed and sold a kind of continuously-cycling broadcast time-shifter using 4-5 3/4" machines (BVU-800s with timecode and edit control). It would take in a live or network feed and time shift it as needed for local playback -- anything from five minutes up to over an hour. It recorded, re-cued, and played back all under editor-type control. The system had the benefit of network commercial breaks to re-group if needed, though it was capable of frame-accurate hot-switching within the program content. It was used in situations where the desired delay was less than the running time of the program. Any longer delay, and you just record it, rewind, and play it back. The segmented processing was necessary when the desired delay was less than the program duration.)

A bootleg DVD generated from a 3/4" tape would be quite a sight... The mold is probably an improvement. Recycle (not re-use) what you can -- outer cases for sure.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:15 AM
davidjplant davidjplant is offline
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Thanks for the info everyone! We've been through them and actually found a lot of tapes that appear to be in good condition, but without a player to test them it sounds like we've acquired a burden!
I'd love to know what this guy was doing with them but I guess it will remain a mystery.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:41 AM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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You can send me a couple of the non-moldy ones, and I can take a look. My BVU-800 is just sitting there in the rack, hoping to avoid boatanchor status...
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:18 PM
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Dave A Dave A is offline
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I have had good luck with moldy tapes. Mine seemed to be just on the surface and quite dry. I opened the shell and used a brush to dust off and an air can to get rid of the rest. Then I ran them fast forward to the end and reverse to the beginning with no head contact for a cleaning pass. Air clean again. They played.
“Once you eliminate the impossible...whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." Sherlock Holmes.
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