display | more...

Ampex is an audio and digital storage equipment company. They were founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatof, in California. They have been a longtime staple of electronic equipment. Following is a edited, partially annotated chronology from their website, www.ampex.com.:


1948 American Broadcasting Company uses an Ampex Model 200 audio recorder for the first-ever U.S. tape delay radio broadcast of The Bing Crosby Show.--This is why we now have delayed broadcasts of TV shows and sporting events.--

1950 Ampex introduces the first "dedicated" instrumentation recorder, Model 500, built for the U.S. Navy.

1954 Ampex introduces the first multi-track audio recorder derived from multi-track data recording technology. --Many companies adopted this, including Otari. This also allowed for stereo and multi channel recording, which allows the art of mixing.--

1958 NASA selects Ampex data recorders and magnetic tape, used for virtually all U.S. space missions since. --Ampex had many problems developing shielding to protect against magnetic interference and the extreme environment of space.--

1959 The famous Nixon-Khrushchev "Kitchen Debate" takes place at the Moscow Trade Fair, and is captured on an Ampex videotape recorder.

1961 Helical scanning recording is invented by Ampex, the technology behind the worldwide consumer video revolution, and used in all home VCRs today. --This refers to the round disk with the lines mounted at an angle, the 'read head' of the VCR.--

1963 Ampex introduces EDITEC electronic video editing, allowing broadcast television editors frame-by-frame recording control, simplifying tape editing and making animation effects possible. This was the basis for all subsequent editing systems. --All subsequent linear editing systems were based on this, non-linear systems are different.--

1967 ABC uses the Ampex HS-100 disk recorder for playback of slow-motion downhill skiing on World Series of Skiing in Vail, Colorado. Thus begins the use of slow motion instant replay in sporting events.

1968 Ampex invents magneto-resistive (MR) heads, now used in advanced computer disk drives.

1969 Ampex introduces the Videofile® system, used by Scotland Yard for the electronic storage and retrieval of fingerprints.

1977 Ampex introduces Electronic Still Store (ESS™) which allows producers to store digital video images for later editing and broadcast. --This was a very basic non-linear editor.--

1978 The Ampex Video Art (AVA™) video graphics system is used by artist Leroy Nieman on air during Super Bowl XII. AVA, the first video paint system, allows the graphic artist, using an electronic pen, to illustrate in a new medium, video. This innovation paved the way for today's high quality electronic graphics, such as those used in video games.

1988 Ampex introduces D-2, the first composite digital video recording format.

1992 Ampex introduces its DST® products, high-performance computer mass data storage systems able to store half the contents of the Library of Congress in 21 square feet of floor space.


Ampex now makes mass digital storage equipment. In the past, they made huge amounts of analog audio equipment. They never fully caught up with the digital revolution and have been surpassed by companies like Motu. Legacy Ampex recording equipment is still found in many studios due to its quality.

Today, Ampex makes mass storage devices, including 100 TB plus tape cartridge systems. These drive systems can hold the Library of Congress, according to Ampex. They also make all the accessorry equipment to buffer the data, and serve it to users. Their clients include the US government, broadcast TV stations, research institutions, and others with mass storage needs.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.