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"Poita No Return" - the EIAJ open-reel dub of SW Ep.IV

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This set of two EIAJ open-reel videotapes was acquired by OT member Poita on eBay.  I agreed to digitize them.

The tapes are Memorex open-reel black and white tapes.  I transfered them to computer using a Panasonic NV-3160 EIAJ deck, with dropout compensation.  The signal was passed through an AVTools timebase corrector, and a Canopus ADVC-100 digital converter.

EIAJ at best has resolution similar to VHS.  These particular tapes were in superb condition (for EIAJ), although exhibited severe sticky-shed and thus required baking as most EIAJ tapes do.  The tapes were baked for 6 hours in an American Harvest food dehydrator, eliminating the sticky shed.

The resulting digitization is SD .avi.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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It is not a 16mm telecine or bootleg theater capture, because there are no reel-change spots.

There also appear to be no advertisements or breaks.  My initial impression is that it is probably a dub of a fullscreen VHS release.  The scroll says "Ep.IV".

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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More evidence that it's a VHS dub and not a broadcast... Tape #2 overlaps about 20 seconds of material with the end of tape #1.  As if whoever copied it wanted to make sure and not miss anything, by rewinding the source tape slightly before starting the dub onto tape #2.

Transfer of tape #1 is complete.  Tape #2 started and squealed a bit -- requires further baking.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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Someone could have recorded two different PPV airings though. No logos or FBI warnings in sight?

Are you able to peek at the vertical blanking interval with your gear? Fox occasionally had blocky white text in there on their early video releases, possibly as a sort of watermark. I miss the days when you could mess with the vertical hold on the tv.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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That's a shame, I would have liked to have seen some old commercials :)

 

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Yum! Freshly baked Memorex, straight from the oven!

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
bitcoin:13QDjXjt7w7BFiQc4Q7wpRGPtYKYchnm8x
Help get The Original Trilogy preserved!

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 (Edited)

Makes sense, CBS didn't start broadcasting in stereo until 1987, and in the days before actual stereo TV transmission, the only way to have stereo TV was through an FM simulcast.

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Early stereo VCR's had an audio input setting to facilitate FM simulcast recordings. I could get MTV's stereo audio if I ran the cable into my stereo's tuner back then.

I think it was mentioned before some of the early pay per view showings may have had simulcasts as well.

Glad someone here got the reels. :)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

Early stereo VCR's had an audio input setting to facilitate FM simulcast recordings. I could get MTV's stereo audio if I ran the cable into my stereo's tuner back then.

I find it interesting that the circulating bootlegs of MTV's first day are in stereo.

People talk about how only a few thousand people watched MTV's premiere, so it's amazing that at least one of them not only recorded it for posterity, but cared enough to tape it in stereo.

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Maybe it was someone taping it straight off the satellite feed? Not that hard for someone with one of those big dishes in their backyard, or a cable company employee to do it on the fly back then.

 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

Maybe it was someone taping it straight off the satellite feed? Not that hard for someone with one of those big dishes in their backyard, or a cable company employee to do it on the fly back then.

But why on earth would anyone with access to those kind of resources, choose EIAJ as the capture medium?

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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I was referring to the MTV debut. ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I know that MTV VP Les Garland had a friend in Tulsa tape the first day. Maybe that guy turned around and bootlegged his recording.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the actual topic of this thread...

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Puggo - Jar Jar's Yoda said:

Finished baking the second tape.

Welcome to OriginalTrilogy.com, one of the few places in the world where the above sentence makes any kind of sense!

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DavidMerrick said:

Puggo - Jar Jar's Yoda said:

Finished baking the second tape.

Welcome to OriginalTrilogy.com, one of the few places in the world where the above sentence makes any kind of sense!

lol

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post 102 is worth more.

I’m late to the party, but I think this is the best song. Enjoy!

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DavidMerrick said:

Puggo - Jar Jar's Yoda said:

Finished baking the second tape.

Welcome to OriginalTrilogy.com, one of the few places in the world where the above sentence makes any kind of sense!

Nah, sticky-shed is a pretty common thing with any kind of analog tape.  A friend of mine had a Studer A80 and was constantly baking tapes working on projects.

Baking tapes famously saved the 3rd Boston album (whether it deserved to be saved is a matter of personal opinion ;-)

“Yes, it speaks of the trinity; casting light at the sun with its wandering eye”

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Yeah, most major studios (audio or video) have some means of baking tapes today.  When they remaster an old recording, for example, they often have to bake the master tapes.

Sorry for the delay digitizing the second tape.  My computer has been tied up rendering a series of tapes for the past month.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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Yay!  Finally finished transfering the second tape.  The credits were chopped off at the end.  It's not pretty, and there are no surprises... it is what it is.  Even after further baking, the second tape was very rough.

No "close the blast doors", if anyone cares.

I'll be sending the pair of .avi files to Poita.  Neither of us really want the EIAJ tapes themselves -- he suggests selling them on eBay to help defray expenses.  Anyone here violently object to that?

There were an additional two tapes containing Close Encounters.  I played them long enough to confirm that was what was on them, but I didn't digitize them.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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 (Edited)

Before today (and by today I mean Tuesday at a little past midnight. I should be asleep now :P ) I had never heard of EIAJ tape. Interesting stuff. I am curious why such a recording would exist, especially as a transfer from a VHS tape. Wouldn't the VHS look better, or were VCR's or even VCP's more expensive than EIAJ?

Oh, and FunkyDays, can you please remove all that unused space in your post?

Nobody sang The Bunny Song in years…

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Danfun128 said:

I am curious why such a recording would exist, especially as a transfer from a VHS tape.

That is really the most interesting question about this project.  By the time SW came out in 1977, EIAJ had already been pretty much dead for a year.  Now, if it were a theater dub, I could understand it.  But it looks more like a dub from some other video.

If anyone is curious to see my actual EIAJ deck, it can be seen at the beginning of this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKkONJpzU5w

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars