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Helical Scan

A method of recording information onto magnetic tape. Helical scan began in the video tape world and uses spinning read/write heads that are housed in a metal drum sitting at an angle. The tape is wrapped around the drum in such a way that the tape comes into contact with the heads at an angle. This spiral (or helical) tape path provides a more efficient use of the surface area of the tape. Each path of a head across the tape is called a helical scan. Helical scan technology is used in video recorders, and most digital tape recorders.

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