Betacam SP

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Professional Sony Betacam SP - Camcorder
Professional Sony Betacam SP BVW-70P tape machine
Video camera (Sony Betacam SP)

Betacam SP from Sony introduced in 1986 as a further development of the Betacam system, until around 2005, the most widely used analog, professional ½ inch - MAZ - format . SP stands for Superior Performance . The analog Betacam SP works with component recording of one luminance and two color difference signals , so the luminance (Y) has a bandwidth of 5.5 MHz -3 dB (Betacam only managed 4.1 MHz) and the color differences (RY) and ( BY) 2.0 MHz −3 dB each are available.

Betacam SP also offers 2 longitudinal sound tracks , 2 AFM sound tracks (AFM = audio frequency modulation) and a track for the longitudinal time code . The audio frequency range of the two longitudinal tracks extends from 50 Hz to 15 kHz, the range of the AFM tracks is 20 Hz to 20 kHz. In addition, the Dolby C noise reduction system can be switched off .

There are two different types of cassette with a maximum recording time of 30 minutes (S-cassette, as with Betacam) or 90 minutes (L-cassette, innovation). Depending on the manufacturer, a few more minutes are possible - but the specified running times are guaranteed. The belt speed is 10.1 cm / s.

In addition to Sony, Betacam SP devices were also offered by BTS , Thomson and Ampex . These are mostly identical, even if they partially differ in their external shape. In addition to the camcorders, there are also recorders or players for studio use; This means that these devices record connected video component signals, composite video signals and balanced audio signals.

For all devices, manufacturers differentiate between broadcast, professional and industrial series, each of which has different equipment features. For example, only the type series for broadcast can record four audio signals, but they also differ significantly in price from the other two types. Sony designates the three series with BVW (broadcast), PVW (professional) and UVW (industrial).

Sony announced the end of production of all products from the Betacam series at the end of March 2016. Pure Betacam SP recorders have not been in production for a long time, but devices that are compatible with Betacam SP were still available for purchase. Due to the enormous amount of archive material available on Betacam SP and which could previously be accessed without problems thanks to the playback compatibility, the discontinuation could exacerbate the obsolescence problem.

Some Sony players and recorders

Broadcast type series:

  • BVW-200P, camcorder, PAL.
  • BVW-300P, camcorder, PAL, 23 ″ IT-CCDs
  • BVW-400P, camcorder, PAL, more light-sensitive than BVW-300P, use of 23 ″ -FIT-CCDs
  • BVW-300AP, camcorder, PAL, just as light-sensitive as BVW-400P, but cheaper because of 23 ″ IT CCDs
  • BVW-400AP, camcorder, PAL, successor to the BVW-400P, even more light-sensitive, 23 ″ -FIT-CCDs
  • BVW-D600P, camcorder, PAL, 1st Beta-SP camcorder with digital signal processing, also available as a 16: 9 model
  • BVW-70P, recorder, PAL
  • BVW-75P, recorder, PAL, with DT (Dynamic Tracking); DT devices support slow motion
  • BVW-60P, player, PAL
  • BVW-65P, Player, PAL, with DT (Dynamic Tracking)
  • BVW-35P, portable recorder
  • BVW-50P, portable recorder

Professional series:

  • PVW-2800P, recorder, PAL
  • PVW-2600P, player, PAL
  • PVW-2650P, Player, PAL, with DT (Dynamic Tracking)

Industry series:

  • UVW-100P, camcorder, PAL
  • UVW-1400P, recorder, PAL
  • UVW-1800P, recorder, PAL
  • UVW-1200P, player, PAL
  • UVW-1600P, player, PAL

Note: TV standard support: P = PAL, S = SECAM, without trailing letters = NTSC.

Web links

Commons : Betacam SP  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files