A banding artifact results when one or more video heads has been incorrectly adjusted for 2” tape playback. All four heads in a Quad player must be properly equalized to the recording in order to prevent this kind of error. If Ampex Auto Chroma is engaged, it will automatically adjust EQ for proper playback. There are manual controls for adjustment, as well.

Establishing perfect head equalization has always been tricky. In the early days of Quad use, it was not uncommon to ship from one station to another the heads used in the recording with the tape itself so that the original heads could be employed in playback, eliminating the need to recreate the set up on a different machine.

Can it be fixed?

If this banding error is detected on a Quad player, it may be able to be fixed by making proper head adjustments, usually through the use of an electronic delay control. If the banding is seen in a second generation recording captured from the original Quad recording, then the artifact cannot be eliminated through playback adjustment.


The equalization on one head was turned all the way down to create this image. Notice it is primarily an error in chrominance since the luminance (white) bar on the left shows no banding.

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