betamax

sony sl hf150 betamax hifi betamax

betamax transfer

We are able to transfer all standards of Betamax from the US (NTSC), UK (PAL) and (SECAM).

We can do motion compensated standards conversion, so if the video tape you have is in NTSC format we can deliver your digital file in PAL (and vice versa).

We are equipped for video noise reduction and overscan removal.

Most Betamax tapes were recorded in mono, but the Beta Hi-Fi introduced by Sony in 1983, recorded in stereo. We have the machines to transfer these tapes.

We can deliver your digital files in any of the following formats:  Apple Quicktime /MOV in any codec, 10 bit uncompressed (recommended), AVI in any codec; any MacOS, Windows or GNU/Linux filesystem (HFS+, NTFS or EXT3); DVCAM / miniDV and DVD.

We are happy to work with individual tapes which may be damaged and require special attention, to large orders of high functioning tapes which can be processed quickly (and everything else in-between!)

betamax problems

Betamax is not as threatened as some video formats. However, due to the domestic video tape format wars waged between VHS and Betamax in the 70s and 80s which Betamax lost, there are fewer working machines than their competitors, VHS. Acquiring key spares for Betamax machines, such as head drums and motor parts, also pose a challenge for digitising these tapes.

betamax history

Betamax (also called Beta, and referred to as such in the logo) is a consumer-level analog videocassette magnetic tape recording format developed by Sony, released in Japan on May 10, 1975. The cassettes contain .50 in (12.7 mm)-wide videotape in a design similar to the earlier, professional .75 in (19 mm) wide, U-matic format. The format is virtually obsolete, though an updated variant of the format, Betacam, is still used by the television industry.

Like the rival videotape format VHS (introduced in Japan by JVC in October 1976 and in the U.S. by RCA in August 1977, Betamax had no guard band and used azimuth recording to reduce crosstalk. In 1977, Sony came out with the first long play Betamax VCR, the SL-8200. This VCR had two recording speeds: normal, and the newer half speed. This provided two hours recording time on the L-500 Beta videocassette. The SL-8200 was to compete against the VHS VCRs that had 2 or 4 hours of recording time. Betamax and VHS competed in a fierce format war, which saw VHS come out on top in most market.

Despite the sharp decline in sales of Betamax recorders in the late 1980s and subsequent halt in production of new recorders by Sony in 2002, both Betamax and SuperBetamax are still being used by a small number of people. New cassettes are still available for purchase at online shops and used recorders are often found at flea markets, thrift stores or onInternet auction sites. Early format BetaCam cassettes—which are physically based on the Betamax cassette—continue to be available for use in the professional media.


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