Betacam tapes on Beta

Colin McCormick

E-mail: colinmc*
Web URL:
Current Beta Machines: Sanyo VTCM40

Kit Haskins

E-mail: kit*
Web URL:
Current Beta Machines: SL-HF360
Working as a Broadcast Engineer for a local television station, I have been able to come across some ideas that would help out the Betamax community.

I take home the smaller "Betacam" cassettes we trash each month. Betacam is the professional video format used in most of the larger TV stations in the US. The small Betacam cassettes fit and work in a consumer Betamax machine.

In my experience they may not work very well. Certainly a friend of mine who tried using Betacam tapes (older oxide ones, not SP of course) in various machines found that some machines worked, others gave an unstable picture. Exactly why this should be I don't know, the tape formulation may be slightly different.

My Sanyo VTCM40 Beta Hifi machine has required less maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition that the machine (kind of) that replaced it; a Panasonic NVFS88 SVHS. That in turn has been partly replaced by a Sony EVS9000 Hi-8 deck, which I'll admit is something of a disappointment for the price. I'm looking forward to digital VCR's being affordable, then there will finally be a format worthy of replacing Beta.

Do pop into my Beta page at

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Submitted Sun Aug 10 14:48:47 1997