Finding Tapes, and 7-Pin Dub for U-matic and Beta

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.

A professional 20 minute Betacam Oxide tape will last a good 105 minutes or approx one hour and 45 minutes at the BII recording speed.

The other thing I use the betamax machines for is archiving my stuff edited on the other Sony format "U-matic" or "3/4 inch". Betamax and U-matic both use the same color-under frequency of 688 khz and I've added a 7-pin dub plug used to interface the two. This 7-pin dub plug is just like using the S-Video connector on the other 1/2" format we won't talk about here.

It is a challenge to make provisions for the added connector, bias color phase (tint), and such, when time becomes availbile, I will attempt to put the modification on the internet.

Kit Haskins, Engineering Dept, KOAA-TV

-- Beta is really better, anyone who says otherwise is just dumb

Please note that only standard Betacam and not Betacam SP tapes can be used in consumer Beta machines. Betacam SP uses metal tapes that will destroy the heads of a conventional Betamax.

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Submitted Sat Jul 12 15:28:02 1997