1 inch Type C (designated Type C by SMPTE) is a professional reel-to-reel analog recording helical scan videotape format co-developed and introduced by Ampex and Sony in 1976. It became the replacement in the professional video and broadcast television industries for the then-incumbent 2 inch Quadruplex videotape (2 inch Quad for short) open-reel format, due to the smaller size, comparative ease of operation (vs. 2 inch) and slightly higher video quality of 1 inch type C video tape recorder (VTR).
1 inch Type C is capable of "trick-play" functions such as still, shuttle, and variable-speed playback, including slow motion. 2 inch Quadruplex videotape machines lacked these capabilities, due to the segmented manner in which it recorded video tracks onto the magnetic tape. Also, 1 inch Type C VTRs required much less maintenance (and used less power and space) than did 2 inch machines.
Despite being a composite video format like U-matic or VHS, 1 inch Type C has very high video quality, approaching the quality of component video formats like Betacam.
The quality and reliability of 1 inch Type C made it a mainstay in television and video production in television studios for almost 20 years, before being supplanted by more compact videocassette formats like Betacam, DVCAM, D-1, D-2 and DVCPro.