We were recently approached by an independent video production company and asked if we had the means to transfer some Betacam-SP camcorder master tapes for playback in an iPad App. The response was, of course, positive!
Betacam-SP was the de-facto professional camcorder video-cassette recording and playback format in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s until the advent of Digital Betacam (aka Digi-Beta) from the mid-90s onwards. Needlesss to say, there are many tens of thousands of Betacam-SP tapes – both the smaller portable sized tapes as well as larger studio mastering formats – still in existence in company tape libraries as well as cameramen’s lofts.
Transferring these tapes requires playback VCRs that were very expensive in their day. We have two properly-maintained Beta-SP recorder/players which can be used for the purposes of transfer; when fed via a broadcast-standard Timebase Corrector and passed through a Canopus Grass Valley Analogue to Digital (A-D) converter, we end up with a near-perfect digital transfer which results in files that can be imported into Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro or Avid (etc).
Video encoding for playback on mobile devices such as Apple iPad, iPhone or Windows and Android-based devices requires care and attention to detail in order to maximise the quality whilst keeping data rates low – especially if the movie sequences are to be shared online via Wi-Fi or 3G connections. We apply state-of-the-art compression codecs to make sure that your digitised video sequences meet with your expectations – and those of your end-users!
Do you have a need for Betacam-SP to iPad digital transfers? Get in touch – let’s talk!