HDCAM, introduced in 1997, is an HD version of Digital Betacam, using an 8-bit DCT compressed 3:1:1 recording, in 1080i-compatible downsampled resolution of 1440×1080, and adding 24p and 23.976 PsF modes to later models. The HDCAM codec uses rectangular pixels and as such the recorded 1440×1080 content is upsampled to 1920×1080 on playback. The recorded video bitrate is 144 Mbit/s. Audio is also similar, with 4 channels of AES3 20-bit/48 kHz digital audio.
Like Betacam, HDCAM tapes are produced in small and large cassette sizes; the small cassette uses the same form factor as the original Betamax.
The main competitor to HDCAM is DVCPRO HD format offered by Panasonic. It uses a similar compression scheme and bitrates ranging from 40 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s depending on frame rate.