Tech One's U-matic Page

Welcome to Tech 1's U-matic Page!

I will be posting pics and info on my collection of U-matics and related Video gear here regularly, so keep checking back for Updates!

The U-Matic Format was developed by Sony in the late 60's, and is the first widely-used Video Cassette format. The advantages of U-Matic are many due to the 3/4" wide tape, which provides wide bandwidth not only for video tracks, but also 2 analog audio tracks or time code.

Might as well start at the beginning, and the genesis of any U-matic field project is a sturdy, reliable Portable U-matic VTR! Video aquisition with a U-matic machine may be quite a chore because these babies are heavy-duty, but the rewards
of the effort are definately worth it!

Here is one of my golden oldies...

Panasonic NV-9400

This is a real Workhorse of a Portable 3/4" VTR! I bought this deck for $5 or $10 and it was caked with dust, the previous owner told me it would not play a tape but would Eject when the Play button was pushed.

When I got it home and opened it up there was a piece a black electrical tape wrapped around the pressure roller/capstan assembly. After removing the tape and cleaning off the sticky residue, it worked perfectly!

Some of the features/controls of the NV-9400 are Color Lock, Selectable Audio Monitor of CH 1/Mix/2, Tracking, Audio Limiter, & a Multi-function Meter switch that allows you to monitor: Batt, Servo, Video Level, Audio 1&2...pretty advanced stuff for the 1980's!

Editing U-matic Footage


Still working today, but these units will be soon relegated to the "archival collection" to make way for a new Sony system.

At one time the flagship VTR's of the Panasonic Professional line, the NV-9600/9240 with edit controler NV-a960 would set you back about $30,000 in the mid-80's. Although, packed with features, Panasonic's "U-vision" line never bested Sony's fine offering of U-matics and were the last of their kind. Also produced were the Broadcast line AU-700 VTR & AU-a70 edit controller w/ Time Code.

Panasonic NV-9600
3/4" Editing U-Vision VTR

A full compliment of Editing features
are incorporated into the 9600, including:

Edit Controllers

Panasonic NV-A500

This is a Panasonic NV-A500 "Cuts Only" Edit Controller
IC Logic circut boards in the decks allowed the NV-A500
to "talk" to the NV-9240/9600 to perform a wide variety
of edting functions such as:

  • Assemble/Insert
  • Preview
  • Review
  • Go-To
  • Preroll (adjustable from 3-5 secs)

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