Alpine DAT-8200

1 9 8 1 1981
1 9 8 2 1982

This should really be in the Invisibilia section of TVK as the DAT-8200 never reached the retailers' shelves.
However, the image above comes from a regular Alpine catalog (AL-300, AL-80, car-audio) which proves that Alpine really had something for its own PCM-on-tape format.

Shown first in late 1981 then quite a lot in 1982, the DAT-8200 was able to record PCM audio just like any other contemporary adaptor from Sony (PCM-F1 - without the Beta tape transport) or Technics (SVP-100 - bulky VHS) but did so on a small cassette tape and could also be used as a strict video recorder !

Alpine however was in no position to make a full 100% in-house development and the ICs and d/a chips were sourced from Mitsubishi, Texas Instruments and others which the central ADA Module neatly conceals ; the video mechanism came from ?

The problem is (was) that the 8200 relied on a proprietary tape transport and therefore a proprietary tape format and the market already was crowded with many audio, video and potentially audio/video formats : cassette, Elcaset, mini-cassette, Beta, VHS, Video2000, a few others and all with their PCM attempts.

Furthermore, the DAT-8200 was a 14bit deck set to record audio at 44,056Khz : in 1982 a dead option already as everybody had agreed on 16-bit / 44,1Khz for the upcoming CD and for the soon-to-be-introduced digital tracks on Laserdisc (by Pioneer and NTSC only).

And since the Digital Audio Tape format, spearheaded by Sony as early (as such) as late 1981, was about to be agreed upon by all in 1983 (effective in 1984), Sony won the day and flooded broadcasting stations and recording studios with the final PCM-on-tape format (D.A.T.) which it had pioneered since 1976 with the PCM-1.

Alpine came just a tad too late with its own - bridging gaps between two formats never was really successful, especially when you're not as strong as Sony was then in the professional and consumer and audio and video markets.

From dr.ido -
"The Alpine DAT-8200 appears to be based on the Funai/Technicolor CVC (Compact Video Cassette) format.

The transport in DAT-8200 looks more elaborate than the basic manual transport used in the all the CVC Portable VTRs that I have seen, but I would assume that it was also made (at least in part) by Funai.

While never exactly a mainstream format CVC VTRs were somewhat popular in some fields for a while.

(as often, the obvious is what escapes the scrutinist ;-)

Alpine DAT-8200, image 1 Alpine DAT-8200, image 2 Alpine DAT-8200, image 3
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