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  1. Member
    Join Date: May 2014
    Location: USA
    Search Comp PM
    Working on ranking digital & analog tape formats in terms of highest quality to lowest quality. This is the order I've managed to come up with so far, but I feel like there could be discrepancies. Thoughts?

    Hierarchy In Terms of Quality
    Betacam SP
    Type C (1")
    KC (3/4")
    HI-8, S-VHS
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  2. Member
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Peterborough, England
    Search Comp PM
    Not quite sure where you are going here. D-2 and D-1 are resolutions not formats, D-1 being full frame DVD compliant, while D-2 is the same vertical but using half the horizontal. Assuming you have listed the lowest quality at the bottom, it is widely accepted that Betamax was better quality than VHS, it was only the fact that VHS was backed by the bigger manufacturers than Betamax that allowed it to win the battle for market share. If you are including all the others, you've missed out Video2000, the format pioneered by Philips, not adopted by anyone else and eventually dropped.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: USA
    Search Comp PM
    Also left off 2" 1/2" Betacam, Umatic-SP, DVHS, HDCam, HDCam-SP, Digital 8, HDV, DVCProHD and many, many more. Not familiar with the terminology "KC" though, where did you get that?

    When you're arguing "quality" of tapes, specifically D1, D2 and Digibeta you can argue either technical specs (in which case you've got it wrong) or realities of daily use (in which case you've also got it wrong.)

    @Richard_G D1 and D2 were indeed also tape formats.
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Yes "D1" is the component SD digital tape format, and the resolution specification for it. "D2" is ONLY a (digital composite) tape format. It is NOT a resolution specification. What you were thinking of was "1/2 D1". I have seen "D2" used by consumers & hobbyists who didn't understand where all that came from, and I believe it has since confounded the situation.

    @OP, you left out (in no particular order):
    2" Quad
    3/4" Umatic
    3/4" Umatic SP
    1" Type B
    1" Type A
    M format (what MII was built from)
    Betacam (what Betacam SP was built from)
    Betacam SX
    Betacam MPEG IMX
    S-VHS ET
    Digital-S (D9)
    HDV (Types 1 & 2)
    (and those are just the TAPE-based formats)

    You need to understand that there are heirarchies based on Component vs. Semi-component (Y/C) vs. Composite, plus heirarchies based on tape size (which is inversely proportional to SNR - at least for analog formats), plus heirarchies based on Digital vs. Analog, and based on Uncompressed Digital vs. Compressed Digital, and on the various digital codecs & their efficiencies and varying bitrates. It is NOT just a single high-to-low choice list.

    Last edited by Cornucopia; 19th May 2014 at 16:08.
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