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BPOC - now with Betacam

Sometimes working at BPOC feels like it's Christmahannukwanza - there's quite a bit of technology equipment that comes in and out, as projects are created and progress, and as we build our infrastructure to support the outstanding work that needs to be done here in Balboa Park. It's always exciting to receive equipment that will add to and increase the level of service we're able to provide.

So you can imagine my joy at receiving this absolutely enormous box yesterday:

Giant box - what could it be?

The guys who hauled it up to my office thought it might be a disco ball. As cool as a disco ball might be, it might not be as cool as this:


"This" is a Sony BVW-75 Betacam SP editing deck, one of the workhorses of Sony's professional video editing products. Betamax lost out to VHS in the video format wars of the 1980s, even though many videophiles believe Beta provided superior image quality over VHS. Between 1975, when Betamax was first released by Sony, and the mid-1980s, Beta was a popular choice for video producers who were willing to pay a premium for better-quality video, despite the format's limitations on tape length (1 hour) and format flexibility.

BPOC has been able to digitize U-matic and VHS video tapes for a while, but as there are a considerable number of Beta tapes throughout Balboa Park institutions, it has been on our to-do list. We're thrilled to be able to digitize these materials.