poration, the small Redwood City, California, company that had introduced professional audiotape to American radio five years earlier. Poniatoff thought Ginsburg could lead a project to create a magnetic tape machine to record television. He was put in charge of a six-member research team that went head-to-head with giants such as RCA and other large electronics companies pursuing the same objective. Ginsburg put together a team consisting of Charles Anderson, Ray Dolby, Shelby Henderson, Alex Maxey, and R. Fred Pfost.
These Ampex engineers found the answer to practical video recording. Instead of ''muscling" the tape at high speed past fixed heads, the team used the idea that originally came from Marvin Camras at Armour Research Foundation in Chicago—mounting heads on a rotating wheel that moved the heads rapidly past the slow-moving tape. Starting in 1952 the Ampex team overcame major design obstacles, including head design and wear, head-to-head tracking, and the use of frequency modulated (FM) signal processing. Augmenting the work of Ginsburg and Dolby, the first two team members, were Maxey's mechanical design and his other contributions, Anderson's FM video signal processor, and Pfost's work on recording and playback heads. Their developments included the then-slow tape speed of 15 inches per second (38 cm/s), resulting in a twelve-inch diameter reel of videotape having the amazing recording length of one hour.
A 3M team in St. Paul, Minnesota, under William Wetzel, provided Ampex with the first videotape, a special two-inch-wide tape needed for the new recording technology. This basic formulation was to become the first commercial videotape, Scotch Number 179. By 1956 the prototype transverse scan black-and-white videotape recorder, the Ampex Mark IV, was ready to show to the world.
On Wednesday, November 30, 1956, the nightly CBS newscast, "Douglas Edwards and the News," was recorded at CBS Television City in Hollywood on the Ampex videotape recorder (VTR) for later tape-delayed broadcast to West Coast cities. The fifteen-minute program had been recorded two hours earlier from a network land feed on an Ampex VRX-1000 VTR. The