greatbear analogue and digital media > video tape transfer > professional & broadcast > D1 / D2 / D3 / D5 / D9

D1 / D2 / D3 / D5 / D9



We are able to transfer all standards of D-1, D3, D-5, D-9 digital videocassette 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.

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!)


As a broadcast digital video format D3 was not widely used. An important exception was the BBC who invested large sums in D3 machines in the early 90s, and used them until 2005 as the main terrestrial delivery format.

The main problem facing D3 digitisation is that head drums have a very low headlife, sometimes as low as 100 hours – compared to Betacam SP that could function for thousands of hours before the upper head drums had to be replaced.

D3 machines are also hard to find and key spares difficult to source.

D9 machines were not used widely in the professional world after they effectively lost a format war with Sony Digital Betacam. Like many machines which have since been phased out of production, the main threat to the digitising process is the problem of machine obsolescence.


D Series Tape Formats are a series of broadcast digital formats introduced in the early 1990s.

D-1 – is a Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) digital recording video standard, introduced in 1986 through efforts by SMPTE engineering committees. It was the first major professional digital video format.

D-2 – is a professional digital videocassette format created by Ampex. It was introduced at the 1988 NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention as a composite video alternative to the component video D-1 format.

D-3 is an uncompressed composite digital videocassette format invented at the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation, and introduced commercially by Panasonic in 1991 to compete with Ampex’s D-2, a similar professional digital recording videocassette format.

D-5  is a professional digital video format introduced by Panasonic in 1994. Like Sony’s D-1 (8-bit), it is an uncompressed digital component system (10bit), but uses the same half-inch tapes as Panasonic’s digital composite D-3 format.

D-9 or Digital-S as it was originally known, is a professional digital videocassette format created by JVC in 1995.

You can also check out this blog post we wrote about the history of early digital video tape formats.

For more information about transcoding digital video visit here.



designed and developed by
greatbear analogue and digital media ltd, 0117 985 0500
Unit 26, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street, Bristol, BS2 8QN, UK

greatbear analogue and digital media is proudly powered by WordPress
hosted using Debian and Apache