This is the Ampex TV Equipment Section of
The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by:
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
With the kind assistance of Xen Scott
Latest Update 2/29/04



Lytle Hoover remembers: "One of my concepts was a prerecorded newscast with each news story on different carts so the whole show could be preloaded in the cart machine sequentially ready to playback at air time."

Xen Scott says: "I did exactly that with the ACR-25s at KYW-TV. In the late 70s and early 80's, they cut news spots on 3/4 inch and fed the completed spot to me. I would record each spot on a cart whenever it was ready. I could take them in any order because the ACR-25 could play carts in any order that one wanted. I could set the cue point after taking in the spot. I could take in last minute stuff on one transport while playing to air on the other transport, although this was not done unless necessary because it was too challenging for most people. The instant play capability made the director's job easy.

"I controlled the ACR-25 under the voice direction of the control room director so last second changes were no problem. FWIW, I once had 56 playbacks in the one hour 6pm news (spots, bumpers, graphic backgrounds etc.) and 22 plays in one half hour 11pm news. That doesn't include commercials which Master Control aired from the other ACR-25.

"In case you're wondering, I used to protect myself from an ACR-25 failure by also copying anything fed to the ACR-25 on to a AVR-3 loaded with a black burst tape. The AVR-3 was almost as fast as the ACR-25. It would lock up to play in 15 frames (the ACR-25 would be there in 6 frames) and cue to the next point usually in less than 10 seconds (assuming it was the next item in sequence). However, the acceleration rate of the AVR-3 when shuttling was so great that a black burst tape would wear out after two weeks of daily use.

"Then there was the time when I aired a one hour show out of the ACR-25. It consisted of a bunch of segments, some as long as six minutes, fed in out of sequence by satellite from Rome just an hour or two before air. It was Special Broadcast having to do with elevating a Catholic Philadelphia Bishop to Cardinal. It would have taken a lot of conventional VTRs to do what I did with the ACR-25, and all the cross-rolls would have been manual instead of pre-programmed.

"Although the ACR-25 carts could be loaded with up to six minutes of tape, any length playback was possible by sequencing two or more carts. I often used the ACR-25 to provide a moving graphic background. The transition from cart to cart could be made invisible and would go on indefinitely. "


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