Betamax to DVD transfer at Timeless DVD includes
the consumer Beta format introduced by Sony in 1975. When we
to DVD, we mean the consumer
Betamax, not BetaCam or any professional variant.
A Betamax cassette is 7 1/4" wide, 4" deep, and 1" thick.
It contains a half-inch-wide magnetic tape that is wound between
two rolls, one of which is commonly viewable through the cassette
The format was derived from the professional U-matic tape. The
name "Betamax" came from two sources of the root word "beta":
First, the Japanese word "beta," which describes the
way signals are recorded to a tape; and second, the Greek letter
"beta," which has the same shape as that of the tape
running through the transport. "Max," not surprisingly,
simply suggests greatness – a tag that many Betamax enthusiasts
would no doubt agree with!
During a Betamax transfer, the format's
perceived high quality remains intact. While it was the first
consumer video tape and offered superior quality to VHS, Betamax
lost the "format war" due to VHS's longer tape times
and JVC's effective marketing. Nevertheless, many video enthusiasts
maintain Betamax is and was the superior format because it offered
a slightly higher screen resolution, lower video noise, and less
Betamax has an additional place in history because it was the
format used in the first-available consumer camcorder, the Betamovie
(1983). (It quickly became an easy way to film your family and
friends video!) Betamaxes fell out of favor by the late 1980s
after spinning off into Video8, and the last machine was produced
by Sony in 2002. Since good Betamax VCRs are difficult to find
and maintain these days, and many Betamax tapes are at least
years old, it is absolutely advisable to transfer
Betamax tapes or
convert Betamax to DVD as soon as possible.
Betamax to DVD conversion quality
is dependent upon the quality setting used on the tape. While
tape lengths vary, a Betamax recorded in the mid-range BII mode
holds around 3 hours of video. Betamaxes could record in the
longer BIII mode and the shorter – but less commonly-used – BI
mode. We advise that you copy Betamax to DVD as soon as you can
because these tapes are aging quickly, regardless of the recording
The Betamax format displays 250 lines of resolution on the
television screen, which remains during the Betamax conversion
process. When you transfer
tape to DVD, resolution lines remain the same.
Like S-VHS, Sony released High Band, or SuperBeta, in 1985.
The resolution of a SuperBeta recording is 290 lines on a regular
Betamax tape. Despite the better quality, SuperBeta was not widely
adopted and most capable Betamax VCRs had switches to turn the
feature off. Timeless DVD, however, can easily convert
video to DVD from Super Betamax tapes.