U-matic was one of the first video cassette formats. Until then open-reel tape was the norm. Prototype U-matic video recorders were first shown by Sony in 1969.
Japanese electronics giants Panasonic and JVC joined Sony and five other non-Japanese companies to agree unified standards for the format in 1970. The first U-matic products were introduced to the market in September 1971.
Five U-matic facts:-
- The format was named after the U shaped tape path
- Betamax, BetaSP and derivatives shared the same “U-load” system
- U-matic S was the official name for small format U-matic tapes
- S-format portable recorders gave the world ENG (Electronic News Gathering)
- Most digital audio recordings in the 1980s were mastered to U-matic
The development of high-band U-matic saw the original format being named low-band U-matic. U-maticSP was the swan-song of the format.
Click here to find out more about our U-matic video transfer facilities.