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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Los Angeles
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    Hey, i found this forum from random a google search and i was hoping maybe somebody could point me in the right direction if this is not the place i should be posting. I've gotten into the hobby vintage media. I've fallen in love with the sport of lost media hunting, and the most lucrative place to find that type of thing is on old video formats like "beta cam, u-matic, and type-c reels". But in order to view these out old dated video formats i have to acquire the equipment and maintain it. When something goes wrong with my equipment i have use my general knowledge in electric and mechanical engineering, but i have no resource or working knowledge to trouble shoot with (other than the occasional service manual i find online). I cant find a forum like this one that specializes in antique and outdated media formats. When i post about trouble shooting my U-matic machine on reddit i'm met with extreme hostility and it puzzles me, so dont like going there. I'm not a complete dunce when it comes to fixing these machines, i dont need someone to hold my hand i just sometimes need a general direction to look in when i'm clueless as to the issues i encounter. I have basic Electrical and Mechanical Engineering knowledge. Would this be a forum i could post on or should i keep moving on? Thanks!
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    United Kingdom
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    I do not know about reddit but most respondents on here are courteous even if they can not specifically help you.


    As long as you stay in the forum rules I see no problem in posting.
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
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    Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Here's my take on your quest (it's a bit sobering):

    1. Most SD media that is archived, that is not a consumer copy, is indeed probably on 1"C, BetaCam/BetaCamSP, 3/4"Umatic, and similar formats. There are a couple of problems with going down this route of capturing/revitalizing this vintage media, however.
    2. The industrial/broadcast level of equipment is much harder to find, to find parts for, and more complex than mass-produced, IC-based consumer machines (VHS & Betamax vcrs, etc).
    3. To work on those machines takes much more than just a "good general knowledge of electronics & mechanics", but near-graduate level degree in electronics engineering. A little bit of knowledge is a DANGEROUS thing here, as you can make things much worse way more easily than making it better. I was a EE major in college, and I would still find those daunting.
    4. Also, you will need to acquire not only the equipment and the user manual, but also the service manual (for indust/b'cast equipment, there ALWAYS is a service manual).
    5. You will ALSO need to have access to the special tools that work with this equipment. Sometimes VERY specialized tools. ($$$)
    6. Assuming all those other factors are able to be hurdled and you have working equipment (and the proper subsystem that includes Sync Generators, TBCs, Timecode Gen/Rdr, and have properly timed & terminated cabling and patching), and you have the full complement of capture equipment that can take advantage of the component/pro signals etc, you still need to get the actual media itself.
    7. Getting the media isn't so much of a logistical or technological issue, it's a LEGAL one. One where the odds are stacked against you like a tsunami. Without this, the rest is wasted boat anchors.

    But if you can work out deals that satisfy the artists, producers, distributors, production & news & legal departments, archivists, various rights holders and other financial stakeholders & investors, more power to you. There is lots of stuff out there in storage vaults if they're still valued. If not valued, they're probably in landfills now (and likely not salvageable).

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 21st Feb 2020 at 13:39.
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