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bobbintb 08-10-2019 09:53 PM

What to do with these Betacam tapes?
 
I collect stuff from certain rock bands. Years and years ago I got some tapes on eBay. They say they are Betacam tapes on the case. I came across them the other day and would like to know what's on them and transfer them. Two are very large, bigger than a VHS. The third is smaller than a VHS. I know nothing about Betacam other than it is similar to Betamax but more for broadcasts. What are my options and what would it cost? I can buy gear, probably ridiculously expensive. Pay for someone to do it, but I don't know of any service or cost. That's probably my best option since it's just those 3 tapes. Lastly, maybe I can see if my local university might have equipment and could help, or even the local TV station but that's probably far fetched. Maybe someone on this forum? Any thoughts?

jwillis84 08-10-2019 11:05 PM

I think you've assessed your options pretty well.

Except I wouldn't try a local University or TV station, they divested themselves of all that gear at least a decade ago. Any left over would be sold by people who have never used it and no clue how it works.

For such a small number of tapes a service bureau is your best option.

The cost would no doubt depend on the length and condition of the tapes. The length you can determine from the box or carton. The condition probably not until its been looked at by a bureau who can make recommendations.

bobbintb 08-10-2019 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwillis84 (Post 63288)
I think you've assessed your options pretty well.

Except I wouldn't try a local University or TV station, they divested themselves of all that gear at least a decade ago. Any left over would be sold by people who have never used it and no clue how it works.

For such a small number of tapes a service bureau is your best option.

The cost would no doubt depend on the length and condition of the tapes. The length you can determine from the box or carton. The condition probably not until its been looked at by a bureau who can make recommendations.

I don't know about Betacam but the tape is from around 2000 so it's not too old. I don't know if it would be so old that they would have divested all of it. Maybe kept one around for legacy use. I used to work at the university and have sent some stuff to surplus before that I couldn't believe they still had. I'll probably shoot an email to the surplus guy because why not.

Do you know of a service of any kind? Any recommendations one way or the other. The small tape just has a 12 second commercial. Not a lot of tape and it says the length is :120 so I'm pretty sure that's what it is. The other two are around 32 minutes and 55 minutes. They are in pretty good condition as far as I can tell. I think I got them from a studio or something, or from someone who got them from a studio. They came in a hard plastic case and that's what I've kept them in.

latreche34 08-11-2019 12:27 AM

I have the gear to capture all analog and digital SD Betacam tapes (not HD), If you have very few tapes I might be able to do it, anything over 10 tapes I don't have time for. Shoot me a PM.
Anything labeled Betacam, Betacam SP, Digital Betacam, Betacam SX and Betacam MPEG IMX in both sizes the large and small cassettes.

lordsmurf 08-12-2019 05:20 PM

jwillis is correct (and BTW, works at a college). Most campuses divested themselves of this stuff in the late 2000s, for sure by early 2010s. It's not impossible to find anything, but even if you do, realize it's likely gear that hasn't had maintenance in 20 years now, and is in disrepair. It won't be perfectly functional gear at this late date.

If you only have a few tapes, outsource it. Even I would outsource this format, not something I mess with.

Normally I'd recommended a few pro services I know, but since latreche34 has volunteered his service, I say give him a shot.


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