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Related to Betacam: Digital Betacam, DVCAM, DIGIBETA


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 ?
3) Digital formats other than Betacam are dealt with more thoroughly in Peter Ward's Digital Video Camerawork, Focal Press, London, 3rd edition 2000.
About SXnet Technology SXnet technology allows moving audio and video files from one DNE-series nonlinear workstation to another or to Betacam SX hybrid recorders utilizing simple drag and drop transfers.
Y/R-Y/B-Y component signal input and output through BNC connectors and a 12-pin DUB connector take full advantage of the Betacam SP format.
In addition to providing Betacam copies of the video through USIA's foreign press centers in New York, Washington and Los Angeles, the video also was beamed via satellite to US television stations during the week prior to the summit.
The contract is for the supply of professional digital tape BETACAM and HDCAM.
The purpose of this contract is to provide the analog videotapes scan jobs and transferring digital Betacam videotape type of DVCAM and the audiovisual department.
Camera (color, Betacam vid-to-DV), Jayson Lamb; editor, Lamb; music, John Williams.
The 3 collections that rte intends to digitise are: (a) 10,300 betacam sp news tapes (b) 4,000 betacam sp programme tapes (c) 4,500 audio acetate instantaneous disks tenderers may also submit for the provision of future digitisation services at specified rates per tape and file format.
All tech credits are high quality and lensing looks impressive despite pic's temporary transfer to Betacam SP.
This procurement is for the supply and maintenance of equipment for the digitization of materials currently stored on media Betacam and related maintenance and assistance, according to modalit?