Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Activity Forums Avid Media Composer RGB Component Video Digitizing from Betacam-SP deck

  • RGB Component Video Digitizing from Betacam-SP deck

    Posted by Jerry Levine on August 17, 2023 at 11:41 pm

    I am looking for a workflow that can handle old school RGB video . . .

    I need to digitize RGB/ Component video from a vintage broadcast Betacam-SP deck.

    I’m inputting into a Mac Pro using USB or USBc for editing.

    If we must use Thunderbolt we can, using a dedicated MacBook instead.

    Elgato Video Capture is great for digitizing to Macs, but only handles composite output . . .

    so its perfect for S-Video and analog video, but it cannot handle three separate RGB BNC connectors (or RCA).

    An Avid tech support expert suggested I could do this with a Blackmagic breakout box, but I have no idea which box makes sense – all of the new ones only work with Thunderbolt.

    I have no room for another video card in my Mac Pro and would prefer not to go that route unless cheaper and easier in the long run.

    The guy at Avid said Desktop Video Setup software available from Blackmagic for Mac – would provide the interface for digitizing.

    Any help or guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Tod Hopkins replied 6 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Pat Horridge

    August 18, 2023 at 6:58 am

    How are you getting RGB analogue from Betacam SP?

    The format stores it as Y R-Y B-Y

    Most decks can output it as that.

  • Jerry Levine

    August 18, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Maybe I am using the word analog incorrectly;

    Betacam uses analog tapes and tech (

    The issue is how to preserve RGB component quality when digitizing to a Mac without quality loss?

    Whether from a Betacam deck or any professional broadcast tape player from the 80s / 90s etc.

    I can half-step now, using Elgato Video Capture, but am limited to s-video and video outputs.

  • Tod Hopkins

    August 18, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    The proper technical term would be “component” or “YUV” input. Technically RGB is different though your confusion is common. If you can put your hands on a Blackmagic “Intensity” unit, this is probably your most cost-effective option. There are cheaper units for component to HDMI but these are not “professional” quality devices. They may be fine for your purposes. The Intensity is no longer listed on Blackmagics website, but you can still find them. There is an internal PCIe card version if you have an open slot. I believe there are also USB and Thunderbolt external versions.

  • Jerry Levine

    August 20, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks for the lead! I’ll start looking for an Intensity box. I’d use it with Blackmagic’s software, correct? Are there other software applications that can be used to interface between my Mac and the Betacam deck?

  • Tod Hopkins

    August 20, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    Yes, most professional digitizing apps, including software available from Blackmagic for free, will see the Intensity as an input device. Blackmagic has instructions for the major NLE’s online.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy