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The Future of DBeta

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Rick Macadamia
The Future of DBeta
on Mar 13, 2006 at 3:46:47 pm

I posted this over on the "Broadcast Video" forum but thought I might duplicate efforts here for those who don't get around much anymore.

I have the opportunity to purchase a used DigiBeta machine (DVW500) on pretty favorable terms. My question is do you think, given the changing broadcast landscape, that investing in DigiBeta is a wise decision.

That's the quick, general version of my question. Specifically, I don't need a DigiBeta machine, I'd like one. I'm a Director/DP and edit primarily for myself; personal projects, spec jobs, demo reels, that sort of thing. I do have a couple of paying editorial clients but they seem fine with the Beta SP quality I've been delivering. I can't afford to invest in high end HD equipment but feel I need to begin moving away from the analogue world. The DBeta offer is tempting but perhaps some of you might have other thoughts about going digital; DVCPro 50, Digital -S, DVCAM. Anyone care to weigh in on this?



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Pixel Monkey
Re: The Future of DBeta
on Mar 13, 2006 at 5:47:57 pm


Depends on your delivery needs.

IE- When sending anything for broadcast to PBS National, we need full-sized D-Beta tape(s). Does that mean we need to own a deck? No. That's what dub houses are for. HOWEVER, PBS is famously strict on their tech requirements and owning our own D-Beta deck has saved us countless times (we can do our own in-house digital tech checks).

Too often has the dub house's proc been off and messed up good video levels.

Regarding quality though, when creating Avid "archive-to-videotape" masters (or any in-house masters for that matter), we ALWAYS use D-Beta. I don't think anything out there offers 100% perfect 1:1 on-tape resolution, but D-Beta comes much closer than DVC-Pro, etc.

BIG DOWNSIDE: no HD capability as of yet.

______
/-o-o-
`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey
`(___)



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Mark Raudonis
Re: The Future of DBeta
on Mar 14, 2006 at 4:13:22 am

Rick,

As long as there is still SD production, a digibeta deck will have value. Whether you can justify the expense is only a question you can answer. However, be aware that as soon as HD takes over the bulk of production out there, a digi deck will be about as valuable as a 3/4" Umatic (remember those?) The question then becomes, can you recover your investment before it's obsolete. Yes? Buy it. No? Not unless you need a boat anchor.

Mark




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person
Re: The Future of DBeta
on Mar 14, 2006 at 2:56:10 pm

everything we finish in the spot world is either to Digibeta or HD. nothing else. it's the industry standard. we just purchased one ourselves.


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Rick Macadamia
Re: Appreciate the DBeta Thoughts
on Mar 14, 2006 at 7:12:02 pm

Thanks, that's the sort of feedback I was interested in. I know that DBeta is a good format, pretty much the standard for most shops today and certainly almost all of my projects eventually end up onto DigiBeta. But I also know that HD is coming up fast and there seems to be no question that it's the next big thing.

I know it's an educated guessing game but I'm just not sure how long DBeta is going to remain in its dominate position. And for a guy like me, who doesn't make his primary income from editing, that machine is not going to pay for itself in one year.

Maybe I need to be thinking about investing in the future and not what is soon to be the past. Even if, for me, the future is a lower end HD system. At least that way I can begin learning the ins and outs of the HD format.

Thanks again for the input.



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Greg
Re: The Future of DBeta
by
on Mar 14, 2006 at 10:19:51 pm

I have Digital S. Great format...not too easy to get anyone else to make a dub from it. Stick with Digibeta


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editz
Re: The Future of DBeta
on May 13, 2006 at 3:31:17 pm

Heck, why bother with Digibeta demo reels when you can soon do HD DVD authoring? And while I won't speak to mastering, I think distribution of product (at least short form stuff) will be digital and tapeless. Sending out finished spots will be no more difficult than email.


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