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EIAJ-1 Format Videotape
Sony 1/2 inch VTR, Model A3500
Media type Magnetic Tape
Encoding NTSC, PAL
Developed by Sony
Usage Home movies, Industrial & educational video production

EIAJ-1, developed by the Electronic Industries Association of Japan (in conjunction with several Japanese electronics manufacturers) in 1969, was the first standardized format for industrial/non-broadcast video tape recorders (VTRs). It was developed in response to most non-broadcast industrial VTRs on the market at the time relying on proprietary formats exclusive to the make (and sometimes model) of VTR, instead of using an industry-standard format. As a result, video tapes recorded on one make and/or model of VTR could only be interchanged with the same, hampering compatibility. EIAJ-1 did away with all of this, giving those manufacturers a standardized format interchangeable with almost all the VTRs that they manufactured.

The EIAJ-1 standard paved the way for consumer oriented non-professional analog video recording technology to become more affordable and widespread, with many businesses, schools, government agencies, hospitals, and even some consumers to immediately adopt the format in the early 1970s. Some of the first public-access television stations that went on the air in that same era also used EIAJ-1 extensively, due to its portability, low cost, and versatility.

Panasonic 1/2 inch VTR, Model NY3130 at DC Video, [1],

The format offered black-and-white (and later colour) video recording and playback on 1/2" magnetic tape on a 7"-diameter open reel, with portable units using smaller 5"-diameter reels. Another version, EIAJ-2, was released that used a single-reel cartridge (with the take-up reel being built into the VTR) instead of an open reel (otherwise it was the same as EIAJ-1).

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