Re: Can we finally settle this?
Yes, it was an analogue transfer of the scan lines to tape, with a very high head to tape speed and vertical flyback done as the head left one side of the tape edge and the other head started at the other edge (the angle was pretty small).
A friend once told me that the most powerful computer in the world was actually in a satellite and performed standards conversion of US to UK TV, which are different frame rates, different line counts and different encodings etc. I assumed it had dedicated hardware that made it more powerful, it wasn't a MIPS thing.
They didn't have them in VCRs although I recall boxes for sale years later that did partial or complete conversion depending on the money paid.