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A high-quality videotape technology introduced by Sony in 1982. Initially an analog format with digital following later (see Digital Betacam), Betacam was designed for professional TV recording. Time codes are built into the Betacam 1/2" helical scan format to support precise editing of the recorded material. Betacam evolved from Sony's Betamax consumer format, but with a large increase in tape speed and using component video signal separation rather than composite video (see component video and composite video).

Betacam SP (Superior Performance) came out in 1986, increasing resolution from 300 to 340 lines and adding improvements to the tape and recorders. Using a larger cassette that increased time from 30 to 90 minutes, Betacam SP was widely used in professional applications until Digital Betacam took over in the late 1990s.

A Boon for Camera Operators
Although heavy by today's standards, the first Betacam camcorders were considerably lighter than the video cameras of the era. Betacam was a welcome breakthrough for cameramen shooting on location.

In 2001, Sony announced end of life for its analog Betacam camcorders; however, digital Betacam VTRs can typically play back analog cassettes, and Sony MultiPlayer VTRs support all the Betacam formats. See Digital Betacam, HDCAM, Betamax and U-matic.

BETACAM FORMATS (Half-Inch Tape)YearIntro. Version    Recording MethodANALOG

  1982  Betacam     Component Analog
  1986  Betacam SP  Component Analog
                      (metal tape)

                     Sampling Rate (n:n:n)SD DIGITAL         (Compression Method)

  1994  Digital Betacam   4:2:2 (DCT)
  1996  Betacam SX        4:2:2 (MPEG-2)
  2000  MPEG IMX          4:2:2 (MPEG-2)


  1997  HDCAM             3:1:1 (DCT)
  2003  HDCAM SR          4:4:4 (MPEG-4)

Betacam VTR and Cassettes
Betacam videotape recorders (VTRs) are not your ordinary home VCRs. Used in professional studios, they cost up to 100 times that of a consumer VHS machine. Betacam is the de facto broadcast videotape format worldwide, and cassettes come in small and large formats.
References in periodicals archive ?
Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter 2011, the Alpha Beta Tape Business will become a part of IATD's Global Tapes and Adhesives (GTA) Business Unit.
But the other incredible aspect of TV shows like this that have been found (many on kinescope), restored and are now on digital Beta tape available for an endless loop of reruns on cable is the realization that there's a treasure of sports history buried in the most unusual places.
About Alpha Beta Tape Business With more than 28 years of experience and working with over 62 countries worldwide, Alpha Beta has advanced manufacturing equipment and coating lines.
Editor's Note: Footage is available via satellite or by securing a Beta tape (call the media contacts for a tape).
After filming wrapped up in August 2001, Macnab along with Director of Photography Steve Huber began transferring the 35mm negative to Beta tape for editing.
For questions about Santa's itinerary or to learn about beta tape availability, please visit www.
Many of us still have VHS and consumer Beta tapes lying around.
As Beta tapes have dropped in popularity, retailers have been replacing them with high-grade tapes," says Friedrich.
Well, let me tell you this - I've been out of fashion so long, I still watch Beta tapes.
I have Beta tapes from the late 1970s that I'm still using now.
a New Jersey company that specializes in Beta tapes, has an especially impressive collection of bargain-priced rarities, including Francois Truffaut's "The Green Room" ($9), Satyajit Ray's "The Home and the World" ($3), Ingmar Bergman's "The Silence" ($7), Jules Dassin's "Never on Sunday" ($7) and all three parts of the nine-hour Japanese trilogy "The Human Condition" ($17).