Digital Video Articles, Tutorials, Guides & Q & A

History, Tape, video formats

Video 2000 Tape Format: Better than VHS and Betamax?

Video 2000 Tape Format

Video 2000, also known as V2000 is a Video Compact Cassette (VCC) format introduced by Philips and Grundig to rival VHS and Betamax.

It was designed to work with the PAL TV system.

As such it was introduced in Europe, South Africa, and Argentina.

The Video 2000 tape format was used from 1979 to 1988.

Similarities with VHS/Betamax

The Video 2000 tape format shares some common features with VHS and Betamax.

It has a tape width of 1/2 inch (12.7mm).

The player drum speed is 25rps.

Video 2000 tapes are also made of Chromium dioxide or Cobalt doped.

Video 2000 vs VHS/Betamax

Here are the major differences between Video 2000 and VHS/Betamax.

Video 2000 has a tape speed of 0.95 in/s (2.4 cm/s).

VHS and Betamax have lower tape speeds at 0.9 in/s and 0.73 in/s respectively.

VHS has a maximum recording time of 240 minutes, Betamax 215 minutes.

Video 2000 can manage a recording time of 8 hours.

How’s Video 2000’s Long Recording Time Possible

Video 2000 as mentioned has a tape width of half an inch. However, only half the tape width is used when one side of it is played.

The other half is used when the tape is played on the other side. The tape runs in the opposite direction.

The concept is similar to that of the audio cassette. Half the tape width is used when Side A is played. The other half is used when Side B is played.

The advantage of this is playing time can be doubled.

The disadvantage is double the video data must be packed into the tape. Also, the tape is much thinner to allow longer tapes to be fitted into the video cassette.

Video 2000’s Dynamic Track Following

The Video 2000 tape format employs the Dynamic Track Following (DTF). This eliminates the need for a tracking control to ensure stable pictures.

Better Picture Search

Video 200 surpasses VHS and Betamax when it comes to picture search. When searching for a picture, the quality is as good as normal playback.

As for VHS and Betamax, you’ll see noise bars (bars of white dots) displayed across the screen when you undertake a picture search.

Video 2000 Players

Video 2000 players are available online, but you’ll be hard put to find a functioning unit.

An example is the Philips VR2022.

It was the second Philips Video 2000 machine.

Its picture search facility works at 7 times the normal playing speed in fast-forward mode and 5 times in rewind mode.

Dynamic Track Following (mentioned above) removes noise bars in picture search and still frame modes.

It also comes with a 5-event. 16-day timer with a 26-channel memory with automatic tuning.

Back in 1981, it cost 540 pounds in the UK.

Video 2000’s Demise

Video 2000 couldn’t compete with VHS and Betamax despite its advantages.

Betamax and VHS made early entries into the home video market and grabbed huge slices of the market.

The Video 2000 revolution lasted from 1979 to 1988.

To learn more about the Video 2000 tape format, watch the video below.


O’Reilly Consumer Electronics Library

The Complete Handbook of Video: Everything You Need to Know About Video – from Home Entertainment to Everyday Office Use

Free Video Workshop