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D-11

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D-11 (HDCAM) Logo
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D-11 (HDCAM) Logo

D-11 (HDCAM) is an HDTV version of Digital Betacam, using an 8-bit DCT compressed 3:1:1 recording, in 720p or 1080i-compatible (1920x1080) resolution, and adding 24 and 23.976 PsF modes. The recorded video bitrate is 144 Mbit/s. Audio is also similar, with 4 channels of AES/EBU 20-bit/48 kHz digital audio. It is used for Sony's cinematic CineAlta range of products.


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D-11 (HDCAM) description

D-11 (HDCAM) was developed and introduced by Sony in 1997 to meet the needs of the global film industry in the 21st century. The HDCAM format features Digital High Definition - 1920 horizontal and 1080 vertical lines of active pixel picture - to provide increased contrast, sharpness and detail. And because High Definition video has five times the resolution of the Standard Definition video, the effect is an image that is life-like with increased clarity.

High Definition video’s most noticeable attributes are a wide-screen 16:9 aspect ratio that is four times the width and three times the height of the Standard Definition 4:3 video. The D-11 format also features frame rate switchability to various digital broadcasting formats and the Motion Picture Industry’s film-like 24fps (frames per second) format. Additionally, the D-11 (HDCAM) format supports four channels of 20-bit/48kHz AES/EBU digital audio or can record Dolby-E bit streams onto each pair of AES/EBU audio channels.

D-11 (HDCAM) records 10 bits (8-bit data reduced for compression processing), 4•2•2 High Definition video using a DCT coefficient recording compression system to achieve full-bandwidth HD digital recording. This results in a very high bit rate after coding, delivering the highest resolution for digital recordings.

The D-11 (HDCAM) format records onto 1/2 inch (12.65mm) Metal Particle tape and uses the same size cassettes as that of BETACAM SP, BETACAM SX and Digital BETACAM. An HDCAM studio VTR is able to record for up to 124 minutes onto a single large cassette and up to 40 minutes onto a small cassette.


D-11 (HDCAM) recording

The D-11 (HDCAM) video recorder, like many other digital recording systems, is an electronic recording device that records video and audio signals on videotape for later playback and postproduction work. During the record process, the tape is moved past a high-speed rotating video head assembly that writes video and audio signals as digital information. The HDCAM VTR also employs multiple video heads to record and to play back the magnetically recorded information.

In contrast to an analog recorder, which writes analog video and audio signals, the HDCAM video recorder writes video and audio signals as 1’s and 0’s. During the recording process, the video heads write video, sync and audio data streams onto the tape in a helical track pattern (see figure above). And unlike an analog recorder, which writes two tracks for each full frame of video, an HDCAM digital recorder writes 10 or more tracks to record a full video frame.


D-11 (HDCAM) tape

HDCAM Tape
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HDCAM Tape

Compared to Digital BETACAM, HDCAM employs even finer 0.1µm new Ceramic Armor Metal magnetic particles. Combining it with Maxell’s unique multi-orientation technology to effectively utilize its high magnetic energy, Maxell has achieved a remarkable high-output and low-noise HDCAM videotape. Low error rate is also reached by achieving superior C/N characteristics.

Some HDCAM VTRs play back older Betacam variants, and tape lengths are the same as for Digital Betacam, up to 40 minutes for S and 124 minutes for L tapes. In 24p mode the runtime increases to 50 and 155 minutes, respectively.

HDCAM tapes are black with an orange lid, and HDCAM SR tapes black with a cyan lid.


D-11 (HDCAM) Compatibility

D-11 (HDCAM) offers playback compatibility with tapes recorded in an analog BETACAM / BETACAM SP, BETACAM SX and BETACAM IMX recorders, providing a natural migration path for users of older BETACAM formats who wish to upgrade to High Definition Digital.


See also

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