1977 Philips N1700

N1700 (Released 1977)

Superficially similar to the Philips N1502 both externally and internally. There were however very few components interchangeable between the two models. Slower tape-speed and a slant-azimuth recording technique (to almost eliminate cross-talk between video tracks without using tape-wasting guard-bands) made possible the longer playing time without a noticeable loss in picture quality. The mains lead was hard-wired into the machine however later releases of the N1700 had a removable lead – this would become standard on the N1702 model. Also on later models, presumably as the company had already started production of the N1702, the internal Video Head is also sometimes labelled as N1702 instead of N1700.



The N1700 looks identical to the 1975 N1502, however looking a bit closer shows the controls have been re-designed. There’s a sliding tracking control replacing the rotary one, a different clock, and lower-profile control buttons. The big difference though is the “Long Play” feature.

The N1700 was an entirely new format, VCR-LP, which could record for well over two hours on a standard 60-minute VCR cassette. For the first time, an entire feature film could be held on a single video cassette.




Philips achieved this increase using a new technique called Slant Azimuth recording, where the heads themselves were mounted on the drum at a slight angle to the track being written.

The two heads were set at opposite angles, which prevented one head from picking up interference from adjacent tracks – since these had been recorded at the other angle. So, there was now no need for ‘guard band’ gaps between the tracks, and they could be recorded much closer together on the tape. This in turn meant that the tape could be run at less than half the speed of a VCR format machine.


Useful and interesting information

The N1700 in my collection

Reported Fault Condition: Does not power up.


Belts have succumbed to the years, sticky and deformed


Belt kit has arrived from Germany……..

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