HDCAM, introduced in 1997, is a high-definition video digital recording videocassette version of digital Betacam, using an 8-bit discrete cosine transform (DCT) compressed 3:1:1 recording, in 1080i-compatible down-sampled resolution of 1440×1080, and adding 24p and 23.976 progressive segmented frame (PsF) modes to later models. The HDCAM codec uses rectangular pixels and as such the recorded 1440×1080 content is upsampled to 1920×1080 on playback. The recorded video bit rate is 144 Mbit/s. Audio is also similar, with four channels of AES3 20-bit, 48 kHz digital audio. Like Betacam, HDCAM tapes are produced in small and large cassette sizes; the small cassette uses the same form factor as the original Betamax. The main competitor to HDCAM is the DVCPRO HD format offered by Panasonic. It uses a similar compression scheme and bit rates ranging from 40 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s depending on frame rate. HDCAM is standardized as SMPTE 367M, also known as SMPTE D-11.


1 SMPTE 367M 2 HDCAM SR 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

SMPTE 367M[edit] SMPTE 367M, also known as SMPTE D-11, is the SMPTE standard for HDCAM. The standard specifies compression of high-definition digital video. D11 source picture rates can be 24, 24/1.001, 25 or 30/1.001 frames per second progressive scan, or 50 or 60/1.001 fields per second interlaced; compression yields output bit rates ranging from 112 to 140 Mbit/s. Each D11 source frame is composed of a luminance channel at 1920 x 1080 pixels and a chrominance channel at 960 x 1080 pixels. During compression, each frame's luminance channel is subsampled at 1440 x 1080, while the chrominance channel is subsampled at 480 x 1080. HDCAM SR[edit] HDCAM SR was introduced in 2003 and standardised in SMPTE 409M-2005.[1] It uses a higher particle density tape and is capable of recording in 10 bits 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 RGB with a video bit rate of 440 Mbit/s, and a total data rate of approximately 600 Mbit/s.[2] The increased bit rate (over HDCAM) allows HDCAM SR to capture much more of the full bandwidth of the HD-SDI signal (1920×1080). Some HDCAM SR VTRs can also use a 2× mode with an even higher video bit rate of 880 Mbit/s, allowing for a single 4:4:4 stream at a lower compression or two 4:2:2 video streams simultaneously.[2] HDCAM SR uses MPEG-4 Part 2 Simple Studio Profile[1] for compression, and expands the number of audio channels up to 12 at 48 kHz/24-bit. There are 12 channels of audio recorded uncompressed at 24 bit 48 kHz sampling. Each channel is capable of recording AES3 non-audio data. HDCAM SR is used commonly for HDTV television production. As of 2007, many prime-time network television shows use HDCAM SR as a master recording medium.[3] Some HDCAM VTRs play back older Betacam variants, for example the Sony SRW-5500 HDCAM SR recorder plays back and records HDCAM and HDCAM SR tapes, and with optional hardware also plays and upconverts Digital Betacam tapes to HD format. 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. 440 Mbit/s mode is known as SQ, and 880 Mbit/s mode is known as HQ, and this mode has recently become available in studio models (e.g. SRW-5800) as well as portable models previously available. In 2008 the SRW-5800 will give the "HQ" 4:4:4 option. Sony has also announced a higher compression mode called "SR Lite".[4][5] As with the 440 and 880 mode, SR Lite utilizes the MPEG-4 Part 2 Simple Studio Profile but decreases the bit rate down to 220 Mbit/s for 60i and 183 Mbit/s for 50i. SR Lite is locked at 4:2:2 color sampling but still maintains at 10 bit pixel depth. It also allows for 50 and 60p at the cost of a doubled data rate (440 Mbit/s for 60p). The Sony SRW-5800 HDCAM SR VTR has the ability to record both the left eye and right eye of 3D content to a single tape. It syncs the two eyes together and takes up twice as much space on the tape as a normal recording. Other HDSR decks also support 3D such as the SRW-1 HDCAM SR Portable VTR and the SRW-5500/5000 which can play back either channel A or channel B of the Dual Stream 4:2:2 recording.[6] See also[edit]



^ a b "Sony Broadcast & Professional Research Labs:HDCAM-SR".  ^ a b Sony HDCAM SR FAQ Archived 2007-12-12 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "BBC Guidelines to the common technical standards agreed by the BBC, BSkyB, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and S4C" (PDF).  Mentions HDCAM SR to be the only acceptable delivery format. ^ "Sony for Professionals:Open Workflow with MXF and SR Lite".  ^ HDCAM SR Press Conference "Power Of Images" ^ "Broadcast, Professional and Business solutions". 

External links[edit]

Guide To DTV Standards: Video Recording Overview of Digital Video Standards -- PowerPoint presentation

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Video storage formats



Quadruplex (1956) VERA (1958) Ampex 2 inch helical VTR (1961) Sony 2 inch helical VTR (1961) Type A (1965) CV-2000 (1965) Akai (1967) U-matic (1969) EIAJ-1 (1969) Cartrivision (1972) Philips VCR (1972) V-Cord (1974) VX (1974) Betamax (1975) IVC (1975) Type B (1976) Type C (1976) VHS (1976) VK (1977) SVR (1979) Video 2000 (1980) CVC (1980) VHS-C (1982) M (1982) Betacam (1982) Video8 (1985) MII (1986) S-VHS (1987) S-VHS-C (1987) Hi8 (1989) Ruvi (1998)


D1 (1986) D2 (1988) D3 (1991) DCT (1992) Digital Betacam (1993) D5 (1994) Digital-S (D9) (1995) Betacam SX (1996) Digital8 (1999) MicroMV (2001)

High Definition

Sony HDVS (1984) UniHi (1984) W-VHS (1994) HDCAM (1997) D-VHS (1998) D6 HDTV VTR (2000) HDV (2003) HDCAM SR (2003)



Phonovision (1927) Ampex-HS (1967) TeD (1975) LaserDisc (1978) CED (1981) VHD (1983) Laserfilm (1984) CD Video (1987) VSD (1990)


VCD (1993) MovieCD (1996) DVD (1996) MiniDVD (c. 1996) DVD-Video (1997) CVD (1998) SVCD (1998) EVD (2003) PVD (Personal Video Disc) (2003) HVD (High-Definition Versatile Disc) (2004) UMD (2004) FVD (2005)

High Definition

MUSE Hi-Vision LD (1994) VMD (2006) HD DVD (2006) BRD (BD/Blu-ray disc) (2006) MiniBD (c. 2006) HVD (Holographic Versatile Disc) (2007) CBHD (China Blue High-definition Disc) (2008) UHD BRD (Ultra HD Blu-ray disc) (2016)


Media agnostic

DV (1995) DVCPRO (1995) DVCAM (1996) DVCPRO50 (1997) DVCPRO HD (2000)


CamCutter Editcam (1995) XDCAM (2003) MOD (2005) AVCHD (2006) AVC-Intra (2006) TOD (2007) iFrame (2009) XAVC (2012)

Solid state

P2 (2004) SxS (2007) MicroP2 (2012)

Video recorded to film

Kinescope (1947) Electronicam kinescope (1950s) Electronic Video Recording (1967)

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High-definition (HD)


High-definition television High-definition video Ultra-high-definition television

Analog broadcast (All defunct)

819 line system HD MAC MUSE (Hi-Vision)

Digital broadcast



Dolby Digital Surround sound DSD DXD DTS

Filming and storage


HD media and compression

Blu-ray CBHD D-VHS DVD-Audio H.264 H.265 HD DVD HD VMD MPEG-2 MVC Super Audio CD Ultra HD Blu-ray Uncompressed VC-1


Component DisplayPort DVI HDMI VGA


List of digital television deployments by country

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High definition media

Media formats

Blu-ray China Blue High-definition Disc (CBHD) D-VHS HD DVD Holographic Versatile Disc Ultra HD Blu-ray


Blu-ray Disc Association China High-definition DVD Industry Association HD DVD Promotion Group HVD Forum


Advanced Content BD-Java

Recordable formats



Comparison of high definition optical disc formats

Copy prevention

AACS (BD, FVD, and HD DVD) BD+ (BD) HDCP (BD and HD DVD) ROM Mark (BD) Cinavia (BD)

Blu-ray players

TotalMedia Theatre CyberLink PowerDVD PlayStation 3 Sony BDP-S1 PlayStation 4 Xbox One

HD DVD players

Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive

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SMPTE standards


SMPTE 259M SMPTE 274M SMPTE 292M SMPTE 296M SMPTE 344M SMPTE 356M SMPTE 367M SMPTE 372M SMPTE 424M SMPTE 2022 SMPTE 2059 SMPTE 2071 SMPTE color bars SMPTE timecode Digital Picture Exchange Material Exchange Format Unique Material Identifier

Related articles

Broadcast-safe Broadcast television systems

Related standards organizations

National Television System Committee Moving Picture Experts Group ITU Radiocommunication Sector (formerly CCIR) ITU Telecommunication Sector (formerly CCITT) Digital Video Broadcasting European Broadcasting Union BBC Research NHK Science & Technology Research