Not sure what media type you have?

Whether you have reels of old film, stacks of old tapes, or a box of photos and slides, Duplication Media can help identify your specific media format.

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Jump to: Video Audio Slide Film

Video Formats

VHS / SVHS
Regional Formats
  • NTSC
  • PAL
  • SECAM
Medium Type

Oxide-coated mylar magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/2" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 7.4" x 4.06" x 1"
Identifying Characteristics

Plastic shell held together with five screws. A flip-up cover protects the tape that is wound between two spools. This allows playback and recording heads access to the tape. A T120 can hold up to 2 hours in SP mode or 6 hours in EP mode.

The audio system used in the SVHS remained the same, however improved video bandwidth provided a superior picture quality to the VHS.

VHS-C / SVHS-C
Medium Type

Oxide-coated mylar magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/2" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 3.6" x 2.25" x 0.75"
Identifying Characteristics

Compact versions of their counterparts, these tapes provided shorter playback times but were popular in hand-held camcorders due to their smaller size. A TC30 can hold up to 30 minutes in SP mode or 90 minutes in EP mode

Betamax
Medium Type

Ferric-oxide formulated tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/2" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 10" x 5.75" x 1"
Identifying Characteristics

Betamax is the consumer version of this format. Shell colors vary between formats allowing easy identification. Betacam and Betamax cases are interchangeable, however the recording formats are not.

Betacam
Medium Type

Ferric-oxide formulated tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/2" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 10" x 5.75" x 1"
Identifying Characteristics

Betacam is the broadcast version of this format. Shell colors vary between formats allowing easy identification. Betacam and Betamax cases are interchangeable, however the recording formats are not.

8mm
Medium Type

Magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 8mm wide
  • Plastic Shell: 3.74" x 2.46" x 0.59"
Identifying Characteristics

Magnetic tape is wound between two spools and contained within a hard-shell cassette. These cassettes share similar size and appearance with the audio cassette, but their mechanical operation is far closer to that of VHS or Betamax videocassettes.

Hi-8
Medium Type

Magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 8mm wide
  • Plastic Shell: 4" x 2.7" x 0.5"
Identifying Characteristics

Hi-8 uses improved recorder electronics and media formulation to increase the recorded bandwidth of the luminance signal. Magnetic tape is wound between two spools and contained within a hard-shell cassette. These cassettes share similar size and appearance with the audio cassette, but their mechanical operation is far closer to that of VHS or Betamax videocassettes.

Digital8
Medium Type

Magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 8mm wide
  • Plastic Shell: 4" x 2.7" x 0.5"
Identifying Characteristics

Runs at 2x the rate of Hi-8. Magnetic tape is wound between two spools and contained within a hard-shell cassette. These cassettes share similar size and appearance with the audio cassette, but their mechanical operation is far closer to that of VHS or Betamax videocassettes.

MiniDV
Medium Type

Magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/4" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 2.5" x 1.9" x 0.4"
Identifying Characteristics

Originally intended for amateur use, these became accepted in professional production as well. MiniDV cassettes are used for recording baseline DV, DVCAM, and HDV.

DVCam
Medium Type

Magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/4" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 5.3" x 3.8" x 0.9"
Identifying Characteristics

A variation of the DV format developed by Sony and aimed at the semi-professional and lower-end professional market. DVCAM uses the same type of tape and compression as DV and MiniDV but at a higher speed (almost 50% faster).

3/4" U-Matic
Medium Type

Magnetic tape.

Measurements
  • Tape: 3/4" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 8.63" x 5.38" x 1.19"
Identifying Characteristics

It was among the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette, as opposed to the various reel-to-reel or open-reel formats of the time. It is a broadcast format that was popular with TV stations in the 1970s, and unlike most other cassette-based tape formats, the supply and take-up reels in the cassette turn in opposite directions during playback, fast-forward, and rewind.

MicroMV
Medium Type

Helical scan tape system using a magnetic recording read head.

Measurements
  • Plastic Shell: ~ 1.8" x 1.15" x 0.24"
Identifying Characteristics

A proprietary videotape format produced by Sony, it is the smallest videotape format available. Each tape holds up to 60 minutes of video.

DigitalS
Medium Type

Oxide-coated Mylar magnetic tape. Similar to the VHS, but much higher quality metal particle formulation.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/2" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 7.38" x 4.06" x 1"
Identifying Characteristics

Uses the same shell form factor as the VHS. Recording quality is much better than analog tapes, similar to Digital Betacam.

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Audio Formats

Audio Cassette
Other Names
  • Compact Audio Cassette (CAC)
  • Musicassetet (MC)
  • Tape / Cassette
Medium Type

Polyester type plastic film with a magnetic coating.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/8" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 4" x 2." x 0.5"
Identifying Characteristics

Tape length is usually measured in minutes of total playing time. The most popular varieties are C46 (23 minutes per side), C60 (30 minutes per side), C90 (45 minutes per side), and C120 (60 minutes per side).

Micro Cassette
Medium Type

Polyester type plastic film with a magnetic coating.

Measurements
  • Tape: 1/8" wide
  • Plastic Shell: 2" x 1.4" x 0.5"
Identifying Characteristics

Tape length is usually measured in minutes of total playing time. The most popular varieties are MC30 (15 minutes per side), MC60 (30 minutes per side), MC90 (45 minutes per side). All varieties have 2 speeds. Ex: MC60 gives 30 minutes recording per side at its standard speed of 2.4 cm/s, and double that duration at 1.2 cm/s.

Reel-to-Reel
Medium Type

Magnetic tape medium mounted on an open reel.

Measurements

Tape widths: 0.25" (6.35mm), 0.5", 1", 2"

Identifying Characteristics

An open reel called the "supply reel" or "feed reel" that contains the tape is mounted on a spindle. The end of the tape is manually pulled out of the reel, threaded through mechanical guides and tape head assemply, and attached to a second reel known as the "take-up reel".

8-Track Tape
Other Names
  • Stereo 8
  • 8-Track Cartridge
Medium Type

Magnetic tape medium housed in a plastic cartridge.

Measurements

Cartridge: 5.25" x 4" x 0.9"

Identifying Characteristics

A continuous loop magnetic tape housed in a hard plastic cartridge. These were capable of holding up to 90 minutes of audio. As their name implies, they had 8 tracks that could be switched between automatically.

Album
Other Names
  • Phonograph Record
  • Gramophone Record
  • Vinyl Record
  • Vinyl
Medium Type

Flat polyvinyl-chloride disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove.

Measurements

Diameters: 12", 10", 7"

Identifying Characteristics

A continuous, sprial groove is inscribed into the medium. This groove moves gradually from the outside of the disc to the center. Album covers, or sleeves, protect the fragile discs during storage.

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Slide Formats

35mm
Medium Type

Reversal Film - positive image on a trasparent base.

Measurements
  • Transparency: 36mm x 24mm
  • Mount: 2" x 2"
Identifying Characteristics

Specially mounted individual transparency framed in a cardboard or plastic mount. Can be projected onto a screen using a slide projector.

110
Medium Type

Reversal Film - positive image on a trasparent base.

Measurements
  • Transparency: 17mm x 13mm
  • Mount: 2" x 2"
Identifying Characteristics

Specially mounted individual transparency framed in a cardboard or plastic mount. Can be projected onto a screen using a slide projector.

126
Medium Type

Reversal Film - positive image on a trasparent base.

Measurements
  • Transparency: 28mm x 28mm
  • Mount: 2" x 2"
Identifying Characteristics

Specially mounted individual transparency framed in a cardboard or plastic mount. Can be projected onto a screen using a slide projector.

127
Medium Type

Reversal Film - positive image on a trasparent base.

Measurements
  • Transparency: 40mm x 40mm
  • Mount: 2" x 2"
Identifying Characteristics

Specially mounted individual transparency framed in a cardboard or plastic mount. Can be projected onto a screen using a slide projector.

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Film Formats

Regular 8
Medium Type

Film stock made from a transparent plastic film base coated on one side with gelatin emulsion.

Measurements
  • Film Width: 7.9mm
  • Frame Width: 4.5mm
  • Frame Height: 3.3mm
Identifying Characteristics

Large perforations line up with the gaps between frames along one side of the film. Because of this, image areas are slightly smaller.

Super 8
Medium Type

Film stock made from a transparent plastic film base coated on one side with gelatin emulsion.

Measurements
  • Film Width: 7.9mm
  • Frame Width: 5.79mm
  • Frame Height: 4.01mm
Identifying Characteristics

Smaller, elongated perforations line up with with the center of each frame along one side of the film. These smaller holes allow for larger image areas.

16mm
Medium Type

Film stock made from a transparent plastic film base coated on one side with gelatin emulsion.

Measurements
  • Film Width: 16mm
  • Frame Width: 10.26mm
  • Frame Height: 7.49mm
Identifying Characteristics

Small perforations line up with the gaps between each frame along both sides of the film. The larger 16mm format allows for much larger image areas.

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