A mechanism for registering the tape contained within a cassette around a helical-scan head drum mechanism includes a sensor for sensing the presence of the tape cassette in a proper position for beginning the process of engagement of the tape in the cassette with the head assembly in the device. A symmetrical engagement mechanism includes two tape extraction roller blocks which sit at a first disengaged position. A tape extraction roller member for engaging the tape is mounted on each tape extraction roller block. When the presence of the cassette is sensed, the tape extraction roller blocks move along a predetermined path to a second, engaged position wherein the tape is correctly positioned around the head assembly. At a predetermined position along the path, a pair of symmetrically positioned entry-and-exit positioning rollers engage the tape and move it into position for passing it by the tape heads. A pair of springs are provided to prevent jamming in the event that one tape extraction roller block arrives in its position prior to the other. In an embodiment where the device includes a helical-scan head drum assembly, stationary tape positioning pins are provided for correcting the position of the tape from the tilted plane of the helical-scan head drum assembly to the vertical plane. These pins engage the tape prior to the end of travel of the tape extraction roller blocks. The tape is also loaded around a pinch roller and tension arm, as well as velocity and tension sensors.