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DVCPRO is a format developed by Panasonic. It is a variation of the DV format, aimed at the professional market (in particular for ENG work). DVCPRO is also known as DVCPRO Standard or DVCPRO 25, to differentiate it from other variations. DVCPRO cassettes have a yellow lid, DVCPRO 50 have a blue lid and DVCPRO HD have a red lid.


DVCPRO description

Panasonic's development of native DV component format which records a 18 micron (18x10-6m, eighteen thousandths of a millimeter) track on 6.35 mm (0.25-inch) metal particle tape. DVCPRO uses native DCT-based DV compression at 5:1 from a 4:1:1 8-bit sampled source. It uses 10 tracks per frame for 525/60 sources and 12 tracks per frame for 625/50 sources, both use 4:1:1 sampling. Tape speed is 33.813mm/s. It includes two 16-bit digital audio channels sampled at 48 kHz and an analog cue track. Both Linear (LTC) and Vertical Interval Time Code (VITC) are supported. There is a 4:2:2 (DVCPRO 50) and progressive scan 4:2:0 (DVCPRO P2) version of the format, as well as a high definition version (DVCPRO HD).

Although the DVCPro editing machine can play back the DVC material, the differences are significant. The speed of the professional format is almost twice the speed of the consumer system, width of the video tracks is also doubled, and the colour coding is 4:1:1 in the Pro version (which is better for the postproduction, special in chroma keying) and 4:2:0 in the consumer version. Last but not least . DVCPro uses MP while DVC uses ME tapes. DVCPro system utilises 1:5 compression, based on the original DVCPro algorithm.

The pro decks can play back the consumer format, but not vice versa. The pro format also does not use the small cassette size. The newest machines will also play back DVCAM(!) An extensive article on this format appears in the July 1996 SMPTE Journal. This format and DVCPRO50 are quickly taking over the field acqusition end of the marketplace.

DVCPRO technical specifications

  • Compression: 5:1 DVC-format DCT, intra-frame; 25 Mbps video data rate
  • Resolution & Sampling: 720x576, 4:2:0 (PAL),
  • 720x480, 4:1:1 (NTSC)
  • Audio: 2 ch @ 48 kHz, 16 bits; 4 ch @ 32 kHz, 12 bits;
  • Will accept 2 ch @ 44.1 kHz, 16 bits via 1394 I/O; unlocked


  • Tape: ME (Metal Evaporate)
  • Track Pitch: 10 microns (SP)
  • 6.7 microns (LP)
  • Track Width: 10 microns (SP)
  • 6.7 microns (LP)
  • Tape Speed: 18.81 mm/sec
  • Record Times: MiniDV: 80 min (SP), 120 min (LP)
  • Standard: 3 hrs (SP), 4.6 hrs (LP)
  • DVCAM 184 min tape: 4.6 hrs (SP), 6.9 hrs (LP)

See also

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