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Old October 3rd, 2006, 08:35 AM   #1
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Beta & Betacam

Please forgive my ignorace - I'm coming from a part of the world where Sony's Beta system died before it really came to life... I got a tape from a friend who's business has been featured on CNN just a few weeks ago. He would like to have the video both running in his showroom (a home theater business) from a DVD and on his website, so he asked CNN for a copy. Now I have that copy and it's on a Betacam tape.

So my question is: are Beta and Betacam the same system? I have another friend who has an old Beta VCR in perfectly good working order, so I could use it to digitize the tape.

Thanks,
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:36 AM   #2
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It is not exactly the same format, but keep in mind that Betamax was always a much better format than VHS for home players and recorders. Betacam has been a stronghold in the broadcast industry for quite some time. I still use Betacam SP on a daily basis and it is a great reliable format. Then of course there is Digital Betcam and Betacam SX, newer formats but they never really seemed to take hold as much as Betacam SP. Most broadcasters still accept Betacam SP tapes for air.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:21 AM   #3
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If it's a betacam sp tape it will not play on the betamax player.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:51 AM   #4
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Am I reading this right: are you saying that the cassette and the tape will be compatible, but it might be recorded in a different video format? So the only way to know for sure is to try? At this point my main concern is to get the video off of the tape, and not the quality.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:57 AM   #5
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I would suggest calling your local broadcast station and seeing if they can dub it for you....personally I wouldn't put a Beta SP tape in a Betamax machine.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas
Am I reading this right: are you saying that the cassette and the tape will be compatible, but it might be recorded in a different video format?
Ervin,

Betamax and Betacam are similar in name and cassette shell only. Your BetaSP cassette will not play in an old-school Betamax VCR.

BTW, Betacam is probably THE most popular standard in the broadcast world. To compare it to or otherwise associate it with Betamax would be a mistake.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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I occassionally get BetaSP, and have a local shop that transfers for miniDV for about $35 for every 20 minutes. (If it's green-screen or I want to preserve 4:2:2, etc. I rent a deck for about $200 and capture uncompressed).

CNN might dub you a VHS... : )
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 04:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info, guys. Unfortunately VHS or any other format from CNN is out of question, my friend had to call several times before he got this tape... and was told this is the only format he can get.

I already called a local company here in Atlanta and got a quote for $20 - seems reasonable. By the way, here's a picture of the tape and of the cover... should have started with this...
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 07:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas
By the way, here's a picture of the tape and of the cover... should have started with this...
Eh, not really. We all knew what it looked like :-)

Beta is as common as water in pro video circles.
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