Betacam SP video conversion to DVD and other digital formats

Beta SP:

SP stands for “Superior Performance”
Developed by:  Sony. Followed the Betacam format. Uses metal-formulated tape, increasing the horizontal resolution to 340 lines. Betacam SP became the industry standard for most TV stations and high-end production houses until the late 1990s
Launched in:  1986
Used for:  news acquisition and television production
a.k.a.: Beta Cam SP, Beta SP, Beta (popular name used also for the consumer Betamax, and the pro Betacam)
Cassette sizes:
  • Betacam SP-S – small factor format used in camcorders. Up to 30 min recording time.
  • Betacam SP -L – Large factor format used in editing VTR-s. Recording time: 30 to 90 min (NTSC), up to 108 min in PAL .

Magnetic tape used:  ½” metal-formulated tape

Cassette shells: varied in color depending on the manufacturer

Magnetic tape manufacturers: Sony, Fuji, Maxell, Ampex and 3M

Video recording:  Analog video component format, storing the luminance, "Y", in one track and the chrominance, on another as alternating segments of the R-Y and B-Y components performing Compressed Time Division Multiplex, or CTDM. This splitting of channels allows true broadcast quality recording with 340 lines of horizontal luminance resolution.

Audio recording:

  • Analog stereo on all models 
  • 4 audio channels on some models
  • Digital audio tracks on some models

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