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Sony turns off Betacam SP

An industry workhorse has been put out to pasture. Sony Electronics
Broadcast and Professional Company has officially discontinued the manufacturing
of Betacam SP, its most successful portable professional format.

The format was introduced in 1982 and went on to sell over 450,000 units

Sony will concentrate on its digital products, including Betacam SX and its
small-format DVCAM, which is popular with broadcast and cable news

The company will also continue to make its UVW- and PVW- series of analog Betacam SP videotape recorders.

Craig Yanagi, national marketing manager of analog VTRs for Sony, said he still sells 'a fair amount' of the decks in
U.S. for use with existing Betacam SP edit systems.

Analog cameras and VTRs will continue to be sold until stock is depleted,
according to a company spokesman, probably by early next year.

With digital equipment sales continuing to grow, sales of
Betacam SP equipment have dwindled to a few hundred per year in the past two
years, the company said.