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Encyclopedia > Betacam
Sony Betacam-SP VTP BVW-65
Sony Betacam-SP VTP BVW-65
Betacam and VHS size comparisonBetacam SP L (top), Betacam SP S (left), VHS (right)
Betacam and VHS size comparison
Betacam SP L (top), Betacam SP S (left), VHS (right)
The early form of Betacam tapes are interchangeable with Betamax, though the recordings are not.
The early form of Betacam tapes are interchangeable with Betamax, though the recordings are not.

Betacam is a family of half-inch professional videotape products developed by Sony from 1982 onwards. In casual use, "Betacam" singly is often used to refer to a Betacam camcorder, a Betacam tape, or a Betacam video recorder. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1020x538, 119 KB) ファイルの概要 SONY BVW-65 BETACAM Video Tape Recorder Sony Co. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1020x538, 119 KB) ファイルの概要 SONY BVW-65 BETACAM Video Tape Recorder Sony Co. ... Download high resolution version (1780x933, 450 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1780x933, 450 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS, is a recording and playing standard. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (986x317, 76 KB) Summary On the left, a professional Betacam tape, on the right a domestic Beta (Betamax) tape. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (986x317, 76 KB) Summary On the left, a professional Betacam tape, on the right a domestic Beta (Betamax) tape. ... Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. ... Sony Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and one of the worlds largest media conglomerates with revenue of $66. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ...

All Betacam variants from the original (plain) Betacam to Betacam SP and Digital Betacam, use the same shape cassettes, meaning vaults and other storage facilities do not have to be changed when upgrading to a new format. The cassettes come in two sizes: S and L. Betacam cameras can only load S tapes, while VTRs can play both S and L tapes. The cassette shell and case for each Betacam cassette is colored differently depending on the format, allowing for easy visual identification. There is also a mechanical key that allows a video tape recorder to tell which format has been inserted. Sony camera head with Betacam SP dock recorder. ... A video tape recorder (VTR), is a tape recorder that can record video material. ...



Betacam / Betacam SP

The original Betacam format was launched in 1982. It is an analog S-video format, storing the luminance (Y) in one track and the chrominance (C) on another, performing Compressed Time Division Multiplex, or CTDM. This splitting of channels provides a crisp, true broadcast quality product with 300 lines of horizontal luma resolution, and 120 lines chroma resolution (versus ~30 for Betamax/VHS). Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... An analog or analogue signal is any continuously variable signal. ... S-Video (also known as Y/C) is a baseband analog video format offering a higher quality signal than composite video, but a lower quality than RGB and component video. ...

The original Betacam format records on cassettes loaded with oxide-formulated tape, which are theoretically the same as used by its consumer market-oriented predecessor Betamax, introduced 7 years earlier by Sony in 1975. A blank Betamax-branded tape will work on a Betacam deck, and a Betacam-branded tape can be used to record in a Betamax deck. However, in later years Sony discouraged this practice, suggesting that the internal tape transport of a domestic Betamax cassette was not well suited to the faster tape transport of Betacam. Sonys Betamax is the 12. ...

Although there is a superficial similarity between Betamax and Betacam in that they use the same tape cassette, they are really quite different formats. Betamax records relatively low resolution composite video using a heterodyne color recording system and only two recording heads, while Betacam uses four heads to record in component format, at a much higher linear tape speed, resulting in much-higher video and audio quality. A typical L-750 length Beta cassette that will yield about 3 hours of recording time on a Betamax VCR at its B-II speed, will only yield 30 minutes on a Betacam deck or camcorder. The video cassette recorder (or VCR, less popularly video tape recorder) is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. ... Sony DV Handycam A camcorder is a portable electronic device for recording video images and audio onto an internal storage device. ...

It may also be noted that Matsushita / Panasonic also introduced a professional 1/2" component videotape format which used VHS style tape cassettes called "M-Format". However, while Sony's Betacam system became an industry standard the M format was a technical and marketing dud. A followup format called M-II was vastly improved but failed to catch on although it was an internal standard at NBC for a time. M is the name of a professional videocassette format developed around 1982 by Matsushita and RCA. It was developed as a competitor to Sonys Betacam format. ...

Betacam was initially introduced as a camera line along with a video cassette player. The first cameras were the BVP-3, which utilized 3 saticon tubes, and the BVP1, which used a single tri-stripe Trinicon tube. Both these cameras could be operated standalone, or with their docking companion VTR, the BVV1, (quickly superseded by the BVV1A) to form the BVW1 (BVW1A) integrated camcorder. Tapes could not be played back in camera except in black and white for viewing in the camera's viewfinder only. Color playback required the studio source deck at first, the BVW10, which could not record, only play back. It was primarily designed as a feeder deck for A/B roll edit systems, usually for editing to a 1" Type C or 3/4" Umatic cassette edit master tape. There was also the BVW20 field playback deck, which was a portable unit with dc power and a handle, that was used to verify color playback of tapes in the field. Unlike the BVW10, it did not have a built in Time Base Corrector, or TBC.

With the popular success of the Betacam system as a news acquisition format, the line was soon extended to include the BVW15 studio player, and the BVW40 Studio Edit Recorder. The BVW15 added Dynamic Tracking which enabled clear still frame and jog playback, something the BVW10 could not deliver. The BVW40 enabled for the first time editing to a Betacam master, and if setup and wired correctly, true component video editing. It was also possible to do machine to machine editing between a BVW10/15 and BVW40 without an edit controller—a single serial cable between the units was all that was required to control the player from the recorder in performing simple assemble and insert editing. Additionally there were two field models introduced, the field recorder BVW25, and the BVW21 play only portable field deck.

At its introduction, many insisted that Betacam remained inferior to the bulkier 1" Type C and B recording, the standard broadcast production format of the late 70s to mid 80s. Additionally, the maximum record time for both the cameras and studio recorders was only half an hour, a severe limitation in television production. There was also the limitation that high quality recording was only possible if the original component signals were available, as they would be in a camcorder setup. If they had already been converted to composite video, re-converting them to components for recording and then eventually back to composite for broadcast, caused a severe drop in quality. Look up composite in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

In 1986 Betacam SP was developed, which increased horizontal resolution to 340 lines. While the quality improvement of the format itself was minor, the improvement to the VTRs was enormous, in quality, features, and particularly, the new larger cassette with 90 minutes of recording time. Beta SP (for "Superior Performance") became the industry standard for most TV stations and high-end production houses until the late 1990s. Despite the format's age Beta SP remains a common standard for video post-production. The recording time is the same as for Betacam, 30 and 90 minutes for S and L, respectively. Tape speed is slightly slower in machines working in the 625/50 format, increasing tape duration of one minute for every five minutes of run time. So, a 90 minute tape will record 108 minutes of video in PAL. Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... A television station is a type of radio station that broadcasts both audio and video to television receivers in a particular area. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... For other uses, see PAL (disambiguation). ...

Betacam SP is able to achieve its namesake "Superior Performance" over Betacam in the fact that it uses metal-formulated tape, as opposed to Betacam's oxide tape. Sony designed Betacam SP to be partially forward compatible with standard Betacam, with the capability that Betacam SP tapes can be played in oxide-era Betacam VTRs (such as the BVW-15 and BVW-40 mentioned earlier), but for playback only. Betacam SP-branded tapes cannot be used for recording in consumer Betamax VCRs like oxide Betacam tapes, due to Betacam SP's metal-formulation tape causing the video heads in a Betamax deck to wear prematurely, which are made of a softer material than the heads in a standard Betacam deck. However, Betacam SP tapes can be used without a problem in ED Beta VCRs, since the ED Beta format uses metal-formulated tape as well. Forward compatibility is the ability of a system to accept input from later versions of itself. ...

The new Betacam SP studio decks were the players, the BVW60 and BVW65, with Dynamic Tracking and the Edit Recorders, the BVW70, and the Dynamic Tracking model, the BVW75. The BVV5 was the BetcamSP dockable camera back, which could playback in color if its companion playback adapter was used. A new SP field recorder, the BVW 35, possessed the added benefit of a standard RS422 serial control port that enabled it to be used as an edit feeder deck. Though the four new studio decks could utilize the full 90 minute BetaSP cassettes, the BVW35 remained limited to the original Beta form factor 30 minute cassette shells. Answering a need for a basic office player, Sony also introduced the BVW22, a much less expensive desktop model that could be used for viewing and logging 90 minute cassettes, but could not be configured into an edit system.

Sony followed up the SP Field Recorder with the BVW50, that could record and play the large size 90 minute cassettes. After this, the deck line was relatively stagnant and incredibly popular for a decade, aside from some specialty models that could record digital audio.

Until the introduction of the BVW-200 camera though, the camera and recorder configuration was a docking system. The BVW-200 was an integrated camera recorder system. It sacrificed the flexibility of a docking camera in order to lose a substantial amount of weight. Eventually, non-docking camcorders became the most popular design by the mid-90s.

The final analog BetacamSP camcorder was the BVW600, which paired a camera front section very similar to the one on the DigiBeta DVW700 to a BetaSP recorder. Like every other Betacam camera system, and unlike the DigiBeta DVW700, the camera could not playback in color without the use of an outboard adapter.

In the early 90s a "pro" or "industrial" line of decks was introduced, with model numbers that echoed the naming conventions of Sony's 1970s era U-matic editing decks. These were the PVW2600 edit source feeder and the 2800 edit recorder. These excellent machines primarily lacked the third and fourth audio channels of the BVW series. In the mid-nineties, the far less expensive UVW series debuted. These machines were considerably simpler, somewhat lower quality, and were designed primarily to be used as companions to computer systems, and possessed very limited front panel controls, no jog and shuttle, with TBC control available only with extra cost remote TBC controller. These were represented by the UVW1800, a very popular edit recorder, and the UVW1400 and UVW1600 players.

Betacam and Betacam SP tape cassette shells varied in color depending on the manufacturer. Many companies sold Betacam tapes, sometimes of their own manufacture, sometimes rebranded. Fuji, Maxell, Ampex and 3M were just some of the major brands to do so. Maxell is a Japanese company, which manufactures consumer electronics. ... Ampex is based in Redwood City, California. ... 3M Company (NYSE: MMM), formerly Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company until 2002, is an American corporation with a worldwide presence. ...

Ampex, Thomson_SA and Philips each sold rebranded OEM versions of some of the Sony VTRs and Camcorders at various times in the 1980s and 1990s. Other than nameplates, these models were identical to the Sony models. Ampex is based in Redwood City, California. ... This article is about the media and entertainment company. ... Philips HQ in Amsterdam Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics N.V.), usually known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is one of the largest electronics companies in the world, founded and headquartered in the Netherlands. ...

Digital Betacam

Digital Betacam L tape
Digital Betacam L tape

Digital Betacam (commonly referred to as Digibeta, d-beta, dbc or simply Digi) was launched in 1993. It supersedes both Betacam and Betacam SP, while costing significantly less than the D1 format. S tapes are available with up to 40 minutes running time, and L tapes with up to 124 minutes. Download high resolution version (1813x1206, 320 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1813x1206, 320 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Sonys D1 format was the first major professional digital video format, introduced in 1987. ...

The Digital Betacam format records a DCT-compressed component video signal at 10-bit YUV 4:2:2 sampling in PAL resolutions at a bitrate of 90 Mbit/s plus four channels of uncompressed 48 kHz / 20 bit PCM-encoded audio. A fifth analog audio track is available for cueing, and a linear timecode track is also used on the tape. 2-D DCT compared to the DFT The discrete cosine transform (DCT) is a Fourier-related transform similar to the discrete Fourier transform (DFT), but using only real numbers. ... Three cables, each with RCA plugs at both ends, are often used to carry analog component video Component video is a video signal that has been split into two or more components. ... YUV 4:2:2 is a specific encoding for digital representation of the YUV color space. ... For other uses, see PAL (disambiguation). ... PCM is an initialism which can have different meanings: Phase Change Material Pulse-code modulation, a way to digitally encode signals representing sound and their video counterparts Potential Cancer Marker Communist Party of Mexico Plug Compatible Manufacturer Power-train control module, a computer in a car which controls the car... Timecode is also the title of a 2000 film directed by Mike Figgis which was shot in one continuous take. ...

Digital Betacam is a popular digital video cassette format for broadcast use. Its main competitor is the Panasonic DVCPRO50 cassette format. Digital video is a type of video recording system that works by using a digital, rather than analog, of the video signal. ... Panasonic is an international brand name for Japanese electric products manufacturer Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. ... A MiniDV tape DV (disambiguation). ...

Another key element which aided adoption was Sony's implementation of the SDI coaxial digital connection on Digital Betacam decks. Facilities could begin using digital signals on their existing coaxial wiring without having to commit to an expensive re-installation. The Serial Digital Interface (SDI), standardized in ITU-R BT.656 and SMPTE 259M, is a digital video interface used for broadcast-grade video. ... Coaxial Cable For the weapon, see coaxial weapon. ...

Typically Digital Betacam videotape is sold in a blue cassette container.

Betacam SX

Betacam SX S tape
Betacam SX S tape

Betacam SX is a digital version of Betacam SP introduced in 1996, positioned as a cheaper alternative to Digital Betacam. It stores video using MPEG 4:2:2 [email protected] compression, along with four channels of 48 kHz 16 bit PCM audio. All Betacam SX equipment is compatible with Betacam SP tapes. S tapes have a recording time up to 62 minutes, and L tapes up to 194 minutes. Download high resolution version (1783x1431, 280 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1783x1431, 280 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... The Moving Picture Experts Group or MPEG is a working group of ISO/IEC charged with the development of video and audio encoding standards. ...

The Betacam SX system was very successful with newsgathering operations which had a legacy of Betacam and Betacam SP tapes. A Betacam SX deck can natively play and work from the analog tapes interchangeably, because it contains both analog and digital playback heads.

Betacam SX uses MPEG-2 4:2:[email protected] compression, in comparison with other similar systems that use 4:1:1 coding. It gives better chroma resolution and allows certain postproduction processes such as Chroma-Key.

This format compresses the video signal from 170Mb/s to only 18Mb/s. It means a compression ratio of almost 10:1, which is quite high. However, it employs temporal compression, recording pair of pictures IBIBIB… where “I” means Intra-coding, while “B” means Biderectional-coding. This strategy allows high quality pictures at low bit-rates.

Together with Betacam SX, Sony introduced a generation of hybrid recorder, allowing use of both tape and disk recording on the same deck, and high speed dubbing from one to another. This was intended to save wear on the video heads for studio applications, as well to speed up online editing. In filmmaking, dubbing refers to the recording of voices for a movie. ... “Human Head” redirects here. ...

Betacam SX also features a good shot mark feature, that allows marking of each scene for fast jjtjtjtrjyfjtape deck can scan the tape for recorded marks of each single cassette, and show it to the operator.

The cameras themselves are generally considered by most sound recordists to be quite noisy in operation, possibly because the amount of computer processing power, and subsequent generated heat, leads to cooling fans being used to keep the camera at a reasonable temperature.

Betacam SX tape shells are bright yellow.

Although Betacam SX machines have gone out of production, the format is still used by many newsgathering operations, including San Diego's KFMB-TV, and NBC's operations in the San Francisco Bay Area at KNTV and KSTS. Many news archives still contain SX tapes. KFMB-TV is the local CBS television affiliate of San Diego. ... This article is about the television network. ... KNTV, channel 11, is the NBC Universal owned-and-operated television station in the San Francisco Bay Area market. ... For the airport with the same ICAO airport code, see Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport. ...


MPEG IMX is a 2001 development of the Digital Betacam format. It uses the MPEG compression system, but at a higher bitrate than Betacam SX. The IMX format allows for a CCIR 601 compliant video signal, with eight channels of audio and timecode track. It lacks an analog audio (cue) track as the Digital Betacam, but will read it as channel 7 if used for playback. Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... The Moving Picture Experts Group or MPEG is a working group of ISO/IEC charged with the development of video and audio encoding standards. ... CCIR 601 is the old name of a standard published by the CCIR (now ITU-R) for encoding interlaced analogue video signals in digital form. ... Timecode is also the title of a 2000 film directed by Mike Figgis which was shot in one continuous take. ...

Compression is applied in three different formats: 30 (6:1 compression), 40 (4:1 compression) or 50 Mbit/s (3.3:1 compression) which allows different quality/quantity ratios. Video is recorded at MPEG-2 4:2:2 Profile @ ML.

With its new IMX VTRs, Sony introduced some new technologies including SDTI and e-VTR. SDTI allows for audio, video, timecode, and remote control functions to be transported by a single coaxial cable, while e-VTR technology extends this by allowing the same data to be transported over IP by way of an ethernet interface on the VTR itself. Serial Data Transport Interface (SMPTE 305M) is a way of transmitting data packets over a SDI datastream. ... The Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork. ...

All IMX VTRs can natively playback Betacam SX tapes, and some, such as the MSW-M2000P/1 are capable of playing back Digital Betacam cassettes as well as analog Betacam and Betacam SP cassettes, but they can only record to their native IMX cassettes. S tapes are available with up to 60 minutes capacity, and L tapes hold up to 184 minutes. These values are for 525/60 decks, but will extend in 625/50. A 184 minute tape will record for, as the label itself specifies, 220 minutes.

IMX machines feature the same good shot mark function of the Betacam SX.

MPEG IMX cassettes are a muted green, however, the new XDCAM format allows recording of MPEG IMX on a tapeless format, Professional Disc. XDCAM Disc XDCAM is an optical disk based professional video system introduced by Sony in 2003. ... Professional Disc for DATA (PDD or ProDATA) is a recordable optical disc format which was introduced by Sony in 2003. ...



HDCAM, introduced in 1997, is an HD version of Digital Betacam, using an 8-bit DCT compressed 3:1:1 recording, in 1080i-compatible downsampled resolution of 1440×1080, and adding 24p and 23.976 PsF modes to later models. The HDCAM codec uses non-square pixels and as such the recorded 1440×1080 content is upsampled to 1920×1080 on playback. The recorded video bitrate is 144 Mbit/s. Audio is also similar, with four channels of AES/EBU 20-bit/48 kHz digital audio. Image File history File linksMetadata Hdcam. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Hdcam. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Hdcam-sr. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Hdcam-sr. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... This article is about high-definition video technology. ... 1080i (pronounced ten eighty eye) is shorthand name for a category of video modes. ... In video technology, 24p refers to a video format that operates at a true 24 frames per second (or 23. ... Progressive segmented Frame (PsF) is a High Definition video format used to store progressive content on interlaced media. ... The digital audio standard frequently called AES/EBU, officially known as AES3, is used for carrying digital audio signals between various devices. ...

It is used for Sony's cinematic CineAlta range of products. Steven Sodebergh shooting Full Frontal. ...

HDCAM SR, introduced in 2003, uses a higher particle density tape and is capable of recording in 10 bits 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 RGB with a bitrate of 440 Mbit/s. The increased bitrate (over HDCAM) allows HDCAM SR to capture much more of the full bandwidth of the HDSDI signal (1920×1080). Some HDCAM SR VTRs can also use a 2× mode with an even higher bitrate of 880 Mbit/s, allowing for a single 4:4:4 stream at a lower compression or two[citation needed] 4:2:2 video streams simultaneously. HDCAM SR uses the new MPEG-4 Part 2 Studio Profile for compression, and expands the number of audio channels up to 12 at 48 kHz/24 bit. Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... REDIRECT RGB color model ... Serial Digital Interface (SDI), standardized in ITU-R 656, is a digitized video format used for broadcast grade video. ... MPEG-4 Part 2 is a video compression technology developed by MPEG. It belongs to the MPEG-4 ISO/IEC standard (ISO/IEC 14496-2). ...

HDCAM SR is used commonly for HDTV television production. As of 2007, many prime-time network television shows use HDCAM SR as a master recording medium.

Some HDCAM VTRs play back older Betacam variants, for example, the Sony SRW-5500 HDCAM SR recorder, plays back and records HDCAM and HDCAM SR tapes and with optional hardware also plays and upconverts Digital Betacam tapes to HD format. Tape lengths are the same as for Digital Betacam, up to 40 minutes for S and 124 minutes for L tapes. In 24p mode the runtime increases to 50 and 155 minutes, respectively.

HDCAM tapes are black with an orange lid, and HDCAM SR tapes black with a cyan lid.

440 Mbit/s mode is known as SQ, and 880 Mbit/s mode is known as HQ, and this mode has recently become available in studio models (eg. SRW-5800) as well as portable models previously available.

See also

A MiniDV Camcorder For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... A MiniDV Camcorder For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... Panasonic D5 HD VTR AJ-HD3700H A Cassette Tape for D5 HD(Medium) D5 is a professional digital video format introduced by Panasonic in 1994. ...

External links

  • Sony Business Solutions Systems
  • Comparison Chart of Tape format Specs from Maxell

  Results from FactBites:
Texas Commission on the Arts: Video Conservation Guide (541 words)
Betacam and BetacamSP tape stocks are still available.
The obsolescence of Betacam is less of an issue as long as newer decks such as Digital Betacam continue to be options for playback.
For many in the archival and conservation fields, Betacam SP is still an option for preservation masters, rather than a format needing re-mastering.
A Transition for Betacam (1225 words)
As if we haven't had enough milestones lately, the news that Sony is ending production of analog Betacam was one of those periodic reminders from out-of-the-blue that all technology is ephemeral, no matter how much it may have changed the world.
That first Betacam, model BVV-1, was a remarkable invention, even though its single 2/3-inch Saticon tube couldn't touch the performance of even today's cheapest discount store consumer camcorders.
The Betacam suite was also a hit, soon operating almost 24 hours a day.
  More results at FactBites »



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