1958 April 14
The BBC's answer to Ampex's two-inch quadruplex videotape recorder is VERA: Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus. The project was under engineer Peter Axon and started in 1952. A recorder was demonstrated within the BBC in 1956 and took another two years to develop before being shown to the world, by which time Ampex quadruplex recorders were making serious in-roads into the potential market.
The project grew out of a recognition by senior BBC engineers that telerecording (kinescoping) was a commonplace in American television studios at the end of the 1940s but was rarely used by the BBCand then only for special occasions of which a permanent record was required.
VERA stored 405-line monochrome television as a linear recording on half-inch magnetic tape travelling at 200 inches (5.08m) per second. The 20½-inch diameter spools gave 15 minutes' recording time.
Page updated 26 July 2008