Media Recognition: DV part 2

DV (encoding)

Type:
Digital videotape cassette encoding
Introduced:
1995
Active:
Yes, but tapeless formats such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 are becoming more popular.
Cessation:
Capacity:
MiniDV cassettes can hold up to 80/120 minutes SP/LP. Medium cassette size can hold up to 3.0/4.6 hrs SP/LP. Files sizes can be up to 1GB per 4 minutes of recording.
Compatibility:
DV format is widely adopted.
Cassettes recorded in the DV format can be played back on DVCAM, DVCPRO and HDV replay devices. However, LP recordings cannot be played back in these machines.
Users:
DV is aimed at a consumer market – may also be used by ‘prosumer’ film makers.
File Systems:
Common Manufacturers:
A consortium of over 60 manufacturers including Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon, and Sharp.
DV has a track width of 10 microns and a tape speed of 18.81mm/sec. It can be found on any type of DV cassette, regardless of branding, although most commonly it is the format used on MiniDV cassettes.
Recognition
DV cassettes are usually found in the small size, known as MiniDV. Medium size (97.5 × 64.5 × 14.6 mm) DV cassettes are also available, although these are not as popular as MiniDV. DV cassettes are labelled with the DV logo.
DVCPRO (encoding)
Type:
Digital videotape cassette encoding
Introduced:
1995 (DVCPRO), 1997 (DVCPRO 50), 2000 (DVCPRO HD)
Active:
Yes, but few new camcorders are being produced.
Cessation:
Capacity:
126 minutes (large), 66 minutes (medium).
Compatibility:
DVCPRO is an enhancement of the widely adopted DV format, and uses the same encoding.
Cassettes recorded in DVCPRO format can be played back only in DVCPRO Video Tape Recorders (VTRs) and some DVCAM VTRs.
Users:
Professional / Industrial; designed for electronic news gathering
File Systems:
Common Manufacturers:
Panasonic, also Philips, Ikegami and Hitachi.
DVCPRO is Panasonic’s enhancement of the DV format, which is aimed at a professional market. DVCPRO uses the same encoding as DV, but it features ‘locked’ audio, and uses 4:1:1 sampling instead of 4:2:0. It has an 18 micron track width, and a tape speed of 33.82 mm/sec which makes it more robust. DVCPRO uses Metal Particle (MP) tape rather than Metal Evaporate( ME) to improve durability.

DVCPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD are further developments of DVCPRO, which use the equivalent of 2 or 4 DV codecs in parallel to increase the video data rate.

Any DV cassette can contain DVCPRO format video, but some are sold with DVCPRO branding on them.

Recognition
DVCPRO branded cassettes come in medium (97.5 × 64.5 × 14.6mm) or large (125 × 78 × 14.6mm) cassette sizes. The medium size is for use in camcorders, and the large size in editing and recording decks. DVCPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD branded cassettes are extra-large cassettes (172 x 102 x 14.6mm). Tape width is ¼”.

DVCPRO labelled cassettes have different coloured tape doors depending on their type; DVCPRO has a yellow tape door, DVCPRO50 has a blue tape door, and DVCPRO HD has a red tape door.

Images of DVCPRO cassettes are available at the Panasonic website.

-Rebecca Nielsen

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