D2 (1988 – 2000s)

D2 was a digital video cassette format for professional broadcast use, and was introduced by Ampex, in collaboration with Sony in 1988 as a lower-cost alternative to D1. Unlike D1 which is a component format, D2 stores composite video but like D1 stores uncompressed digital video. Panasonic’s competing D3 was also stored composite video.

It was a cost-effective solution for broadcasters with investments in composite analogue video infrastructure, as D2 machines accepted standard analogue video and audio inputs and outputs.

D2 uses ¾-inch tape in one of three different size cassettes (with maximum playing times of 32, 94, and 208 minutes). The cassettes are very similar to D1, but are not interchangeable and D2 uses metal particle tape.

The D2 format had a relatively brief heyday, as the computer-based video server became available soon after its release. By 2003, only a few broadcasters continued to use D2.

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Preservation / Migration