When a data stream includes long sections of data that are repeated periodically, storage space may be saved by not including full repetitions of such sections in the storage. However, when the data is to be read from storage for utilization, the omitted repetitious sections must be inserted. This is accomplished by providing hardware apparatus which recognizes a particular flag occurring in the stored data. After recognizing the flag, the expansion apparatus interprets the next piece of information in the data stream as being the storage address of the start of a section of data that is to be inserted into the data stream; the next piece of information is interpreted as being the length of the section of data to be inserted; and the next following piece of information is the number of times that the section of data is to be inserted. The apparatus will respond to the flag and its associated indicators by inserting the appropriate data section the indicated number of times.