1/2" EIAJ-1 Video Format
1/2" EIAJ-1 Format Information:
Videotape Format: 1/2" EIAJ-1
In use: 1969 - 1980s.
Recording mode: Analog video, rotary 2 head, single track helical scanning.
Tape speed: 7.5 inches per second.
Tape width: 1/2" open reel to reel.
Features: Compatible reel-to-reel video format manufactured by several companies (ie. Sony, Panasonic, Concord etc.) Enabled the widespread growth of non-broadcast video and the fluid exchange of tapes. Videotapes sold were known as Sony Video Tape For Helical Scan Video Recorders with model numbers such as V-30H, V-31, V-32 and empty reels such as RH-7V. Another popular 1/2" tape stock was Scotch 361 Video Tape, Concord Video Tape, Shibaden Video Tape, Panasonic Video Tape and Karex Video Tape. Each brand of video tape could be used on EIAJ machines or other non-EIAJ VTR’s such as Sony skip field, Concord, Panasonic, and Shibaden half-inch video tape machines. Many of Sony’s video machines were known as a videocorder.
Existing machine longevity: Near extinct.
Videotape longevity: Low.
Prior usage: Home, business, cable TV and educational installations.
Notes on the 1/2" EIAJ-1... In 1969, the EIAJ (Electronic Industries Association of Japan) brought several different manufactures together to agree upon a single, compatible videotape format. Up until this point, many different recording schemes existed that could only be played back on either the same machine that made the original recording to begin with, or on another machine of the same manufacturer. In other words, a Sony recording could not be played on a Panasonic deck. Thus, this agreement allowed several manufacturers to build videotape recorders to a single specification. These videotape recorders used both fields of the TV frame for better resolution, a vast improvement over the Sony CV skip field system. And so began the wide scale capability of videotape exchange amongst non-broadcast users, such as individuals, schools, and businesses. Initially, only black and white machines were made, but later, color capable machines were marketed. There was a cartridge machine developed and sold also based on this same format, the predecessor to the modern age ¾" and VHS cassette decks.