How to transfer from Beta SP?
Hi, I'm new to here and hoping for help in how to transfer from a Beta SP BVW-75P machine to Mac. What cables do I need to view the Beta tapes through my TV and how do I capture the footage for the Mac? Thanking you in advance, John in Belfast
First off...you need a betaSP deck.
Second, you need a video capture card. AJA.com, decklink.com
To go to a TV...your TV needs to have a single COMPOSITE input...yellow RCA input. Then you need an RCA cable with an SDI adapter (that's the part that connects to the deck)...or an SDI cable with RCA adapters...and then RCA audio for out of the deck to the card. Make sure the card allows for "analog" connections.
If you don't use the capture card, then a DV converter like a Canopus ADVC 300....and do something like this:
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You will need some kind of breakout box or interface unit, like the AJA IO, or the Blackmagic products, or the ADVC 100 or better. These boxes contain the input/output connectors you need, and a connection to your mac, via firewire or thunderbolt cables. Then, the built-in software in your editing system, or an add-on piece of software, will control the deck and the signals going in and out. In FCP7, you will go to File>log and capture open up the Log and Capture dialog box. In there, you'll tell the mac what format you are feeding it (betacam sp in this case), and what to do with that footage as it comes in (choice of codec, I suggest you make it prores 422). You won't have machine control of the beta deck, so you'll operate it manually, set the log and capture preferences to "uncontrolled device", and hit the "capture NOW" button on the mac during capture.
Cables from the betacam deck to the breakout or input/output box will be Coaxial video cables with BNC connectors on both ends in most cases. For the lower-end breakout boxes, they might need RCA connectors on on end: you can get adapters at radio shack (once you get past the phone salesman).
The best signal you can get out of the betacam would be if you use the component video outputs, known as the y, b-y, r-y cables, or this is also available from a multipin cable if that came with the deck you own, and the breakout box has the matching connector. Not as good, but 'way simpler is to use tne BNC video cable out of the betacam's composite video output, and take that to the breakout box's composite input. Audio is handled using standard XLR cables available at a guitar/musician store or radio shack. If your breakout box lacks XLR audio inputs, you can adapt XLR's to RCA jacks or in a worst case scenario, tap the headphone jack on the front to feed into the breakout box. That can have many problems though due to mis-matched levels/volume. You'd have to do several test runs while tweaking it.
One other way to make occasional transfers from a betacam deck is to connect it to a stand-alone DVD recorder, the kind that don't have a tuner. Walmart sells these for around or under 100 bucks, usually they also have a built-in VHS deck, the idea is to use those to copy off old VHS home movies to DVD at home with the push of one button. But the machines also usually have an aux a/v input as well, which you can connect to the betacam deck. Record to DVD in 2-hour mode or better (shorter), "finalize" the DVD before ejecting it, pop the DVD into your mac and use the free application called Mpeg Streamclip to "rip" the DVD and export Prores 422 for use by your editing system.
You could also in theory first dub from the betacam into a consumer DV video camcorder, if one is laying around, then connect the camcorder to the mac by firewire cable and ingest the footage with log and capture.
Many thanks for the replies, they are very helpful and appreciated.
I should have explained that I have a limited number of tapes to go through so some of the options given are just too expensive and too complicated. I will play around with it and see if there is a cheaper way of doing this.