SteamPoweredKleenex These things were pretty much bulletproof. The ones at my school were still in use a few years ago for temporary video capture from satellite stations, cable TV, etc.
I think they were TV station standbys for years, too.
Old_Zircon Yeah, I knew an AV guy at Boston University who still used his U-Matic at home (this was around 2007) because he couldn't find any other recordable format that was as reliable, and apparently the generational loss is way better than any of the later analog formats.
Urist Worked on these things for years, it was a lot of work to keep them looking half decent on a modern TV set.
When I first started on them a head drum cost about 300 dollars and lasted about 2500-3000 hours on a playback deck. Then Sony started to try and force people to into DVCAM or up to some flavour of betacam or whatever by upping the price of parts and making them shittier at the same time.
Capstan rollers cost twice as much and came from the factory glazed over.. head drums cost 700 dollars and lasted only 1000 hours, etc...
We bought DVCPRO instead. Fuck Sony.
Old_Zircon Of course any skilled machinist with a lathe and some experience with the materials can make a top quality capstan roller for something like $20 if they have a reference to work from.
garcet71283 I keep waiting for the lesbian threesome to start but it never does.
fedex this so reminded me of the opening for a EBN broadcast
Jet Bin Fever The 70s were all about so much beauty mixed with so much ugly.