Developed by: Sony. Followed the ¾ inch U-Matic format.
Launched on: August 7, 1982
Used for: news acquisition and television production
a.k.a.: Beta Cam, Beta (popular name used also for the consumer Betamax)
Cassette size: Same cassette format as Betamax, running at higher speed. A blank Betamax-branded tape will work on a Betacam deck, and a Betacam-branded tape can be used to record in a Betamax deck. However, Sony discouraged this practice, suggesting that the internal tape transport of a domestic Betamax cassette was not well suited to the faster tape transport of Betacam. Up to 30 min recording time.
Magnetic tape used: ½” oxide-formulated tape
Cassette shells: varied in color depending on the manufacturer
Magnetic tape manufacturers: Sony, Fuji, Maxell, Ampex and 3M
Video recording: Analog video component format, storing the luminance, "Y", in one track and the chrominance, on another as alternating segments of the R-Y and B-Y components performing Compressed Time Division Multiplex, or CTDM. This splitting of channels allows true broadcast quality recording with 300 lines of horizontal luminance resolution and 120 lines chrominance resolution.
Audio recording: stereo linear audio tracks.