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VTOLDBOYS.COM

(The image above is of VT1 and VT2.
Both are Ampex VR2000B quad format VTR machines)
I would like to recommend this fascinating website. Chris Booth who runs vtoldboys.com is happy to share the following information with us to help doomwatch.org in raising awareness of missing episodes and the technology that was used to duplicate recordings in the 1970's ...
"The image above is of VT1 and VT2 and, although it was taken a little later than the Doomwatch years, there was really no change in the appearance of the cubicles.
The workflow - the modern trendy term which was not invented then! - was for VT2 (on the right) to be the play machine and VT1 (on the left) to be the editing machine. The audio recorder, just below VT1's colour monitor, was used by the editors for sound mixing.
There's an actual demo of editing in, which was actually shot *in* VTs 1 and 2 before the days of colour. The rather elaborate consoles were replaced by simple versions with a colour monitor on top, and the equipment days were moved from their positions in the film. The desk in the foreground was not part of the editing setup, but was a production control desk, used for Sport operations, which had the ability to monitor and select to studio any one of six VT machines routed to it. In conjunction with a similar desk in the adjacent VT2 9 and 10 there was the ability to select any of *12* machines to studio. It made a handy place to put your coffee when not in use!
If you think *programmes* were not kept long, trails had an even shorter shelf life! Tape was not only *very* expensive, but it was big and heavy - a 90 minute spool held a mile and a half of tape - and you couldn't really carry more than a couple comfortably (hence the bad backs). I still remember production secretaries coming down to 'pick up a tape'. We would always ask if they *really* wanted to, and, if they said yes, would hand it over and prepare to catch it when it fell out of their hands!! A lot of shows at that time were transferred to 16mm black and white film for overseas sales - many third nation countries simply couldn't afford VT machines or the maintenance of them. Some Dr Whos have been recovered that way and, of course, there is the re-coloured Dad's Army episodes."
Thanks to Chris Booth for the above information and image.
The history of BBC VT can be found on their fascinating site here

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