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Colossians 3:23
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Nationwide Service from our Midwest Location:
Indianapolis, IN
Roger Brett
Media Systems Engineer
Transfer Media, LLC

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Due to the variability issues associated with this format, please contact us directly for a free quote and assessment of your project materials.  On larger projects, ask about our evaluation program.

Transfer Pricing

Due to the age of this format, significant recovery issues are possible when attempting quad video tape transfers.  Contact us directly for more information about mitigation procedures such as baking, mold and glue removal, reel damage repair, image correction, etc.

Tape Recovery Issues

Ask anyone who performs quad video tape transfers and restoration. They will tell you that obtaining a functional-- or even a rebuildable quadruplex video tape recorder in now in the 21st century is difficult and expensive. That being said, we obtained through what could easily be described as an act of Divine providence, a Merlin ME-88. This machine basically started life as an Ampex VR-1100 low band monochrome machine before it was delivered to Merlin Engineering Works in 1980. Once there, all obsolete electronics and mechanical parts were removed from the chassis and were eventually replaced with modernized state-of-the-art versions. The resulting machine was converted to NTSC high-band color with the latest, low noise video and wideband audio circuits available at the time. This conversion provided visual and sonic performance comparable to that available from the last generation of quad VTRs, such as the RCA TR-600 and Ampex AVR-3 (released in 1975). Our Merlin ME-88 had less than 700 original running hours elapsed when we received it.

Our Equipment and Process

When you combine the updated Merlin video signal system, wideband audio updates, digital time base corrector and our proprietary external digital decoder-serializers into the mix, you get some of the best quad video tape transfers available today-- anywhere.

Merlin ME-88 Quadruplex VTR

Quadruplex videotape a.k.a. “quad” tape, is a reel-to-reel format using magnetic tape that measures 2” across. Note that “quad” is not the exclusive 2” recording tape format but rather it became the defacto standard in broadcasting.   Other two-inch videotape recording formats were developed by Sony, IVC and even Ampex. These never gained widespread adoption by TV stations and networks however.  If you have a 2” video tape, the chances are more likely than not that it's quadruplex, and was recorded on either an Ampex or RCA VTR.  If you're uncertain, we can usually assist customers with identification over the phone or via e-mail.

Identification

The first viable form of video recording became the Quadruplex format, engineered and manufactured by the Ampex company in the mid- 1950's. While there were several permutations of this format to accomodate the shift to color recording, the underlying framework remained unchanged until it faded from use in the 1980's. This speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the basic design.

While the Ampex team built the first machine to become commercially available, RCA also contributed to this format. They helped to usher in NTSC color capability on the later Ampex machines in exchange for information that would help them make their competing quad machines compatible with those from Ampex. This helped to solidify the standard, allowing successful tape interchange between video recorders from the different manufacturers. The Fernseh division of Bosch released a quad VTR in the 1970s only to the european market, which typically uses the PAL or SECAM (not NTSC) scanning and color standards.

Introduction

@ Transfer Media, LLC

2" Quad Video Tape
Restoration & Transfer Services

Merlin ME-88 Quad VTR picture 3m 400 Quad Tape picture Early Ampex Quad VTR picture