VT is dead, long live “Roll VT”

VT is dead, long live “Roll VT”


VT or video tape is pretty much dead now.

We’ve moved into digital workflows that no longer rely on tape but everyone still recognises and calls out “Roll VT”.

This harks back to a time when very little in the studio gallery was integrated or automated. There was a VT operator responsible for looking after all the A and B rolls of pre-recorded video tape. The operator loaded the rolls of tape and lined  them up to a point where the tape was ready to playout the required video from the deck.

It’s all under control, IP control

Strictly speaking these days “Roll VT” only involves pressing a button on the ATEM switcher’s control panel and IP commands take care of the rest. The required Hyperdeck file then plays into the switcher. However, front panel jog and transport keys are still there allowing old skilled hands to master new media just like linear tape.

Size matters

PAL tape decks seem like relics now. These professional machines were huge mechanical beasts even though the resolution handled was quite low. Nowadays the opposite is true, the files are huge but the machines much smaller and more elegant like the minute Hyperdeck Studio Mini. Even the media is smaller when considering reels and VHS tapes against 2.5” solid state drives and professional V90 SDXC cards.

Edit ready files

Today’s Hyperdecks may record to new media with a linear tape feel but gone are the days of marking and splicing linear tape. Instead the Hyperdeck’s recordings are transferred as edit ready, H.265, uncompressed raw, ProRes or DNxHD files. Meaning a Hyperdeck opens the doors to a myriad of possible workflows and non-linear editing applications like Davinci Resolve, Avid and Adobe to name a few.

So let us embrace the new Hyperdecks and say goodbye to the old days but please let’s keep on rolling VT.

Need more help choosing the right Hyperdeck?

See our handy Hyperdeck Guide

For more information on these products please call us or follow the links below.

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Extreme Control
Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Extreme Control

Adds traditional broadcast deck controls to HyperDeck Extreme 8K

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Extreme Rack Kit
Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Extreme Rack Kit

Rack mount two HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR or HyperDeck Extreme Control Units side by side

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio
Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio

Professional VTR Solid State Recorder - Version 2

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio 12G
Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio 12G

Professional high performance recorder and player with advanced 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 for recording and 4K HDR playback

Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Studio Mini
Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Studio Mini

Portable broadcast quality deck that records ProRes onto commonly available SD cards

Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Studio Pro
Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Studio Pro

Advanced SSD recorder with 6G-SDI, HDMI 4K, analogue, Thunderbolt and 4K support - Version 2

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