Sunday, 21 February 2016

Well I never!

I have just discovered that Sony stopped manufacturing Betamax tapes only last year! This came as a big surprise because, like most people I had believed that Betamax, like the dodo, had long gone extinct. During the 80s, there was a big war between VHS and Betamax and despite being an inferior system, VHS won.

This was largely due to the fact that the major TV and video rental firms struck a deal with JVC to supply their recorders and JVC used VHS format. It is not common knowledge, but despite Betamax losing the domestic market war, for all the years the VHS recorder was recording everyone’s TV programmes at home, the majority of TV broadcast video was played on a system known as Betacam.  The professional form of Betamax.  Very similar to Betamax, this was the standard for professional quality TV recording until SD digital video came along. No professional ever used VHS because it was not very good and thankfully long gone. Betamax on the other hand, it seems, lasted 41 years!