The V2000 Format

The V2000 system was developed Philips to supersede their NV1500/1700 video system. Perhaps the most widely known fact about the v2000 video system is that it used a cassette which could be turned over allowing recording to be made on both sides of the tape, just like an audio cassette tape. Video 2000 video tapes were know as the Video Compact Cassettes and were modelled on the audio Compact cassette which Philips had given to the world over twenty years earlier. Like the Betamax and VHS systems, V2000 used 1/2 inch tape and a helical scan system. The tape path was a M-wrap type with erase and audio heads placed before and after the drum respectively.
Basic V2000 System Data
Tape Width1/2 inch
Drum Diameter65.00 mm
Speed of Head Disc1500 rev/min
Video head to Tape Speed5.08 m/s
Tape Speed (PAL)2.44 cm/s
Video Head Gap0.4 microns
Audio Track Width0.65 mm
Audio Frequency Response50Hz - 10kHz
Cue Track Width0.325mm Defined
but not used!
Maximum Recording Time
(PAL VCC-480)
240mins per side
S/N Ratio> 44dB CCIR 421-1
Horizontal Resolution3 MHz < -20db
Angle of Video Tracks2o 6473 variable
End SensorsOprical (reflective)
The feature made the V2000 format unique in its day was the absence of a control track. This is a signal recorded along side the video tracks and used to sync up the VCR during playback. Instead of this conventional approach Philips took the initiative step of adding a selection of tones which were recorded on the same track as the video signals themselves. These tones are then picked up during playback and used to steer the video head tips so that they remain on the correct path. The video head tips were able to move and so track correctly by virtue of the fact that they were mounted on piezo-electric crystals which were controlled by a varying voltage applied across them. It is worth remembering that the capstan and drum servos of the early 1980's were not very sophisticated as those we have today and so this extra movement was essential to achieve satisfactory tracking. The feature was also able to provide perfect noise free still and picture search by adjusting dynamically the angle between the head and tape to compensate for the changes caused by the variation in angle between the drum and the video tacks.

The end of tape detection is worthy of mention particularly for anybody thinking of winding VHS tape into a V2000 shell. The end of tape detection was achieved by an optical system which detected a reflective strip attached to the inside of the tape at either end. Be sure to keep this strip if you spool in new tape.

Although the V2000 format was not around long enough to have Hi-Fi audio added to its specification VCRs were produced with linear stereo. The track width was 0.25mm. Philips Dynamic Noise Suppression, DNS, was invented to provide noise reduction and worked in a similar was as Sony's Beta Noise Reduction, BNR.

A long play mode was also introduced albeit called XP for eXtended Play. Like the other systems Long Play mode it doubled recording time by having the linear tape speed. Sadly development of the format ceased before XP picture search and still frame were implemented.