Digi Beta ???

Posted by ron 
Digi Beta ???
March 18, 2008 08:15PM
I know this is off the subject of Final Cut Pro... but can anyone give me some advice?

I am thinking of buying a used Sony DVW-A500 Digi Beta Deck to use in my system. (Instead of renting when I need one) It has low hours and a decent price. But....

What is the current thinking about the future of Digi Beta? Is it going to be around much longer?

Thanks in advance for anyone's help.

Re: Digi Beta ???
March 18, 2008 10:51PM
Interesting question.

As long as there is Standard Def, there will be the need for Digibeta. Since the world has gone Hi Def, I think it's a safe bet to say that there will be NO MORE NEW SD FORMATS coming out. Therefore, it would be a good idea to have a low mileage Digibeta around for the future.

The question really is, can you make a return on your investment BEFORE SD becomes extinct?
Only you can answer that. If you only need to playback digibeta archival tapes, something like a Sony J30 would be cheaper.

Re: Digi Beta ???
March 18, 2008 11:00PM
DigiBeta IS the "Broadcast Standard" for SD in my world. EVERYTHING we do goes out on a Digi to air. Mark has a great point, though...if playback for capture is all you need, a J deck will be a better purchase. Those DigiBetas require a lot of TLC. There's always an engineer in our room futzin' with the heads, the transport, etc. It gets a lot of use all day - everyday.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: Digi Beta ???
March 18, 2008 11:04PM
Yup. Even though I deliver an HDCAM master, I am still required to deliver a digibeta downconvert. That is what they air.


Listen to THE EDIT BAY Podcast on iTunes
Re: Digi Beta ???
March 19, 2008 02:51AM
Hey everyone. Thanks for your advice. I certainly get the impression that Digi Beta will be around for a few more years.

Thanks again...

Re: Digi Beta ???
March 19, 2008 01:20PM
Just keep in mind the maintenance costs. If you use the machine a lot the heads can wear out in as little as a year and the replacement cost is approx $5000. The older decks like the A500 wore out heads about once a year if you used them a lot. The newer models have longer head life.

When you buy a new digibeta you also purchase the maintenance contract which was for the A500 $5000/year. Head replacement was under the contract. So if you used the machine a lot you just about broke even when the heads needed replacement. But you also were covered for anything else that might need repair.

I don't know how the current maintenance contracts are setup. With the old ones you could pay the $5000/year up front or make monthly payments just a little over $400. I also don't know if you can buy a maintenance contract from Sony on a used machine that has changed hands.
Re: Digi Beta ???
March 19, 2008 08:24PM
I reckon buy it and put it in storage so it stays pristine, then use it for archive conversions in ten years or so, when all the other digis have been done to death. If you can afford to relegate a digibeta to storage, that is!

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login


  Web lafcpug.org

Web Hosting by HermosawaveHermosawave Internet

Recycle computers and electronics