D1 (1987 – 1990s)

Sony’s D1 was the first digital videotape format, introduced in 1987.

D1 stores uncompressed digitised component video, with very high picture quality and was most popular in high-end graphic and animation production despite being very expensive. It uses ¾-inch tape, with a maximum record time of 94 minutes, and 460 lines of resolution.

Sony’s Digital Betacam format, introduced in 1993, also used component video and became the de facto standard-definition broadcast format due to its affordability. But even after Digital Betacam was wide spread, the pure component, uncompressed nature of D1 was specified by major studios and commercial producers as the format of choice until HD took effect.

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