1956: Ampex VRX-1000 First Commercial Video Recorder

Jan 1, 2011 9:00 AM


Mix Regional

The Mix Regional section for Mix's September 2014 issue focuses on Miami. Send us your studio news: updates, sessions, new rooms, plus club performances and installations. Let the Mix audience know what is going on! Send photos and descriptions to mixeditorial@nbmedia.com.

Ampex VRX-1000 with company founder Alexander Pontiatoff

Ampex VRX-1000 with company founder Alexander Pontiatoff

The concept for the videotape recorder hails from Bing Crosby’s audio engineer, Jack Mullin, who brought the first German tape recorders to America after World War II. In 1946, Crosby fronted Ampex the capital to begin building audio tape recorders. Four years later, with the advent of television, Mullin talked to Crosby about the notion of recording TV programs on tape.

In 1952, Ampex began its VTR project, with Charles Ginsburg leading a team that included Charles Anderson, Alex Maxey, Fred Pfost, Shelby Henderson and a 19-year old kid named Ray Dolby. But rather than a fixed-head approach, Ginsburg pursued the now-standard concept of rotary tape heads, proposed by engineer/inventor Marvin Camras. The first production unit (shown on page 16 with Ampex founder Alex M. Pontiatoff) was sold to CBS for tape-delay broadcasts of news broadcasts in November 1956. The VRX-1000 was $50,000 (an enormous sum in the mid-1950s), but the days of live broadcasts were numbered and television production would never be the same.

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.