Many SP-mode videotapes duplicated at Technicolor Video Services beginning in the summer of 1989 and ending in the fall of 2003 included a sequence of DTMF phone-dial tones at the start and/or end of the tape. On certain tapes with this sequence, a faint sound of extra tones precedes it. It is not yet known exactly what each tone in the sequence indicates, except there's usually a pause between the first and second tones, the second tone is always 1, the third tone is always #, and the fourth tone is always D. The sequence was used to encode video on the master tape by providing information on settings such as format, running time, audio level balance, volume control, etc. to automatic videotape duplication machines. This allowed better replication of the master tapes recorded on the formats the videotapes were released in.
Oddities About This Sequence on Certain VHS Tapes
- On certain pressings of CBS/Fox releases from 1989-1990, this sequence occurs during the still-framed 1983-1999 Fox FBI warning screen/1984-2000 CBS/Fox Video logo combo that likely occured at the start of those pressings due to some sort of processing error.
- Usually, this sequence is heard in the left audio channel, but occasionally, it could be on the right (most notably on certain pressings of the 1993 VHS of Disney's "Pinocchio" (1943)).