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Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks

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Karen Christensen
Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 25, 2008 at 5:25:12 pm

Hi,

I'm working a job for a friend. She is a journalist/athlete with over 30 years of footage. The footage is in a range of formats: 1", 3/4", betacam, and maybe even more.

I need to find a place to rent or buy these decks so I can preview and mark the 1000 hours of footage without paying the high preview hourly rates at dubbing houses. Eventually she wants to transfer the best clips to digital.

Any ideas? Thanks!



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 25, 2008 at 8:23:25 pm

It might be well worth your while to simply dub the all those various formats to one single, commonly-available format such as Digibeta.

You can then look at the footage at your leisure without incurring extra charges for viewing via the older and more exotic formats. A bonus: you'll have everything available in a format that won't suffer generational loss. Furthermore, you'll avoid those Homer Simpson "Doh!" moments if you happened to overlook a needed clip.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Bob Zelin
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 25, 2008 at 9:24:45 pm

Most people can't even throw out their 1" machines. Would she be willing to pay for shipping of a 1" VTR, if she got it for free ?

Bob Zelin




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Dave LaRonde
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 25, 2008 at 9:31:02 pm

Yeah, she might, but she might also need a quad machine.... and who'd want to pay shipping for THAT? Cripes, the box for an Ampex 1200 could serve as a coffin for an entire family.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 25, 2008 at 11:01:13 pm

I see ads in the back of TVTechnology magazine for decks like this sometimes, try their online version. Our agency just surplussed a Sony one-inch machine in cherry condition, do NOT contact me about it, but if you want to look for it, google up the State of Illinois surplus property auctions. Some stuff they auction online, ( I think it's called I-Bid) and even ebay. Other items, you have to come down to a 4-times-a-year auction in Springfield to bid on in person with cash in hand. They sell off old bluesmobiles, john boats, dentist chairs, all kinds of things, but mostly office furniture and old computers. Do not contact me about this, I have nothing to do with it and want nothing to do with it, you're on your own and I will deny I ever heard of you. I can only tell you that when it left here, it was in perfect working order with good life left on the heads, it's an older manual-threaading model. What happened when it got stuck on a pallet and shipped out to the surplus warehouse, I have no idea. Could be sitting pretty or already stripped for rare metals, don't know. Do your own detective work.

Consider too that this may be a big year for local TV stations to surplus out their old decks as they transition to more digital gear. Ask around your local TV stations and college Tv departments to see if you can take one off their hands, free for the hauling... or borrow some off-hours access time.

I don't know that bumping to digi-beta is smart for this, I'd rather see you use a laptop and hard drives to convert it on the fly into some uncompressed format. Digibeta decks are expensive if you don't have one, the tape for a thousand hours is not cheap, and are they technically even HD? I'm not sure they are, I don't think they are. Not that your source materials are HD but certainly I should think you want them uncompressed so you have them as good as you can possibly have them right at the outset, no further cross-conversions needed. Plus putting them to hard drives right away as you play them off lets you start adding the all-important metadata right there too. That's going to be KEY when this project gets going full-bore.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 25, 2008 at 11:10:49 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I'd rather see you use a laptop and hard drives to convert it on the fly into some uncompressed format. Digibeta decks are expensive if you don't have one, the tape for a thousand hours is not cheap, and are they technically even HD?"

Well, considering a lot of this video is going to be 30 years old, I don't think recording to HD is going to be a burning issue.

And if it really were a thousand hours of video, how much do you think it would cost to put a thousand hours of uncompressed video onto laptops? You still can't beat tape for low-cost storage.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 26, 2008 at 1:52:39 pm

One laptop, Dave, but many inexpensive drives, they are under a dollar a gig now. They are going to wind up on a RAID anyhow, why not start there and save some steps and some bucks?


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Steven Bradford
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 27, 2008 at 2:44:22 pm

I think the first question is, how many tapes does she have? If it's less than a dozen of each format, it makes sense to just send them out to be dubbed to a single modern digital format she can work with.

3/4" machines are very cheap, good condition betacam decks are under a thousand dollars now. So just a few dubs would buy a deck. If she has dozens of betas or umatics, I'd definitely recommend buying. If she has a dozen of each I'd rent.

1" machines are very cheap. The last time I bought one, for someone in a similar situation, was five years ago, for $1500. At the time, they all cost $1500, no matter the brand model or features. But that producer had 100 tapes, it made sense. Also, a working 1" machine isn't that hard to operate and will probably be just fine for the lenght of the project. Again, if you only have a dozen tapes, I'd send them out for dubbing to DVCam or DVCPro.

2" Quad is a whole nother scale, of size, hassle, etc. I'd send them out, There are a couple of places (VideoPax in PA??) around the country that have machines. You'd have to have hundreds, thousands even to justify setting up for quad dubbing.

I'd also make a backup protection dub of every new tape. DVCAm doesn't take up much room.

Steven Bradford
Http://www.seanet.com/~bradford/


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Bob Zelin
Re: Where to rent/buy 1", 3/4", Betacam decks
on Sep 27, 2008 at 7:24:14 pm

As I don't see Karen racing to respond to us, I think the real question is "is there any place locally near me, that I can transfer all these tapes for $500 ? ".

Wake up boys !

Bob Zelin




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