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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 ?
Casablanca delivers the picture quality required for all the formats listed above, from standard VHS to Betacam SP to DV.
In addition, under the Betacam SP format, a longitudinal audio track does not have to be sacrificed for time code.
All tech credits are high quality and lensing looks impressive despite pic's temporary transfer to Betacam SP.
Easily connect equipment such as Betacam SP, VHS, and analog video monitors to SDI based equipment.
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.
Prior Information Notice:Digitalisatie van audiovisueel archiefmateril: Betacam SP.
Press attending will receive Betacam SP video of the live feed from operating room, endoscopic camera, and surgeon's "head-cam.
Following digitization of the Film Archives video collection (U_Matic, 1 C, 1 B, Betacam SP, Digibeta tapes) in appropriate
The company's compression service can work with a wide array of media types, including Betacam SP, Digital Betacam, tape, and film.
For Betacam SP or 3/4-inch tape hard copies of this broadcast news release, contact: Perri Productions Inc.
According to CBS News' vice president of operations, Frank Governale, Sony's Betacam SX equipment was selected primarily because of its cost benefit, reliability, image quality, analog playback compatibility with Betacam SP products, and forward compatibility with half-inch DTV formats, as well as other manufacturers' equipment through the MPEG bit stream.