U-matic tape is a videocassette format that was developed by Sony in October of 1969. It was one of the first video formats that contained the videotape inside a cassette as opposed to the various open-reel formats at the time. By September of 1971 it was introduced to the general public. The videotape is 3/4 inches wide, so the format is often known as “three-quarter-inch” or simply “three-quarter”. The standard resolution for the U-matic (Umatic) tape 280 lines and the recording time was limited to 1 hour. U-matic tape is also available in a smaller cassette size called U-Matic S. These smaller tapes were used in smaller portable Sony recorders.
The Betacam tape was developed by Sony in 1982. This format supplanted the U-matic format because of major improvements in video quality. For many years it was used by most professional broadcast companies. By 1986, Betacam SP (“Superior Proformance”) was developed and had better resolution. It was a larger cassette with 90 minutes of recording time. Production houses & most TV stations used Betacam SP (BetaSP) up until the late 1990’s. Currently most of them have switched to digital formats.
Transfer of each U-matic or Betacam Tape to DVD: $50.00
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