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Wednesday 29th March 2017

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Matt Rathney-Quinn
Tuesday 1st June 1999
10:28 am U.K.



While I'd normally try avoid top loaders for serious work the fact that these are highband machinesdoes rather redeem them. The fact too that you're an engineer and have the manuals etc helps.

Pulse count edit controllers have their advantages not the least of which is that an enterprisingprogrammer might be able to make a 286 or similar perform the same functions. Remote controlinterfacing is potentially simpler too.

As a point of general interest anyone with RS422 controlled machines looking for an ECU shouldcheck out Paul Breneman's 'Mach 1.5' software ECU ..which controlls 6 VTRs and a mixer all on aslighly modified 286!

I'm also very glad to hear that I'm not the only person still shooting on 3//4"

Slightly 'OT', Non linear is becoming very reachable and a good choice for the Umatic enthusiast. Iuse an Iomega Buz on a Cyrix 200 based system built on an M571 'TX pro' Motherboard. This isabout as cheap as you can build a pentium class PC. I run an old copy of Media Studio 2.5 whichcame with an older now dead ISA card I used to have in my 486. The system is dedicated to videoediting with no other software or hardware (such as modems) allowed on it.

It works well just some boot up problems since I added a creative SB64PCI to the set up andsome minor incompatibility problems with the Motherboard's built in VGA 'card'. Not sure whetherthis is a clash between the BUZ and the SB64 or the SB 64 and the Cyrix CPU.

(any thoughts on this would be appreciated ..but by email please since it is rather off topic)

I can work happily at 120K/frame with 44.1K stereo sound and have put UVW (Beta sp) throughthe system without any subjective loss of picture quality, just like a straight dub. Manipulated lowband ouput from the system too looks as good as a straight FM-FM dub! ..no reason whyhighband would 'suffer'.

The Buz is good, cheap and gives you SCSI all for a relatively small sum. It is a diffcult card to setup though and renders slowly. There are ways 'round that though. Newer faster CPU's will improvematters. Next step for me is to replace the display card then start building a faster machine for theBuz.

The new NLE technologies coming onto the market are making formats such as Umatic (andindeed Betamax) a more practical proposition now. If you can live with the relative weight of the kitit's an excellent way to get some serious video shot. I wish I'd had all this stuff available when I wasat college. At the time all I could have done was dub my tapes to SVHS for edit since the college'ssystems were all based round that format. :-(

I'd like to echo your thanks to the guys for setting up the site, it's coming on a wee bit slowlymaybe but them I'm not sure that everyone who works with Umatic is completely aware of it'sexistence ..that will come though.

Robin Whitehead
Tuesday 1st June 1999
1:07 am U.K.


Matt, Thanks for your interest. The BVU200's were possibly the first generation of HiBand machines.They are the old top loading format and mine date from about 1979-80. They are substantially made, very reliable and weigh a ton. They have all the facilities and connections that the later machines have. They do, however, need a bit of tender loving care from time to time to maintain the editing accuracy. I am fortunate in having a complete set of manuals! The BVE500 edit controller uses control pulse counting. This in itself is made from discrete 74 series logic chips and therefore is much bigger than the RM controllers.The BVU's do have a timecode head and R/P electronics and will happily interface with an external reader/generator. My shooting kit is a BVU110 or a BVU50(depending on the state of the recordists shoulder). The cameras are a DXC3000 and an Ikegami HL79. I also have a now largely redundant JVC KY110, although it still gives very good pictures(anyone want to buy it?). I am an electronics engineer and therefore am able to maintain this kit reasonably well.I have recently been looking at the possibility putting together a non-linear editing setup that could, with enough storage, be capable of on line stuff. I will probably mean starting with a dual-processor workstation type motherboard. Some things I am looking for- a BKU110 plug in time code unit for the BVU110. a DC8 dual NP1 battery case for the DXC3000. If anybody has these for sale I would be interested.I will send some photos of my stuff. By the way thanks for putting this excellent site up! How about other related kit such as TBC'sBest wishes, Robin.

Matt Rathney-Quinn
Saturday 29th May 1999
10:53 am U.K.



I use a 7630 as the play-in machine to my non linear edit suite. It's a good machine and works well. I don't have the instruction book, these seem to be the first thing that gets lost. There's nothing mysterious about it's basic operation though. Just connect one of the video outputs to a monitor, the audio outputs to the same monitor or an amp and off you go.

It does have a frame code facility, though quite what that does I don't know. I've noticed the 'blips' in the top line a' la timecode but what's going on with them....

Do note though that the machine will attempt to lock to any input signal, if that's unstable so will be the playback. A trick I've used is to connect a VHS machine to the 8pin EIAJ (TV) socket. This allows two way dubbing between the machines and lets you record off-air via the VHS' tuner, and should also give you a nice steady source of syncs should you require them.

Since I also originate on Umatic small tapes are used often in the machine, just sit them centrally in the slot and give a gentle push. The machine will swallow the tape with a satisfied gulp ;-) No adaptors or anything are needed.

Only two niggles spoil my enjoyment. When rewinding, nearing the beginning of the tape, there is a loud whailing rattling sound. the machine actually rewinds just fine but the noise!!!! Secondly I'd love to get hold of the remote that was supposedly available.

It'd be a nice gesture with all sorts of positive PR implications (hint hint Mr Sony) if they would allow the instruction books to be put on the site perhaps in .pdf format

Have fun...


steve marshall
Friday 28th May 1999
7:54 pm U.K.


Sony edit suit for sale: VO-5850P edit recorder, VO-5800PS recorder, RM-440 edit control & TBC(low hours)1200.00Sony VO-6800 portable recorder 400.00& various other equipment email or phone for full list01303 891276

Friday 28th May 1999
12:17 pm U.K.


Sure the small tapes will work. LRC Video can provide manual.

Peter Barker
Friday 28th May 1999
11:58 am U.K.


I have recently acquired a Sony U-matic recorder type VO7630. Can the small tapes used on my prevous portable machine (a VO3800P) be used on the VO7630? Do I need an adaptor of some kind?I am trying to obtain operating instructions for the VO7630. Can anyone help please.

Matt Rathney-Quinn
Monday 24th May 1999
5:47 pm U.K.



If it helps it's probably the rubber drive wheel which is worn. I 'cured' mine by slipping the rubber sleeve from a BNC plug over it and securing with superglue. It's possible that a pinch wheel from something might be adaptable to do the same job....

Hope this helps you or your machine's new owner...


Keith McHugh
Monday 24th May 1999
9:44 am U.K.


Free to collector (North East - Newcastle area).

A JVC Lo-band Top Loader (CR 6060E) recorder - needs attention to the loading ring ( it needs manual help to lace itself up ).Anyone want it as a whole machine or for parts ?

Keith McHugh.

George Cronk
Thursday 20th May 1999
8:07 pm U.K.


I am looking for user manuals for a VP-5000 player and a VP-5600 recorder. Photo copies would be fine.

Thanks for any help you folks can give.

George CronkTechnology SpecialistLong Hill Township Schools

Chris Hall
Tuesday 18th May 1999
11:41 am U.K.


Hi everyone,

What an interesting find this was ! I thought I was the only person still using U-Matic. Anyway, I've just moved "up market" to Hi Band, and am building a new edit suite so have some wants and for sales.

First the wants. I need an edit controller for 3 or more machines, s Sony BVE-600 would be nice, or an Ampex ACE25, or maybe even a Sony 910. I need to be able to control a vision mixer with it and probably exchange EDLs with Lightworks.

Now the for sales. I have for disposal; Sony VO-5800P working but upper drum getting a bit tired, Sony VO-5850P in excellent condition, Sony RM-440 two machine controller, pair of remote cables and probably a dub cable. Together makes a complete low-band edit suite and I am looking for about 700 for it. Next, a Hitachi 340 low-band portable with mains unit / charger and 2 non-original batteries all in good working order, about 75 sought. JVC CR6600 top loading low band edit source player in good working order, about 50 sought. Sony VO-5030 multi-standard player, a couple of knobs missing but in working order, about 50 sought. 10 pin camera extension cable, about 5 metres long, new in box, 25.

Following the arival of the BVU-850s with timebase correctors my wife wants the low-band stuff out of the house! Oh, a couple of the above are ex BBC, others came from SSVC, all legally! I am not selling on behalf of the BBC.

Regards,Chris Hall.

Will Chan
Tuesday 18th May 1999
7:39 am U.K.


I'm urgently need to have price and availability of Betamax videoplayer in Hong Kong, could any one provide buying channel.


Saturday 15th May 1999
4:30 pm U.K.


anyone interested in a sony 6800 portable in good condition about 200 hours on meter.also have various other U-Matic machines and accessories.drop me an emailSteve

Matt Rathney-Quinn
Saturday 15th May 1999
10:49 am U.K.


From Robin Whitehead's guestbook entry...

>>>>>Still use this kit for shooting and off line edit. Keeps working forever! Could do with a TBC though. I've not seen any pictures of aBVU200/Bve500 on this site though. Am I the only person using them<<<<

I can't even place the BVU200 in my mind. I'm sure if you posted some pictures to the site we'd allenjoy learning about these machines ..maybe you could give us a quick 'rundown' on theirfeatures? What kit do you use for shooting?

Glad to hear I'm not the only person shooting on Umatic. Tomorrow (Sunday May 16th '99) will seemy JVC CR4400LE on board the 'Shining Dancer' out of Crinan (Scottish West Highlands)shooting a low budget corporate video!

Edit will be via 'Media Studio' 2.5 NLE software running on a Cyrix P200 based PC digitised from aVO7630 through an Iomega Buz. I work at 120K/frame which when edited and dubbed back tothe Umatic is just as good as a direct TBC'd dub. VHS copies from the edit master are excellentand of course you have the opportunity to make several masters without quality loss...

Umatic footage is ideal for multimedia use too. Despite the supposedly low resolution pictures fromthe Umatic format (low or high band varieties) are excellent. The colour space is excellent, verystable and accurate ..no 'oil painting' effect as with VHS SVHS ...no 'fizz' on edges , just goodstable colour pictures..

Some time ago I had a Panasonic F70 AG7450 Professional 2 chip SVHS unit. The Cr4400produced 'softer' but more stable accurately coloured pictures. Feeding the F70 head to theCr4400 produced stunning results. ...good enough to make me sell the SVHS combo and forgetabout that format! ...In excess of 5000's worth of SVHS technology V's a 30, 12year old + anda 50 single tube camera (JVC S100E) and the Umatic won!

My Umatic kit might get retired in the next year or so, but only if I can get some cheap Betacamgear..


PS Robin,

If one of your BVU 200 's is begining to complain maybe you should think about NLE, you onlyneed the one machine in use and could salt away the other for back up.....

Robin Whitehead
Saturday 15th May 1999
12:01 am U.K.


I an still using, believe it or not, a couple of BVU200 and a BVE500 edit controller for off line work. One of the BVU200's head drum bearings is getting noisy. Does anybody have any spares available?

Paul Ryan
Friday 14th May 1999
9:15 pm U.K.


Anyone interested in a VP-5040 PAL Low Band player?Reasonable offers please!Paul

Monday 10th May 1999
10:21 am U.K.


Speaking of interesting cameras does anyone have details of the Fisher Pricepixel vision? AFAIK this little portable recored on to an audio compact cassette!

Matt Rathney-Quinn
Sunday 9th May 1999
11:29 am U.K.


Well if a camera section would be good I'd consider it a pleasure to research it.

With that in mind could I make it generally known that I'm gathering any and all information on standalone production type cameras. From things like the HVC series through M7's to whatever....

Anything that was an 'ENG' style unit (designed to work with a portable recorder) I want to hear all the silly little details. If anyone can send me brochures, pictures or whatever... Even simple recollections. Broadcast cameras to domestic units, I'd like to hear about them all.

I'd also like the camera socket pinouts for as many VCR VTR's as possible.

General Pinouts, PSU and technical information too would be handy. I know that when I've come to use an older camera I've often had to scrabble about quite a bit to find connection information etc.

It would be nice to have this sort of thing gathered in the one place.

One thing I would like to say though is that I'd like to concentrate on those units which were sold in PAL form. There were many cameras released in the US which never seen the light of day over here.

Once I have the bare bones together I'll submit the info to our generous host for inclusion on the site in whatever form is seen fit.

If people do have info can I suggest they send it directly to me via Email rather than on this board ...I don't imagine anybody wants to get too far off topic. Please also feel free to spread the word around whatever other forums and groups you belong to......

Let's hope that together we can add yet another dimension to the already excellent Palsite...


Martin Evans
Thursday 6th May 1999
7:34 am U.K.


Matt, a camera section would make a great addition to the site.

Thanks, Martin

Wednesday 5th May 1999
4:44 pm U.K.


That's a great idea! Pity I don't know much about old cameras. StillPALsite if here if you want anything hosted.

Matt Rathney-Quinn
Wednesday 5th May 1999
1:25 pm U.K.


It's gone suddenly quiet ;-)....

Here's a thought. Would anybody like to see information on old cameras collected and collated? I could possibly do this with a view to offering the results to the palsite.. Contact me via Email if this is of interest.

Is anyone out there still shooting on Umatic? ...might anybody be interested in shooting Umatic material? Would some hints and tips on how to get those old clunkers powered up and shooting be helpful?

Let's talk....


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