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DVCam or BetaSP for projection?


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#1 Toby Gorman

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 10:49 AM

I know the DVCam/MiniDv vs BetaSP debate has been covered several times, but which format (NTSC) do you think will hold up best for projection in a theatre, when exporting from a DVCPRO 50 HD master (from FCP)?

The reason I ask is that a certain festival can screen either DV-CAM, Mini-DV, or Beta SP, and we have access to all 3 decks, though I can't vouch for how well they have been maintained...

Thanks in advance,

Toby Gorman
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#2 Shaun Joye

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 06:51 PM

BetaSP will have better color. DVCAM would be WAAAY more reliable. BetaSP being analog will break up very easily if the heads aren't kept clean. With DVCAM its not quite as critical.
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:03 AM

BetaSP will have better color. DVCAM would be WAAAY more reliable. BetaSP being analog will break up very easily if the heads aren't kept clean. With DVCAM its not quite as critical.


I disagree.

First off, head clogs on betacam sp, I've had two in 10 years time, ironically the first one was on one of the first tapes I ever put into my PVV-3. But guess what, in both instances the sound still came out and I was able to double the remaining unclogged head and removed the flicker and the both times the tapes were totally useable.

With many DIGITAL FORMATS, the moment there is any problem the sound usually cuts out and basically doesn't exist. With HI-FI betacam sp (in essence the mirror of digital in that the sound is embedded in the picture), there still is redundant audio on the linear tracks as back up on the Broadcast version of the betacam sp Back.

Now, would you rather trust a 5 to 10 year old betacam sp back versus a new DV-Cam recorder, that is a separate issue to consider.
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 01:04 PM

I just now noticed the last word in the topic, "projection".

Oh my gosh, hands down betacam sp is better for projection. However, if cost and availability are an issue, then DVCAM is obviously an acceptable alternative. I would recommend having a back up machine no matter which format one is using. DVCAM tape is very thin fragile tape and in a festival environment a more robust tape format makes sense.

UVW-1800's are probably the easiest betacam sp's to get, but the PVW-2600's (assuming you want a playback only deck) are by far the best videotape playback deck for video projection.

The PVW allows one to actually toggle between pre-set and manually set levels for video brightness, set-up, chroma, and hue levels. In essence one can actually brighten the screen if necessary to help a dimmer projector look a bit brighter. How much brighter I can't say for sure but it probably would be noticeable, as the image is brightened the chroma has to be resaturated, but that can be done via a settable dial, no menu call up is needed.

When in a video projection environment it's nice to be able to look at how physical dials and knobs have been set rather than accessing a menu in which one runs the danger of accidentally putting up the menu settings on the big theatre screen.
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#5 Toby Gorman

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 08:48 AM

Thanks for the replies, most helpful and much appreciated.
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