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U-matic clarifications

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Miguel Franco
U-matic clarifications
on Nov 29, 2012 at 9:21:17 am

Hi,

I'm starting a project which involves digitizing a LOT of U-Matic tapes.

I have XBR (SP mode), BRS (Hi-Band mode), Lo-Band tapes and at least one that i can't quite specify (its a Maxell professional KCS-20 BQ U-matic S.

So the problem is I need a U-matic VTR and while doing my research I found out that Lo and Hi-Bands are incompatible between each other, but nothing is said about the SP VTRs.

So the questioning:

What is that mysterious Maxell tape format?

Can I use an SP U-matic VTR to read all of these the tapes?

If so what is the best/most available model of VTR I could get?

I have a Blackmagic Intensity Extreme, which I intended to use for this digitizing. However, I learnt that it won't work because U-matic only outputs in composite. Would this:http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/820945-REG/Matrox_MXO2MINIMAX_T_MXO_2... be the best alternative or would this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/842013-REG/Blackmagic_Design_BINTSSHU... be better? The thing is, with the Shuttle I would only get the composite in as an extra, comparing with the Extreme, which I already have. With the Matrox, I would have the composite AND h264 conversion, but is it worth it for the price difference?

And last, anyone has/knows someone who has a fully functioning U-matic VTR for sale? (I'm in Mozambique by the way, PAL system here)

Sorry for the long post, and long list of questions, but I'm really not finding the answers I need.

Thanks in advance!


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Andrew Rendell
Re: U-matic clarifications
on Nov 29, 2012 at 11:06:36 am

It's been a long time but IIRC you'll need different decks to play back low band and high band tapes, however, I'm sure that we used SP decks which used to play back high band as well as SP. Umatic-S was the same recording as Umatic but using a smaller cassette (I can't remember if you need a particular deck to accept the tape, sorry).

I have a feeling that there was a way to get a playback of low band tapes in a high band (or SP) deck if you used a TBC that connected via the Dub connector (but that might have been a bit of local engineering cleverness rather than something official), but I think you should probably be looking for two decks, one standard Umatic and one SP, and I also think you'll get best results using a TBC (which will require an external B&B sync gen).


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Miguel Franco
Re: U-matic clarifications
on Nov 29, 2012 at 12:10:32 pm

Hi Andrew and thank you for your insight.

U-matic S can be played in standart front loading U-matic VTRs or top loading VTRs via an adapter, so I'm okay on that one.

It really is a pain to have to get 2 VTRs for Hi and Lo band. I'll try to see if that really is necessary.


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Baz Leffler
Re: U-matic clarifications
on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:29:26 pm

I have a PAL Sony VO9600 that plays everything.

Baz


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Neil Patience
Re: U-matic clarifications
on Dec 2, 2012 at 8:13:10 pm

If memory serves you could play LoBand tapes in a HiBand machine without problem. If you tried it the other way around then you would just get a black and white image.
Been a long while since I had to use a Umatic though.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Miguel Franco
Re: U-matic clarifications
on Dec 3, 2012 at 7:41:13 am

Thanks for the replies. I think I'm almost there in terms of equipment list


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