The V2000 format

As well as VHS and Betamax the world of technology saw a third video format system enter the marketplace, that of Video 2000. Known also as V2000 and Video Compact Cassette (VCC) to complement their landmark Audio Compact Cassette format introduced in 1963, the video format was a consumer video-recording standard developed by Philips and Grundig in order to compete with JVC’s VHS and Sony’s Betamax video technologies. Video 2000 succeeded Philips’s earlier VCR, VCR-LP and Grundig’s SVR formats. Beocord 8800V was Bang & Olufsen’s first foray into V2000 home-recording.

Distribution of Video 2000 products began in 1979 and ended in 1988; they were marketed exclusively within most European countries as well as that of Argentina and Brazil.

V2000 technoloy introduced some very high-tech features which were years ahead of other formats. Indeed it was years before the other format adopted the best of them. V2000 also offered a design philosophy which was uniquely European and well as unique features; not all of which were available on all manufacturers’ models. However, they all led to what we now take for granted on modern recording equipment:

Turn-over Cassettes

Likke the Audio Compact Cassette Philips designed the the Video Compact Cassette to be recorded on both sides by simply turning them over in the VCR. The feature enabled a much longer maximum recording time to be implemented on the V2000 format, albeit with the requirement of turning over the tape half way through.

Dynamic Track Following

DTF was integral to the V2000 standard and featured on all V2000 models. It was a unique and original system which eliminated the need for manual tracking.

DTF had two components: the first was made possible by the fact that the video head tips were mounted on piezo-electric elements which enabled them to move slightly when a potential difference was applied to the crystal. The second was a system of recording high frequency tones along with the video track information on the tape which could be used to steer the video heads during playback. By using a sophisticated electronic control system the video head tips were able to track correctly without the need of a conventional control track hence eliminating the need of a tracking control.

This second technique was adopted by Sony in their Video-8 format. Servo circuit techniques had improved dramatically since V2000 was launched and Video-8 is able to track correctly without the need to the mount the heads on piezo-electric crystals.

The moving head tips meant that it was possible for V2000 to give perfect noise-free pictures in picture search and still modes since the video heads could be adjusted to follow the tracks on the cassette tape.

Direct Keyboard Entry

Unlike Japanese VCR models it was possible to directly enter time and date settings using a numeric keypad located on the front panel. This avoided the need to use tedious clock up/down buttons.

Numerical Tape Counter and GOTO function

Right from the very first model, the Philips V2020, Video 2000 video recorders had a digital read-out indicating tape position. To accompany this was a GOTO function which would cause the VCR to wind to a predetermined position on the tape once the required number had been entered using the numeric key-pad.

Another feature present right from the very start was an auto-rewind function which could be turned on to instruct the tape to rewind after completion of timer record operations or the end of tape was detected.

Automatic Timer Record Mode

Video 2000 VCRs were unique in not having a timer record button. Instead the Video would go into standby automatically if left unattended for a pre-set amount of time (about 30 minutes). If at a later time the VCR encounter a pre-programmed timer recording event it simply went into record automatically. There was no need to leave a V2000 VCR set in timer mode.

Dynamic Noise Suppression

This was V2000’s noise reduction system and was designed to reduce tape noise. Unlike some other dynamic noise reduction systems it worked satisfactorily for the time, giving V2000 good linear stereo sound.

List of Bang & Olufsen V2000 models:

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