Digital Betacam (DigiBeta), BetacamSX, MPEG IMX transfers 

Used in television studios throughout the world, Digital Betacam is a very popular professional video format.  There are two tapes sizes, the smaller ones are very similar to domestic Beta (Betamax) tapes to look at.  My equipment will handle both the smaller and larger sized cassettes and also can play Betacam SX and MPEG IMX tapes. Video99 also handles all analogue Betacam tapes.

You may come across Digital Betacam or Betacam SX tapes which have been recorded by a professional video company, for example in creating training, advertising or promo films.  But how can you view the recording?   Video99 can transfer these recordings to normal viewable DVD, or to computer files on hard disk or USB stick, or even miniDV / DVCAM tape.  We now have an uncompressed 10bit SDI video capture system too, but those files are rather large at 94GB per hour.  We can record onto Digital Betacam from any Betacam tape.

The Digital Betacam player we use for our video transfers is the very expensive Sony J3.  

One of the Digital Betacam players we use for our video transfers is the very versatile Sony J3.  Our other machines are the DVW-A510P with SDI output, and DVW-A500P recorder.


Professional Digital Betacam (DigiBeta) tapes (large size on left and small size on the right above) are blue or blue-grey.  Betacam SX tape shells are bright yellow, though SX recordings may also appear on blue BetacamSP tapes, the XS format allows for an hour on a small sized tape. MPEG IMX cassettes are a muted green, this was a fairly unpopular format.  Much the most popular form are the blue Digital Betacam tapes.  The smaller size are very similar to domestic Beta (Betamax) tapes and can be confused with those.

Transfers to DVD:

Basic Menu from 20 per tape:  The menus are limited to just a title, but you get a chapter point every 5 minutes so it is easy to move around the DVD.  Extra copies of these DVDs cost just 3.50 each and are recommended.  

We are aware that these tapes tend to be a little longer than their marked times.  Other business charge extra as soon as you go over, say 30 minutes, but our pricing is much fairer.  For a basic DVD, the cost per tape is:

Running time of each tape Cost per tape (1-9 tapes) Cost per tape (10 tapes or more)
0-35 minutes 20 15
36-65 minutes 35 30
66 - 125 minutes 40 35

Deluxe Menu from 30 per tape:  Nice menu icons showing what is on that part of the recording, and if you email me with titles I will put them on the DVD for you too.  I place the chapter breaks at points of interest or new recordings.  These menus look like professionally recorded DVD films.  Extra copies are very cheap, just 2.50 each, and well worth taking. 

Running time of each tape Cost per tape (1-9 tapes) Cost per tape (10 tapes or more)
0-35 minutes 30 25
36-65 minutes 45 40
66 - 125 minutes 50 45

DVD-ROM from 25:  Up to 20 minutes of video on one DVD-Rom in high quality DV-AVI video files.  

Transfers to other formats:

Options include transfer to DV-AVI (13GB/hour), uncompressed YUV 10-bit AVI (100GB/hour) or other file formats on hard disk or USB stick, transfer to miniDV/ DVCAM, or DigiBeta-DigiBeta duplication.  Just email me for details.

Television systems explained


How to request a Digital Betacam video transfer.

We have a new and easy order page, just select what kind of tapes you have and supply your details.  If for any reason you get stuck filling out the form, just email me and I'll help you personally.  It's a personal service I offer, not like some of the big video editing houses.  I understand that in many cases you will not be able to tell how much material is on the original recordings.  If recorded on equipment from another country, see the Television systems explained

If you want your tapes back after you have the transfers (recommended):

Not everyone needs their tapes returned once they have the video files or DVDs, but if you do, please remember to include postage costs. For a single video tape in the UK, this is around .3.30 - 5.45 for 1st Class post.  For larger quantities, Special Delivery return, and tapes from outside the UK, I will let you know.  Ideally can you ensure you send the tapes in a package which is sufficiently large and robust for me to use to send back your original tapes. Usually I will send the transfers to you ahead of returning your tapes, then when you've confirmed you are happy with the transfers, I will return your tapes. This way I can help you further if necessary - for example you can now see you want a different part of a tape transferred on its own or you want extra copies.

Please read our Terms and Conditions, which form part of the agreement.

Back to the main page.

Also see the Questions and Answers (FAQ)


Some testimonials for Digital Betacam video transfers

We are listed on the independent Freeindex service, you can read and add to reviews there too.

If you have any questions, just email me and I'll reply promptly.   Also see the Questions and Answers (FAQ)  All material on this web site is copyright and though trade marks remain with the manufacturers.

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