When the tape arrived we found it was not a betacam but a DIGITAL betacam tape. The price for conversion will be 3 times more!
All we can explain in layman terms is that Digital betacam is a very high end broadcast format and the players cost five figures and more.
Anyway here is how wikipedia explains:
What is Betacam SP
The original Betacam format launched in 1982. It is an analog component format. Provides a crisp, true broadcast quality product with 300 lines of horizontal resolution. In 1986 Betacam SP was developed, which increased horizontal resolution to 340 lines. While the quality improvement of the format itself was minor, the improvement to the VTRs was enormous, in quality, features, and particularly, the new larger cassette with 90 minutes of recording time. Beta SP (for "Superior Performance") became the industry standard for most TV stations and high-end production houses until the late 1990s.
What is Digital BetacamDigital Betacam (commonly abbreviated to Digibeta or d-beta or dbc) was launched in 1993. It supersedes both Betacam and Betacam SP. Digital Betacam is considered to be the gold standard of formats for standard-definition digital video, is capable of outperforming cheaper digital formats such as DVCAM and DVCPRO, and associated equipment is comparatively expensive.