Quantcast Capturing Betacam SP tapes? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
06-20-2017, 02:51 AM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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I've come across a few, and there's not the easy-to-locate wealth of information about capturing Betacam that there is about capturing VHS. So...where do I start?

The one thing I did turn up on Google was that it should be captured via component, not S-Video, which rules out my USB-Live2 capture device. Then from having mentioned this in another thread, something about balanced and unbalanced audio...
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  #2  
06-20-2017, 03:02 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I have some experience with capturing U-matic, D1, BetacamSP, add Digital Betacam (aka DigiBeta). Those are broadcast formats, and unlike VHS/etc in almost every way. The workflows are different.

Most of the VTRs have BNC correction for s-video or component.

Your capture card setups are going to be different: Aja, Backmagic (blah), Matrox, etc.

The decks alone are about $30k each. It's been 5+ years since I last looked at anything like this, but I'm guessing it probably has no changed much. If anything, some of the hardware has probably gotten more expensive, as we've seen with other analog workflow hardware.

It's not easy to find this info online because the people who needed info knew it. It was B2B. Broadcast Engineering (magazine) had lots on it, and then you'll sometimes see it discussed on older threads at the Creative Cow forum.

This is a different beast. It can be daunting.

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  #3  
06-20-2017, 03:35 AM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The decks alone are about $30k each.
eBay seems to turn up quite a few for mere hundreds?
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  #4  
06-20-2017, 06:38 AM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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You should contact DigitalFreakNYC, since he was once in the same boat as you.

http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/How...tapes/id/15141
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...ing-Betacam-SP

LS: any chance of editing in a reference back to the post that inspired this topic so sanlyn and I don't have to quote our original responses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Most of the VTRs have BNC correction for s-video or component.
Do any truly have 2x BNC for S-Video? The Betacam players I saw with S-Video used the standard mini-DIN, with BNC for composite & component.

The most flexible would be one like the Sony J-30, which is a multi-format (Betacam/SP, SX, Digi, MPEG IMX) and multi-standard (NTSC & PAL) player. It's the only one I saw that has RCA audio output, and it adds i.Link DV (Firewire) and RCA composite "SUPER" to the typical assortment of video jacks (from what I've read the latter superimposes timecode, so possibly useless). Being built as a player-only, it will also be simpler to use than the typical editor-recorders, is physically smaller, and is even designed to operate standing vertically. Power supply is 100-240V @ 50/60Hz.

Having said that, any BetaSP player with SDI output (so, DigiBeta players with backwards compatibility) would provide the simplest and highest-quality workflow, if you are willing to add a new capture device. There are "/SDI" variants in the J-series that replace the analog component outputs with SDI output(s).

10-bit SD-HDI cap card for $4.18 shipped... US-only. Not sure about driver availability. More than 10 available, sold by a PC parts salvager, not a video guy, but with 30-day money back (buyer pays return ship).
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  #5  
06-20-2017, 08:04 AM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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Is PAL/NTSC a thing with these machines?
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  #6  
06-20-2017, 09:43 AM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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It's always a thing with analog video. And the other aspects of the standards (line count & Hz) are always a thing with digital video, too.
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  #7  
06-20-2017, 10:18 AM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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In terms of having to buy a PAL machine, though? Or are they compatible with both?
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  #8  
06-20-2017, 11:40 AM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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What's your guess: Would I have mentioned either of these attributes if either of them were true of every Betacam player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
The most flexible would be one like the Sony J-30, which is a multi-format (Betacam/SP, SX, Digi, MPEG IMX) and multi-standard (NTSC & PAL) player.
Ad for crappy old composite-only player that runs on 100-120V 50/60 (JP/US):
BVW-22.JPG


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  #9  
06-20-2017, 12:54 PM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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Ah, sorry, clean missed the second parenthesis the first time around.

So what's the deal with the balanced audio and the BNC and everything else?
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  #10  
06-22-2017, 09:30 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Google is your friend.
http://www.aviom.com/blog/balanced-vs-unbalanced/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNC_connector

User manuals help with the rest.
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  #11  
06-22-2017, 03:29 PM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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User manuals for what?
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  #12  
06-22-2017, 04:00 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Manuals for the Betamax components being discussed. They would likely explain the types of connections and their use.
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  #13  
06-22-2017, 04:50 PM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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The only things specifically mentioned were an SDI capture card, and the Sony J-30 which doesn't seem to have SDI output unless I'm misreading.

I'm not going to buy a J-30 just so I can read the manual to figure out what else I need; I'd like to be more organised in advance. Especially as it's not currently in my budget.
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  #14  
06-22-2017, 09:05 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
The only things specifically mentioned were an SDI capture card, and the Sony J-30 which doesn't seem to have SDI output unless I'm misreading.
Misreading my post, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
The most flexible would be one like the Sony J-30 ...
There are "/SDI" variants in the J-series that replace the analog component outputs with SDI output(s).
I could have linked this page as well but I didn't think I'd need to spoonfeed.

Quote:
I'm not going to buy a J-30 just so I can read the manual to figure out what else I need
Buy a piece of electronics to read the manual?! The PDF is literally the first Google result for J-30/SDI, even before any product pages show up.
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  #15  
06-23-2017, 02:34 AM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
Misreading my post, yes.
I read that as saying the J30 didn't have SDI out but other models (for example, a J35) did, rather than as there being two version of the J30 specifically.


Quote:
Buy a piece of electronics to read the manual?! The PDF is literally the first Google result for J-30/SDI, even before any product pages show up.


In my defense, it's been a long week.
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  #16  
06-23-2017, 03:40 AM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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..and the question I meant to ask, but didn't: is one of the options (SDI/non-SDI) preferable to the other?
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  #17  
06-25-2017, 06:31 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
is one of the options (SDI/non-SDI) preferable to the other?
Do I need to add more bold to this sentence? :\

Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
any BetaSP player with SDI output (so, DigiBeta players with backwards compatibility) would provide the simplest and highest-quality workflow, if you are willing to add a new capture device.
With SDI, you don't need to worry about balanced audio or BNC-RCA adapters. You hook up one BNC cable that carries an uncompressed digital video & audio stream. And this avoids a D-A-D step (most/all BetaSP players include a digital TBC).
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  #18  
06-26-2017, 11:17 AM
koberulz koberulz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
Do I need to add more bold to this sentence? :\
That would probably defeat the point of bolding any of it.

I think I'm going to have to just re-read this whole thread when I've got less going on; clearly I'm doing very poorly at it thus far. I feel like reacting to this by banging my head on the desk, but that might just exacerbate the problem.


Quote:
D-A-D
Digital-analog-digital?
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  #19  
06-26-2017, 03:42 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Betamax
You keep typing "Betamax" when the conversation is about BetacamSP.

Your fingers are not typing what your brain is telling it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
I think I'm going to have to just re-read this whole thread when I've got less going on; clearly I'm doing very poorly at it thus far. I feel like reacting to this by banging my head on the desk, but that might just exacerbate the problem.
That means you're getting more advanced.

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  #20  
06-26-2017, 08:17 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Most folks seem to be happy using Sony UVW-1400/1800 decks for BetaCamSP capture work. They seem to be readily available on ebay and from broadcast equipment dealers. The only feature of the format they don't support is the AFM audio tracks (recorded just like VHS Hi-Fi tracks are, by the video head). I don't know how common AFM tracks are on these tapes, if you really need it, the BVW decks support it (BVW-75 seems to be a popular model) and there were 3rd party encoders available for UVW and PVW decks.

If you aren't doing any large tape jobs, renting a deck is still an option if you live near a major city.
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The following users thank NJRoadfan for this useful post: lordsmurf (06-27-2017)
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