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Remember Betamax? Anybody got one?

 
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Remember Betamax? Anybody got one? Reply with quote

One of things I do for a living is that I undertake the digital conversion and transfer of analogue tape-based video and audio for private as well as business/public sector clients. Usually this means transferring VHS, S-VHS or a variety of professional video formats using a broadcast-standard system that I've built over the years, but I've agreed to do some work to help out a charity that needs a reasonably large collection of Betamax videos that it has been bequeathed to the organisation which needs to be converted into a digital form which can then be shared on a website.

The problem is that I no longer have a working Betamax machine and, due to the size of the assignment, I need at least one (for backup purposes, etc).

If you have one such device - preferably Sony or Sanyo - lying in the attic or a cupboard, or you know who might have one, please please let me know. I don't expect freebies and I'll pay for despatch charges too.

I have my eye on a couple on eBay but I'm also spreading the net by other means too.

Please feel free to PM me if you can help.

Thanks!

ColinB

Edit: If anybody has one and needs any remaining Betamax tapes that require digitally restoring and remastering to DVD (etc) then I'll happily do them free of charge - providing they're not somebody else's copyright, of course.
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is it not possible to play Betamax tapes in a Betacam system? I seem to recall a guy I worked with swapping the internal gubbins from a betamax tape to a betacam one do do exactly that.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
is it not possible to play Betamax tapes in a Betacam system? I seem to recall a guy I worked with swapping the internal gubbins from a betamax tape to a betacam one do do exactly that.


No, it isn't Rachel. I have two Betacam-SP machines and I've been told by a systems engineer not to try! Anyhow, there might be a lot of tapes and I don't have the time/resources to fiddle.
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember if it worked or not. Smile They looked jolly similar as I recall. We had a Betacam SP system and later Panasonic MII, we also had Hi8, Hiband and Lowband systems- those big clunky U-matic things. Umats! To those in the know.


My mum might have one- she's bit of a magpie- I'll ask her at the weekend.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
I don't remember if it worked or not. Smile They looked jolly similar as I recall. We had a Betacam SP system and later Panasonic MII, we also had Hi8, Hiband and Lowband systems- those big clunky U-matic things. Umats! To those in the know.


I know U-Matic very well - I used to shoot and edit on Lowband in the late 70s onwards and then progressed to shooting a lot of corporates and a bit of BBC news here and there on BVU and BVU-SP. I have a couple of Sony U-Matics - a Series 5 and a Series 9 machine all fed (if we're going to be really geeky here!) via VDA's and jackfields - to a Sony BVT-500 timebase corrector prior to A-D conversion.

I did also use Panasonic MII during its short life, too! In fact, I have some master tapes with Anglia TV's labels on as well as a couple from good old Thames TV (RIP).

As a matter of interest, when you refer to "we" - who's "we"???

Rachel wrote:
My mum might have one- she's bit of a magpie- I'll ask her at the weekend.


I like your mum already! Thanks Smile
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We was where I worked way back when ... SSVC. Chalfont St Giles.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
We was where I worked way back when ... SSVC. Chalfont St Giles.


Ah yes! I remember SSVC. I went there a couple of times when doing corporates for somebody or other and we needed studio time and a feed out.

My parents-in-law used to live at Little Chalfont and we passed SSVC often when out on our travels.

I used to use CTVC (the churches TV centre) in Bushey now and again, too. What I liked about both those places was that they were built to BBC studio standards and were just like mini BBC centres! CTVC still exists, but what about SSVC?

Colin
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Lord Evan Elpuss



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 3354
Location: Cloud Cuckoo Land

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I still have one, but whether it still works is another matter altogether!
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Evan Elpuss wrote:
I think I still have one, but whether it still works is another matter altogether!


That's a start! Nice one.......... I await with interest. Cool
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've made the call, my mum has one, and she is sure that it works ( or did before in went up there into her attic)
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rachel - I've replied to your PM. You're not the first to reply either, which is great news.
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mean there was more than one sold?? Shocked
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
You mean there was more than one sold?? Shocked


There were lots sold. Technically, they were much better than VHS or Philips V2000 but were let down by Sony's inability to extend running times before Matsushita (Panasonic and JVC) did and since the ability to store an average-length feature film was key to success of such a format, VHS won over. Also, VHS was better marketed than Betamax and ultimately won the battle.

The Betamax machines that had HiFi Stereo sound in the 1980s were exceptionally good.

Sony did win a race of sorts; Betamax was adapted and transformed into the professional video format called Betacam and, later, Betacam-SP which became the standard broadcast camcorder recording and editing format for many years and is still in use today.

C
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember TV comics at the time using lines like "we were burgled last night, every thing's gone - apart from the Betamax of course"

Never had one but the 8 track car unit was similar wasn't it? I never could fix a tape break on one of those "one reel" affairs.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
I remember TV comics at the time using lines like "we were burgled last night, every thing's gone - apart from the Betamax of course"


Yes, I used to chuckle at that one, too! Smile

SantaFefan wrote:
Never had one but the 8 track car unit was similar wasn't it? I never could fix a tape break on one of those "one reel" affairs.


Blimey. 8-track. Yes, I remember it well. My friend's dad loved classical music and had a player in his car (and very expensive it was, too!) and he used to go barmy when there was a pause as the machine changed down to another track!

Still - the 8-track gave birth to the Sonifex cart that became the standard jingle and commercial-playing device in radio and sound studios!!!!

By the way - my wife often asks me: "How much of this useless crap is stored away in that brain of yours - yet how come you can't even remember what I've sent you up the shop for without your needing to phone me when you get there?".

She has a point. Not that I will admit it.

Rolling Eyes
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure you will find the 8 track machine was the more popular choice for US car manufacturers.. I seem to recall the 8 track provided a better quality sound.
I have a box full of them, and a home player.. silver and woodgrain finish of course! Laughing
I had one fitted in one of my old Zephyr Mk4s .. it had four purple lights to indicate which programme was running. Looked great at night alongside my "Brut" medallion and chain swinging on the dash knob.
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