compact video disc

Compact Video Cassette

Compact Video Cassette (CVC) was the one of the first videocassette formats using a tape smaller than its earlier predecessors of VHS and Betamax. It was developed by Funai Electronics of Japan. The first model of VCR for the format was the Model 212, introduced in 1980 by Funai and Technicolor, which Funai had started a joint venture with to manufacture and introduce the format to the home video market. The system, including VCR and handheld camera, was very small and lightweight for its time.

The CVC format used a cassette about 4.124" x 2.625" x 0.5" in size (slightly larger than an audio cassette) loaded with 1/4" videotape. The cassette size is made small by re-using the space vacated by one spool as the other spool fills up, in the same way as an audio cassette but unlike other video cassette formats where the spools have top and bottom disks.

2 versions of the Funai Model 212 were introduced: the Model 212D, which came with a JVC model GX-44E hand held Vidicon tube camera with a zoom lens, and the improved Model 212E, which was introduced later on. The tapes for the CVC format came in VC-30 (30 minute) and later VC-45 (45 minute) & VC-60 (60 minute) models.

Technicolor hoped this system would compete with 8mm film. But the Vidicon tube used for the bundled camera didn't have good low light pick up, a necessity for home use. Plus, the 1/4"-wide tape was prone to dropouts (appearing as spots of white snow in the video) during video playback due to the small tape size. Low tape quality used at that time for the CVC cassettes was also a contributing factor to these dropouts.

Grundig also produced a a CVC-format VCR, the Model VP-100. The VP-100 used a slower capstan speed than the Model 212D, which increased the recording time. The VP-100 weighhed only 2.3 kg with battery, and had a separate power pack.


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