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Station Delivery Formats

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Tom Mooney
Station Delivery Formats
on Nov 21, 2008 at 5:07:29 am

We do allot of local TV spots. Recently our Betacam 2800 died and left us without a Betcam machine. Long ago we switched to DV and HDV formats and basically have no use for a Betacam machine other than station dubs. We currently own a Sony DVCAM recorder. All of our local stations will accept an DVCAM dub for commercials. My question is: Are we losing any quality buy dubbing to DVCAM as opposed to Betcam? Yes, we can buy a used Betacam Recorder for $1500 but why spend the money if we don't have to. Any advice on the technical difference between the 2 formats for simple station delivery. What we don't want to do is sacrifice quality. Thanks in advance.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Station Delivery Formats
on Nov 21, 2008 at 6:16:23 pm

How do you feed the machine? We use SDI to feed into and out of our DVCpro decks, never composite if we can help it. Going SDI, bits are bits, you're lossless.


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Tom Mooney
Re: Station Delivery Formats
on Nov 21, 2008 at 7:30:05 pm

The Sony DVCAM machine is feed by Firewire.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Station Delivery Formats
on Nov 21, 2008 at 9:42:53 pm

Again, the bits don't change, you're making a digital clone of the file and sending it by firewire. That's how I've always understood it. Unless you do transcoding or rendering, it is the same 25mbs data stream at either end of the chain. This is something that has always been kind of amazing to me, a guy that goes back to the time of analog dubbing.

Then again, I am always stunned and amazed in my grocery store, standing there contemplating a pallet full of ripe bannanas in Illinois in mid-winter, selling for pennies.

"What's wrong, honey?"

"Contemplating the bannanas again."

"Oh crap, not again with the bannanas..."

"... Their chain of their existence, the networks and infrastructure and technology that provide them here at their low price, the socio-economic and geo-political and historical aspects of how they end up being here like this, and the implications of those links. When you start to think about all that goes behind this simple banna..."

"I'll be in the cereal aisle. Don't forget to pick up the salad dressing".


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Devin Crane
Re: Station Delivery Formats
on Nov 24, 2008 at 1:31:08 am

We used Betacam Sp for years after being told that the quality is better than DVcam. After doing some research we found that DCcam has a higher line resolution at 500 vs Betacam 330. After taking a second look at it I would have to agree that DVcam is definitely sharper than SP. Also the tapes are cheaper, smaller, and you can reuse them. Adam Wilt wrote an article online about DV vs Betacam that you should google for further info.



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Tom Mooney
Re: Station Delivery Formats
on Nov 24, 2008 at 6:12:48 pm

I have done research and one of the problems is that some of the places we need to send dubs cannot dub directly to the cart from a DVCAM machine. So they are going to dub it to a Beta deck anyway.



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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Station Delivery Formats
on Dec 18, 2008 at 1:39:36 am

For broadcast purposes, Beta/Beta SP have assumed the "lowest common denominator" function that Quad had way back in the day - everybody's got one. So it's still the safest default non-HD delivery format. You'll probably find a use for a Beta deck for many years to come. So I'd say it's worth at least picking up a used/refurbished deck.

DV has better horizontal resolution (luminance channel) than Beta or Beta SP. But it has high compression and 4-1-0 sampling, which is not good compared to BSP's 4-2-2 sampling. So each format is better at one thing and worse at the other.

For analog broadcasting purposes, who cares? NTSC's 330 lines H resolution & composite color format effectively makes the differences irrelevant. Same goes for digital SD broadcast. HD broadcast is obviously a different animal, but you'd never deliver any HD on Beta anyway! Bottom line - I'd get a replacement BSP deck.



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