Confessions of a Beta Junkie.

Beta video playerWell, if you were around for the VCR episdoe, I’ve got news: there’s a new kid on the block, and he’s big, mean and wants our lunch money. (Yours too!) 
I’m referring to the Sony BVW BetaCam SP. That’s right, kids…BETA!!!!! Now for you whippersnappers out there, beta was to VHS what HD is to BlueRay: a competing force soon to be left in the wake of older memories. While entertainment pounced on VHS for it’s ability to produce quality images at a lightning pace, Beta was picked up by news stations and other non-home entities due to beta’s ability to pinpoint percise points on the tape, making editing easier. The weird thing is that VHS is now gone the way of the Tazmanian hares-you don’t see them often, but every so often a farmer in some back water country comes across one. A decent 4-head VCR will run you around 30 dollars at any Target or WalMart. Beta, however is a little harder to find. And a bit more pricey. How much so? Well, a current state of the art beta player runs just shy $46,000.00. that’s not a typo. Forty-six THOUSAND. Ours is priced just under four grand. it’s a few years old, has a play-only feature (no record button) and has no USB or firewire ports. (meaning all video/audio exporting has to be done way of coaxial cable or RCA. Think how you would record an 8 track tape onto CD and you’ll get a hint of the levels of possible frustration. ) 
This thing is big. It looks like it should have I.V.s and a hospital patient attached to it. 
We encountered our first problem tonight while trying to play a beta tape and record it through another source (our JVC GY HD250U). A SONY child does NOT like other people’s toys. It will boss you around and force you to play with it and the friends it choses for you. We were able to get clear Audio/Video (A/V) through monitors, but not record it. SONY made sure all footage running through the camera was wavy and riddled with blurry lines, dissecting the people as if they were on some adult channel. We’ll see how this one turns out. I doubt it will go as south as the VCR (which was also a SONY) . If you’re wondering why I’m ranting about a VCR, go back a few pages.


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