(redirected from Betacam SP)
Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to Betacam SP: 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 ?
Convert analog devices such as Betacam SP, VHS, Set top boxes and HDV cameras to SDI video.
Providing video and computer magnetic media for the year 2014 and the following standards: lto, gold cd-r, dvd-r, blu ray, Betacam SP, Digital Betacam, DV cam, cam hd, hd cam-sr, HDV , memory card sd, xd cam, DVC.
EDIUS H|DV SP hardware provides optimized, realtime integration and acceleration with EDIUS Pro software and interfaces with professional and consumer editing equipment, including DVCPR0 HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO, HDV, DV, BetaCam SP and all consumer analog formats.
Prior Information Notice:Digitalisatie van audiovisueel archiefmateril: Betacam SP.
Designed to seamlessly integrate into existing studio environments, EDIUS H|DV SP features complete support for BetaCam SP with component video and balanced audio input/output, as well as frame-accurate RS-422 VTR control and external reference sync input connections.
Following digitization of the Film Archives video collection (U_Matic, 1 C, 1 B, Betacam SP, Digibeta tapes) in appropriate
Press attending will receive Betacam SP video of the live feed from operating room, endoscopic camera, and surgeon's "head-cam.
Petro-Canada B-roll in Betacam SP format will also be available at the registration desk or by request from a Corporate Communications representative.
The company's compression service can work with a wide array of media types, including Betacam SP, Digital Betacam, tape, and film.
73% of all stations/networks receive work from clients in analog video format -- 60% receive BetaCam SP format.
For Betacam SP or 3/4-inch tape hard copies of this broadcast news release, contact: Perri Productions Inc.