Compact disc is a digital optical disc data storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was developed to store and play only sound recordings but was adapted for storage of data. Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage, rewritable media, Video Compact Disc, Super Video Compact Disc, Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, Enhanced Music CD; the first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan. Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres and can hold up to about 80 minutes of uncompressed audio or about 700 MiB of data; the Mini CD has various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres. At the time of the technology's introduction in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard drive, which would hold 10 MB. By 2010, hard drives offered as much storage space as a thousand CDs, while their prices had plummeted to commodity level. In 2004, worldwide sales of audio CDs, CD-ROMs and CD-Rs reached about 30 billion discs.
By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide. From the early 2000s CDs were being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U. S. had dropped about 50% from their peak. In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time. American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record digital information on an optical transparent foil, lit from behind by a high-power halogen lamp. Russell's patent application was filed in 1966, he was granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation and Philips licensed Russell's patents in the 1980s; the compact disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology, where a focused laser beam is used that enables the high information density required for high-quality digital audio signals. Prototypes were developed by Sony independently in the late 1970s. Although dismissed by Philips Research management as a trivial pursuit, the CD became the primary focus for Philips as the LaserDisc format struggled.
In 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the Red Book CD-DA standard was published in 1980. After their commercial release in 1982, compact discs and their players were popular. Despite costing up to $1,000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984. By 1988, CD sales in the United States surpassed those of vinyl LPs, by 1992 CD sales surpassed those of prerecorded music cassette tapes; the success of the compact disc has been credited to the cooperation between Philips and Sony, which together agreed upon and developed compatible hardware. The unified design of the compact disc allowed consumers to purchase any disc or player from any company, allowed the CD to dominate the at-home music market unchallenged. In 1974, Lou Ottens, director of the audio division of Philips, started a small group with the aim to develop an analog optical audio disc with a diameter of 20 cm and a sound quality superior to that of the vinyl record.
However, due to the unsatisfactory performance of the analog format, two Philips research engineers recommended a digital format in March 1974. In 1977, Philips established a laboratory with the mission of creating a digital audio disc; the diameter of Philips's prototype compact disc was set at 11.5 cm, the diagonal of an audio cassette. Heitaro Nakajima, who developed an early digital audio recorder within Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK in 1970, became general manager of Sony's audio department in 1971, his team developed a digital PCM adaptor audio tape recorder using a Betamax video recorder in 1973. After this, in 1974 the leap to storing digital audio on an optical disc was made. Sony first publicly demonstrated an optical digital audio disc in September 1976. A year in September 1977, Sony showed the press a 30 cm disc that could play 60 minutes of digital audio using MFM modulation. In September 1978, the company demonstrated an optical digital audio disc with a 150-minute playing time, 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution, cross-interleaved error correction code—specifications similar to those settled upon for the standard compact disc format in 1980.
Technical details of Sony's digital audio disc were presented during the 62nd AES Convention, held on 13–16 March 1979, in Brussels. Sony's AES technical paper was published on 1 March 1979. A week on 8 March, Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc" in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Sony executive Norio Ohga CEO and chairman of Sony, Heitaro Nakajima were convinced of the format's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread skepticism; as a result, in 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. Led by engineers Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward laser and optical disc technology. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First published in 1980, the stand
Exmor is the name of a technology Sony implemented on some of their CMOS image sensors. It performs on-chip analog/digital signal conversion and two-step noise reduction in parallel on each column of the CMOS sensor. Exmor R is a back-illuminated version of Sony's CMOS image sensor. Exmor R was announced by Sony on 11 June 2008 and was the world's first mass-produced implementation of the back-illuminated sensor technology Sony claims that Exmor R is twice as sensitive as a normal front illuminated sensor; this active pixel sensor is found in several Sony mobile phones and cameras as well as Apple's iPhone 2G and 5. The Exmor R sensor allows the camera of the smartphone to capture high definition movies and stills in low light areas. Exmor R was limited to smaller sensors for camcorders, compact cameras and mobile phones, but the Sony ILCE-7RM2 full-frame camera introduced on the 10 June 2015 features an Exmor R sensor as well. Exmor RS is a stacked CMOS image sensor announced by Sony on 20 August 2012.
Not Backlit + Not Stacked. Backlit + Not Stacked. Backlit + Stacked. Bionz – image processor HAD CCD – Sony Expeed – Nikon image/video processors Toshiba CMOS Samsung CMOS OmniVision
AIBO is a series of robotic pets designed and manufactured by Sony. Sony announced a prototype Aibo in mid-1998; the first consumer model was introduced on 11 May 1999. New models were released every year until 2006. Although most models were dog-like, other inspirations included lion-cubs and space explorer, only the ERS-7 version and ERS-1000 versions was explicitly a "robotic dog". In 2006, AIBO was added into the Carnegie Mellon University Robot Hall of Fame. On 26 January 2006 Sony announced that it would discontinue AIBO and several other products in an effort to make the company more profitable. Sony's AIBO customer support was withdrawn with support for the final ERS-7M3 ending in March 2013. In July 2014, Sony stopped providing repairs for AIBO products and did not provide customer support or repair for AIBO robots. In November 2017, Sony announced a new generation of AIBO after 11 years; the fourth generation model, ERS-1000, was launched in Japan on 11 January 2018. The second lottery sale was set on 6 February 2018.
AIBO is meant to be a companion robot for adults. AIBO grew out of Sony's Computer Science Laboratory. Founded in 1990, CSL was set up to emulate the innovation center at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. CSL's first product was the Aperios operating system to form the base software some AIBO models used; when Nobuyuki Idei became president of Sony in 1995, he sought to adopt a digital agenda, reflected in the new motto he gave the company, “Digital Dream Kids,” and the prominence he gave to CSL. Dr. Toshitada Doi is credited as AIBO’s original progenitor: in 1994 he had started work on robots with artificial intelligence expert Masahiro Fujita within CSL. Fujita would write that the robot's behaviors will need to “be sufficiently complex or unexpected so that people keep an interest in watching or taking care of it”. Fujita argued that entertainment robots might be viable as "A robot for entertainment can be designed using various state-of-the-art technologies, such as speech recognition and vision though these technologies may not be mature enough for applications where they perform a critical function.
While there exists special and difficult requirements in entertainment applications themselves, limited capabilities in the speech and vision systems may turn out to be an interesting and attractive feature for appropriately designed entertainment robots." His early monkey-like prototype "MUTANT" included behaviors that would become part of AIBOs including tracking a yellow ball, shaking hands, karate strikes and sleeping. Fujita would receive the IEEE Inaba Technical Award for Innovation Leading to Production for "AIBO, the world's first mass-market consumer robot for entertainment applications". A friend of Doi's, the artist Hajime Sorayama, was enlisted to create the initial designs for the AIBO's body; those designs are now part of the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institution. The first generation AIBO design won Japan's prestigious "Good Design Award, Grand Prize" and a special Intelligent Design award in the 2000 German Red Dot awards. In 1997 Doi received backing from Idei to form Sony’s Digital Creatures Lab.
Believing that robots would be commonplace in households by 2010, but aware of the shortcomings of available technology for functional uses, he decided to focus on robots for entertainment. The AIBO talked in a tonal language. Two of the first generation AIBOs exported into the USA came to New York, NY and one remains in the archives and display at Artspace Company Y LLC. Models of AIBOs were designed jointly with prestigious Japanese designers, continued to gain design awards; the ERS-210 design was inspired by lion cubs. The bodies of the "ERS-3x" series were designed by visual artist Katsura Moshino winning the "Good Design Award" The sleek and futuristic, space-exploration inspired body of the "ERS-220" was designed by Shoji Kawamori. Winning the "Good Design Award" and a "Design for Asia" award; the ERS-7 Also won a "Good Design Award". Ten years Idei's successor, Howard Stringer closed down AIBO and other robotic projects. Doi staged a mock funeral, attended by more than 100 colleagues from Sony.
At the funeral, Doi said that the Aibo was a symbol of a risk-taking spirit at Sony, now dead. In November 2017, Sony Corporation announced that AIBO would return with a new model that would be capable of forming an emotional bond with users. Several prototypes have been displayed by Sony. Early models were insect-like with six legs; the specifications and design of the 1998 prototype, described in a Sony press release match those of the first generation AIBOs. Differences include the use of PC-Cards for memory, the use of two batteries, the option to use a 2-wheeled "rolling module" in place of legs; the first commercially available AIBO. It has a beagle-like appearance. Sales began on 1 June 1999. There was a limited production of 3,000 for Japan and 2,000 for the USA, they sold out in 20 minutes after launch. It cost 250,000 YEN; the ERS-111 was an improved version of the original AIBO released in November 1999 as a limited edition model. All 3,000 units of the Japanese stock were bought within 17 seconds of launch.
The ERS-210 was designed to look like a cub. It has speech recognition capabilities; the colours were black, gold, blue, white. The ERS-300 had an "AIBO's heart" slogan. Original production design illustrator was Katsura Moshino; the price was 98,000 YEN. The Latte version is the low-end mod
The Sony Reader was a line of e-book readers manufactured by Sony, who produced the first commercial E Ink e-reader with the Sony Librie in 2004. It used an electronic paper display developed by E Ink Corporation, was viewable in direct sunlight, required no power to maintain a static image, was usable in portrait or landscape orientation. Sony sold e-books for the Reader from the Sony eBook Library in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and was reported to be coming to France and Spain starting in early 2012; the Reader could display Adobe PDFs, ePub format, RSS newsfeeds, JPEGs, Sony's proprietary BBeB format. Some Readers could play unencrypted AAC audio files. Compatibility with Adobe digital rights management protected PDF and ePub files allowed Sony Reader owners to borrow ebooks from lending libraries in many countries; the DRM rules of the Reader allowed any purchased e-book to be read on up to six devices, at least one of which must be a personal computer running Windows or Mac OS X. Although the owner could not share purchased eBooks on others' devices and accounts, the ability to register five Readers to a single account and share books accordingly was a possible workaround.
On August 1, 2014, Sony announced. In late 2014, Sony released the Sony Digital Paper DPTS1, only aimed at professional business users that only view PDFs and it has a stylus for making notes. Ten models were produced; the PRS-500 was made available in the United States in September 2006. On 1 November 2006, Readers went on display and for sale at Borders bookstores throughout the US. Borders had an exclusive contract for the Reader until the end of 2006. From April 2007, Sony Reader has been sold in the US by multiple merchants, including Fry's Electronics, Costco and Best Buy; the eBook Store from Sony is only available to US or Canadian residents or to customers who purchased a US-model reader with bundled eBook Store credit. On July 24, 2007, Sony announced that the PRS-505 Reader would be available in the UK with a launch date of September 3, 2008. Waterstone's is the official retail partner and the Reader is available at selected stores such as Argos, Sony Centres and Dixons. On October 2, 2008 the PRS-700, with touch screen and built-in lighting was announced.
On August 5, 2009 Sony announced two new readers, the budget PRS-300 Pocket Edition and the more advanced PRS-600 Touch Edition. On August 25, 2009 Sony announced the Reader PRS-900 "Daily Edition." This features a 7" diagonal screen to compete with the Amazon Kindle DX. It's the first to feature free 3G wireless through AT&T to access the Sony eBookstore without the need of a computer, to increase the grayscale level, from 8 to 16. In September 1, 2010, Sony introduced the PRS-350 Pocket Edition, PRS-650 Touch Edition, PRS-950 "Daily Edition" as replacements for the PRS-300, PRS-600 and PRS-900, with both new models featuring 16-level grey scale touch screens; the launch of the new models represented the introduction of the Sony Reader into the Australian and New Zealand markets for the first time. On August 31, 2011, Sony announced a new reader replacing all of their previous models, the PRS-T1, featuring a 6" screen. On August 16, 2012, Sony announced the PRS-T1 successor, the PRS-T2. On September 4, 2013, Sony announced the PRS-T2 successor, the PRS-T3.
Unlike previous Sony reader models, the T3 is not sold in the US, Sony has abandoned the North American market due to competition from Amazon, B&N and Kobo. On February 6, 2014, Sony announced that it was closing its North American and Australia Reader Stores in late March, migrating all its customers to the Kobo Reader Store. On August 1, 2014, Sony announced that it would not release another ereader but would keep selling its remaining stock; the PRS-T3S is the latest 6". Announced in October 2013 in Japan, it is a PRS-T3 without a cover that costs $99 and was sold in Japan, England and Germany; the PRS-T3 is a 6". Specifications Size: 160 × 109 × 11.3 mm Weight: 200 grams including snap cover Display: size: 15.2 cm diagonal. Resolution: 16-level gray scale 6" Pearl HD E Ink screen 1024 x 758 pixel resolution Memory: 2 GiB of internal storage plus microSD expansion of up to 32 GB Battery Life: 6–8 weeks, assuming 30 minutes reading per day Connectivity: Micro-USB PC interface: USB port Supported e-book formats: EPUB, PDF, FB2, TXT Supported picture formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n, simple Web browser Colors: Black and White The PRS-T2 is a 6" Wi-Fi only model.
Its touchscreen supports zoom in and out and adding notes, including export to Evernote. The device has four translation dictionaries built-in. PRS-T2 specifications. Size: 173 × 110 × 9.1 mm Weight: 164 g Display: size: 15.2 cm diagonal resolution: 16-level gray scale E Ink Pearl display portrait: 90.6 × 122.4 mm, 600 × 800 pixels | effective 115.4 × 88.2 mm, 754 × 584 pixels minimum font size: 6 pt legible, 7 pt recommended Memory: 2 GB of internal storage plus microSD expansion of up to 32 GB Battery Life: Up to 2 months with Wi-Fi off Lithium-ion battery: up to two months battery life, with wireless off. Connectivity: Micro-USB PC interface: USB port Supported e-book formats: EPUB, PDF, TXT, BBeB*, Rtf*, Doc* Supported picture formats: Jpg, Png, Bmp. Wireless: Wi-Fi, simple web
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC is a multinational video game and digital entertainment company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the central hub for the American businesses under the Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation. The company was founded in Tokyo and established on November 16, 1993, as Sony Computer Entertainment, to handle Sony's venture into video game development through its PlayStation brand. Since the successful launch of the original PlayStation console in 1994, the company has been developing the PlayStation lineup of home video game consoles and accessories. Expanding into North America and other countries, the company became Sony's main resource for research and development in video games and interactive entertainment. In April 2016, SCE and Sony Network Entertainment International was restructured and reorganized into Sony Interactive Entertainment, carrying over the operations and primary objectives from both companies; the same year, SIE moved its headquarters from Tokyo to California.
Sony Interactive Entertainment handles the research and development and sales of both hardware and software for the PlayStation video game systems. SIE is a developer and publisher of video game titles, operates several subsidiaries in Sony's largest markets: North America and Asia. By August 2018, the company had sold more than 525 million PlayStation consoles worldwide. Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. was jointly established by Sony and its subsidiary Sony Music Entertainment Japan in 1993 to handle the company's ventures into the video game industry. The original PlayStation console was released on December 1994, in Japan; the company's North American operations, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, were established in May 1995 as a division of Sony Electronic Publishing. Located in Foster City, the North American office was headed by Steve Race. In the months prior to the release of the PlayStation in Western markets, the operations were restructured: All video game marketing from Sony Imagesoft was folded into SCEA in July 1995, with most affected employees transferred from Santa Monica to Foster City.
On August 7, 1995, Race unexpectedly resigned and was named CEO of Spectrum HoloByte three days later. He was replaced by Sony Electronics veteran Martin Homlish; this proved to be the beginning of a run of exceptional managerial turnover, with SCEA going through four presidents in a single year. The PS console was released in the United States on September 9, 1995; as part of a worldwide restructuring at the beginning of 1997, SCEA and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe were both re-established as wholly owned subsidiaries of SCEI. The launch of the second PS console, the PlayStation 2 was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, the U. S. on October 26, 2000. On July 1, 2002, chairman of SCEI, Shigeo Maruyama, was replaced by Tamotsu Iba as chairman. Jack Tretton and Phil Harrison were promoted to senior vice presidents of SCE; the PlayStation Portable was SCEI's first foray into the small handheld console market. Its development was first announced during SCE's E3 conference in 2003, it was unveiled during their E3 conference on May 11, 2004.
The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004, in North America on March 24, 2005, in Europe and Australia on September 1, 2005. On September 14, 2005, SCEI formed Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, a single internal entity to oversee all wholly owned development studios within SCEI, it became responsible for the creative and strategic direction of development and production of all computer entertainment software by all SCEI-owned studios—all software is produced for the PS family of consoles. Shuhei Yoshida was named as President of SCE WWS on May 16, 2008, replacing Kazuo Hirai, serving interim after Harrison left the company in early 2008. On December 8, 2005, video game developer Guerrilla Games, developers of the Killzone series, was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment as part of its SCE WWS. On January 24, 2006, video game developer Zipper Interactive, developers of the Socom series, was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment as part of its SCE WWS. In March 2006, Sony announced the online network for its forthcoming PlayStation 3 system at the 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing meeting in Tokyo, tentatively named "PlayStation Network Platform" and called just PlayStation Network.
Sony stated that the service would always be connected and include multiplayer support. The launch date for the PS3 was announced by Hirai at the pre-Electronic Entertainment Expo conference held at the Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, California, on May 8, 2006; the PS3 was released in Japan on November 11, 2006, the U. S. date was November 17, 2006. The PSN was launched in November 2006. On November 30, 2006, president of SCEI, Ken Kutaragi, was appointed as chairman of SCEI, while Hirai president of SCEA, was promoted to president of SCEI. On April 26, 2007, Ken Kutaragi resigned from his position as chairman of SCEI and group CEO, passing on his duties to the appointed president of SCE, Hirai. On September 20, 2007, video game developers Evolution Studios and Bigbig Studios, creators of the MotorStorm series, were acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment as part of its SCE WWS. On April 15, 2009, David Reeves, president and CEO of SCE Europe, announced his forthcoming resignation from his post.
He had joined the company in 1995 and was appointed as chairman of SCEE in 2003, president in 2005. His role of president and CEO of SCEE would be taken over by Andrew House, who joined Sony Corporation in 1990; the PSP Go was released on October 1
Blu-ray or Blu-ray Disc is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was designed to supersede the DVD format, is capable of storing several hours of video in high-definition and ultra high-definition resolution; the main application of Blu-ray is as a medium for video material such as feature films and for the physical distribution of video games for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One. The name "Blu-ray" refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs; the plastic disc is 120 millimetres in diameter and 1.2 millimetres thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Conventional or pre-BD-XL Blu-ray discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual-layer discs being the industry standard for feature-length video discs. Triple-layer discs and quadruple-layer discs are available for BD-XL re-writer drives. High-definition video may be stored on Blu-ray discs with up to 2160p resolution and at up to 60 frames per second.
DVD-Video discs were limited to a maximum resolution of 576p. Besides these hardware specifications, Blu-ray is associated with a set of multimedia formats; the BD format was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group representing makers of consumer electronics, computer hardware, motion pictures. Sony unveiled the first Blu-ray disc prototypes in October 2000, the first prototype player was released in April 2003 in Japan. Afterwards, it continued to be developed until its official release on June 20, 2006, beginning the high-definition optical disc format war, where Blu-ray Disc competed with the HD DVD format. Toshiba, the main company supporting HD DVD, conceded in February 2008, released its own Blu-ray Disc player in late 2009. According to Media Research, high-definition software sales in the United States were slower in the first two years than DVD software sales. Blu-ray faces competition from the continued sale of DVDs. Notably, as of January 2016, 44% of U. S. broadband. The information density of the DVD format was limited by the wavelength of the laser diodes used.
Following protracted development, blue laser diodes operating at 405 nanometers became available on a production basis, allowing for development of a more-dense storage format that could hold higher-definition media. Sony started two projects in collaboration with Panasonic, TDK, applying the new diodes: UDO, DVR Blue, a format of rewritable discs that would become Blu-ray Disc; the core technologies of the formats are similar. The first DVR Blue prototypes were unveiled at the CEATEC exhibition in October 2000 by Sony. A trademark for the "Blue Disc" logo was filed February 9, 2001. On February 19, 2002, the project was announced as Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray Disc Founders was founded by the nine initial members; the first consumer device arrived in stores on April 10, 2003: the Sony BDZ-S77, a US$3,800 BD-RE recorder, made available only in Japan. But there was no standard for prerecorded video, no movies were released for this player. Hollywood studios insisted that players be equipped with digital rights management before they would release movies for the new format, they wanted a new DRM system that would be more secure than the failed Content Scramble System used on DVDs.
On October 4, 2004, the name "Blu-ray Disc Founders" was changed to the Blu-ray Disc Association, 20th Century Fox joined the BDA's Board of Directors. The Blu-ray Disc physical specifications were completed in 2004. In January 2005, TDK announced that they had now developed an ultra-hard yet thin polymer coating for Blu-ray discs. Cartridges used for scratch protection, were no longer necessary and were scrapped; the BD-ROM specifications were finalized in early 2006. AACS LA, a consortium founded in 2004, had been developing the DRM platform that could be used to securely distribute movies to consumers. However, the final AACS standard was delayed, delayed again when an important member of the Blu-ray Disc group voiced concerns. At the request of the initial hardware manufacturers, including Toshiba and Samsung, an interim standard was published that did not include some features, such as managed copy; the first BD-ROM players were shipped in mid-June 2006, though HD DVD players beat them to market by a few months.
The first Blu-ray Disc titles were released on June 20, 2006: 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, House of Flying Daggers, Underworld: Evolution, xXx, MGM's The Terminator. The earliest releases used the same method used on standard DVDs; the first releases using the newer VC-1 and AVC formats were introduced in September 2006. The first movies using 50 GB dual-layer discs were introduced in October 2006; the first audio-only albums were released in May 2008. The first mass-market Blu-ray Disc rewritable drive for the PC was the BWU-100A, released by Sony on July 18, 2006, it recorded both single and dual-layer BD-Rs as well as BD-REs and had a suggested retail price of US $699. As of June 2008, more than 2,500 Blu-ray Disc titles were available in Australia
Betacam is a family of half-inch professional videocassette products developed by Sony in 1982. In colloquial use, "Betacam" singly is used to refer to a Betacam camcorder, a Betacam tape, a Betacam video recorder or the format itself. All Betacam variants from analog recording Betacam to Betacam SP and digital recording Digital Betacam, use the same shape videocassettes, meaning vaults and other storage facilities do not have to be changed when upgrading to a new format; the cassettes are available in two sizes: S and L. The Betacam camcorder can only load S magnetic tapes, while television studio sized video tape recorders designed for video editing can play both S and L tapes; the cassette shell and case for each Betacam cassette is colored differently depending on the format, allowing for easy visual identification. There is a mechanical key that allows a video tape recorder to identify which format has been inserted; the smaller S cassettes use the same form factor as Betamax. The format supplanted the three-quarter-inch U-Matic format, which Sony had introduced in 1971.
In addition to improvements in video quality, the Betacam configuration of an integrated professional video camera/recorder led to its rapid adoption by electronic news gathering organizations. DigiBeta, the common name for Digital Betacam, went on to become the single most successful professional broadcast digital recording video tape format in history. Though Betacam remains popular in the field and for archiving, new tapeless digital products such as the Multi Access Video Disk Recorder are leading to a phasing out of Betacam products in a television studio environment, as of 2006; the original Betacam format was launched on August 7, 1982. It is an analog component video format, storing the luminance, "Y", in one track and the chrominance, on another as alternating segments of the R-Y and B-Y components performing Compressed Time Division Multiplex, or CTDM; this splitting of channels allows true broadcast quality recording with 300 lines of horizontal luminance resolution and 120 lines chrominance resolution, on a inexpensive cassette based format.
The original Betacam format records on cassettes loaded with ferric oxide–formulated tape, which are theoretically the same as used by its consumer market-oriented predecessor Betamax, introduced seven years earlier by Sony in 1975. A blank Betamax-branded tape will work on a Betacam deck, a Betacam-branded tape can be used to record in a Betamax deck. However, in years Sony discouraged this practice, suggesting that the internal tape transport of a domestic Betamax cassette was not well suited to the faster tape transport of Betacam. In particular, the guide rollers tend to be noisy. Although there is a superficial similarity between Betamax and Betacam in that they use the same tape cassette, they are quite different formats. Betamax records low resolution video using a heterodyne color recording system and only two recording heads, while Betacam uses four heads to record in component format, at a much higher linear tape speed of 10.15 cm/s compared with Betamax's 1.87 cm/s, resulting in much higher video and audio quality.
A typical L-750 length Betamax cassette that yielded about 3 hours of recording time on a Betamax VCR at its B-II Speed, or on PAL, only provided 30 minutes' record time on a Betacam VCR or camcorder. Another common point between Betamax and Betacam is the placement of the stereo linear audio tracks; some Betacam and Betamax portables share the same batteries.. Betacam was introduced as a camera line along with a video cassette player; the first cameras were the BVP-3, which utilized three saticon tubes, the BVP1, which used a single tri-stripe Trinicon tube. Both these cameras could be operated standalone, or with their docking companion VTR, the BVV-1, to form the BVW-1 integrated camcorder; those decks were record-only. The only transport controls on the deck were Rewind; the docked camera's VTR button paused the tape recorder. The Betacam SP docking decks had full transport controls but tapes could not be played back except in the camera's viewfinder in black-and-white only. Sony came out with the Play Adapter, a separate portable unit that connected via a multi-pin cable and had a composite video out jack for color playback.
At first color playback required the studio source deck, the BVW-10, which could not record, only play back. It was designed as a feeder deck for A/B roll edit systems for editing to a one-inch Type C or three-quarter-inch U-matic cassette edit master tape. There was the BVW-20 field playback deck, a portable unit with DC power and a handle, used to verify color playback of tapes in the field. Unlike the BVW-10, it did not have a built in Time Base Corrector, or TBC. With the popular success of the Betacam system as a news acquisition format, the line was soon extended to include the BVW-15 studio player, the BVW-40 Studio Edit Recorder; the BVW-15 added Dynamic Tracking, which enabled clear still frame and jog playback, something the BVW-10 could not deliver. The BVW-40 enabled for the first time editing to a Betacam master, if set up and wired true component video editing, it was possible to do machine to machine editing between a BVW-10/15 and BVW-40 without an edit controller—a single seri