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Encyclopedia > Beta Max

Sony's Betamax is the 12.7 mm (0.5 inch) home videocassette tape recording format derived from the earlier, professional 19.1 mm (0.75 inch) U-matic video cassette format. Like the video home recording system VHS introduced by JVC in 1976, it had no guard band, and used azimuth recording to reduce cross-talk. The "Betamax" name came from the fact that when the tape ran through the cassette it looked like the Greek letter "Beta". Sanyo marketed its version as the "Betacord", but it too was referred to as "Beta" for the same reason Betamax was. As well as Sony and Sanyo, Betamax video recorders were also sold by Toshiba, Pioneer, Aiwa and NEC. The Zenith Electronics Corporation and WEGA Corporations contracted with Sony to produce VCRs for their product lines. Department Stores like Sears in the US and Quelle in Germany sold Beta format VCRs under their house brands as did the Radio Shack chain of electronic stores. Sony introduced the Betamax home video system in 1975. The format was most popular in 1983, gaining almost a third of the UK video recorder market, while Sanyo celebrated the VTC5000 being the top selling UK video recorder. However by 1985 the market had turned sharply towards VHS. Sony Corporation ) is one of the worlds largest media conglomerates founded in Tokyo, Japan. ... The video cassette recorder (or VCR, less popularly video tape recorder) is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. ... Sony U-matic VTR BVU-800 A U-matic tape U-matic is the name of a videocassette format developed by Sony in 1969. ... Top view VHS cassette with U.S. 25c coin for scale Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS or simply as Video, is a recording and playing standard for video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by JVC (with some... Victor Company of Japan, Limited ) (TYO: 6792 ), usually referred to as JVC, is a Japanese consumer and professional electronics corporation based in Yokohama, Japan which was founded in 1927. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1976 calendar). ... A guard band is a small part of the radio spectrum in between radio bands, for the purpose of preventing interference. ... Azimuth recording is the use of a variation in angle between two recording heads that are recording data so close together on magnetic tape that crosstalk] would otherwise likely occur. ... Look up crosstalk in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Beta (upper case Î’, lower case β) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. ... Sanyo Electric Co. ... Toshiba Corporations headquarters in Hamamatsucho, Tokyo Toshiba Corporation sales by division for year ending March, 31 2005 Toshiba Corporation ) (TYO: 6502 ) is a Japanese high technology electrical and electronics manufacturing firm, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. ... Pioneer Corporation (TYO: 6773), NYSE: PIO is a Japanese world leader in digital entertainment products, based in Tokyo, Japan. ... Aiwa was a Japanese consumer electronics company, founded in 1951. ... NEC Corporation (Jp. ... Zenith Electronics Corporation is a manufacturer of televisions in the USA. It was the inventor of the modern remote control, and it introduced HDTV in North America. ... WEGA (pronounced vega) was a pioneering German radio manufacturer, manufacturing some of Germanys earliest radio sets. ... Sony Corporation ) is one of the worlds largest media conglomerates founded in Tokyo, Japan. ... Sears Holdings Corporation NASDAQ: SHLD is the third largest retailer in the United States, behind Wal-Mart and The Home Depot. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... RadioShack Corporation (formerly Radio Shack) (NYSE: RSH) runs a chain of electronics retail stores in the United States, as well as parts of Europe. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sanyo Electric Co. ...


The world's first camcorders were of the Betamax format and were labeled "Betamovie." 8mm Camcorder mini-DV Camcorder A camcorder is a portable electronic device (generally a digital camera) for recording images and audio onto a storage device. ...

The world's first camcorder, 1983
The world's first camcorder, 1983

Image File history File links Sony_bmc100p. ... Image File history File links Sony_bmc100p. ...

The legacy of Betamax

The VHS format's defeat of the Betamax format became a classic marketing case study, now identified with the verbal phrase "to Betamax", wherein a proprietary technology format is overwhelmed in the market by a format allowing multiple, competing, licensed manufacturers, as in: "Apple Betamaxed themselves out of the PC market." Sony's confidence in its ability to dictate the industry standard backfired when JVC made the tactical decision to engage in open sharing of its VHS technology. JVC sacrificed substantial potential earnings by going the open sharing route, but that decision helped to win the standards war. Equally significantly, JVC realised the importance of content licensing and thus the first movies available for rental were only available on VHS. Within a few months, video rental became the driving force in the marketplace. By 1984, forty companies utilized the VHS format in comparison with Betamax's twelve. Sony finally conceded defeat in 1988 when it too began producing VHS recorders. However, Sony may be said to have had the last laugh in this saga as its Video-8 small-format videotape is essentially a scaled-down version of Betamax, and Video-8 dominated the home camcorder format for the next 15 years with the rival VHS-C format only gaining a small market share. It has been suggested that Product marketing be merged into this article or section. ... Proprietary indicates that a party exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties. ... Apple Computer, Inc. ... A stylised illustration of a modern personal computer. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Video8 cassette The 8mm video format refers informally to three related videocassette formats for the NTSC and PAL/SECAM television systems. ... VHS-C is the compact VHS format used for portable video recorders. ...


One other major consequence of the Betamax technology's introduction to the U.S. was the lawsuit Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios (1984, the "Betamax case"), with the U.S. Supreme Court determining home videotaping to be legal in the United States, wherein home videotape cassette recorders were a legal technology since they had substantial non-infringing uses. This precedent was later invoked in MGM v. Grokster (2005), where the high court agreed that the same "substantial non-infringing uses" standard applies to authors and vendors of peer-to-peer file sharing software (notably excepting those who "actively induce" copyright infringement through "purposeful, culpable expression and conduct"). Sony Corp v. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Holding decision pending Court membership Case opinions Laws applied Copyright Act of 1976 MGM Studios, Inc. ... A peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is a network that relies on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively few servers. ...

A rare Japanese market Betamax TV/VCR combo - Model SL-MV1.
Enlarge
A rare Japanese market Betamax TV/VCR combo - Model SL-MV1.
The early form of Betacam tapes are interchangeable with Betamax, though the recordings are not.
The early form of Betacam tapes are interchangeable with Betamax, though the recordings are not.

In the professional and broadcast video industry, Sony's Betacam, derived from Betamax as a professional format, became one of several standard formats; production houses exchange footage on Betacam videocassettes, and the Betacam system started the ENG (Electronic News Gathering) industry. The professional derivative of VHS, MII, faced off against Betacam and lost. Once Betacam had become the de-facto standard of the broadcast industry, its position in the professional market mirrored VHS's dominance in the home-video market. On a technical level, Betacam and Betamax are similar in that both share the same videocassette shape, and both record linear audiotracks on the same location of the videotape. But in the key area of video recording, Betacam and Betamax are completely different. (Unlike Betamax, Betacam uses a component-video encoding system.) Image File history File links SL-MV1. ... Image File history File links SL-MV1. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (986x317, 76 KB) Summary On the left, a professional Betacam tape, on the right a domestic Beta (Betamax) tape. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (986x317, 76 KB) Summary On the left, a professional Betacam tape, on the right a domestic Beta (Betamax) tape. ... Sony Betacam-SP VTP BVW-65 Betacam and VHS size comparison Betacam SP L (top), Betacam SP S (left), VHS (right) The early form of Betacam tapes are interchangeable with Betamax, though the recordings are not. ... In 1974, Joseph Flaherty, then vice-president at CBS Inc. ... Note: The MII video tape format is not to be confused with Panasonics M2 videogame console The official logo for the MII videocassette format (courtesy Panasonic) MII is a professional videocassette format developed by Panasonic in 1986 as their answer & competitive product to Sonys Betacam SP format. ... Look up De facto in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Three RCA cables are often used to carry analog component video Component video is a type of analog video information that is transmitted or stored as two or more separate signals. ...


Betamax also had a significant part to play in the music recording industry when Sony introduced its PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) digital recording system as an encoding box - PCM adaptor that connected to a Betamax recorder. The Sony PCM-F1 adaptor was sold with a companion Betamax VCR SL-2000 as a portabale Digital audio recording system. Many recording engineers used this system in the 1980's and 1990's to make their first digital master recordings. Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a digital representation of an analog signal where the magnitude of the signal is sampled regularly at uniform intervals, then quantized to a series of symbols in a digital (usually binary) code. ... High-quality PCM audio requires a significantly larger bandwidth than a regular FM audio signal. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Betamax also introduced hi-fi audio in videotape, Beta hi-fi. For NTSC, Beta hi-fi worked by placing an audio FM carrier in the bandwidth space between the chroma and luma signals in the video track, which is a process known as frequency multiplexing. For PAL, however, the bandwidth space in the video signal was not sufficient enough to allow an additional FM signal to be added, so depth multiplexing was employed, where the audio track would be recorded in the same way that the video track was recorded but with the audio track placed first and the video track layered on top of it. Sony was confident that VHS could not achieve the same audio performance feat as Beta hi-fi. However, to the chagrin of Sony, JVC did manage to develop a VHS hi-fi system on the principle of depth multiplexing approximately a year after the first Beta hi-fi VCR, the SL-5200, was introduced by Sony. NTSC is the analog television system in use in Korea, Japan, United States, Canada and certain other places, mostly in the Americas (see map). ... PAL, short for phase-alternating line, phase alternation by line or phase alternation line, is a colour encoding system used in broadcast television systems in large parts of the world. ...


Despite the sharp decline in sales of Betamax recorders in the late 1980s and subsequent halt in production of new recorders by the early 1990s, the format is still being used by a small number of people, most of which are collectors or hobbyists. New cassettes are still available for purchase at online shops and used recorders are often found at flea markets, thrift stores, or on internet auction sites. Online shopping is the process consumers go through to purchase products or services over the internet. ... A typical flea market shop in Europe Swap meet redirects here. ... An auctioneer and her assistants scan the crowd for bidders An auction is the process of buying and selling things by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder. ...


Pop culture

  • Betamax is commonly shown on the television series The Simpsons as being the format of choice for the Simpsons family and most likely the rest of the town of Springfield. The family has been shown renting videos at The Beta Barn on a number of occasions, although it later became VHS Village. Also, in one episode, Snake breaks into the Simpsons family's home, steals the VCR and exclaims "Oh no, Beta!". In more recent episodes, the Simpsons have been shown using Laserdiscs rather than the popular DVD format. When they finally got a DVD player, it was actually a gift.
  • The Betamax was also used by the Bundy family in the television series Married... with Children.
  • In an episode of the sci-fi anime series Cowboy Bebop, an unlabeled Betamax video tape is delivered to the main characters. Because the technology is so ancient, they go through a hellish process to swipe a player from an abandoned technology museum in order to view its contents. However, they end up swiping a VHS player by mistake. Near the end of the episode, the characters receive another mysterious delivery in the form of a Betamax player.
  • In an episode of the BBC comedy The Mighty Boosh, a villain made of tape is called The Betamax Bandit. He is referred to several times as 'an obsolete format'.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, where Billy thaws out Fred Flintstone trapped in ice, he describes the caveman's time with the usage of betamax tapes.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, where Francis finds a dead janitor, he finds a pornographic film and remarks, "Damn, Beta."
  • In an episode of The Red Green Show, Red Green uses old Betamax tapes as laundry rope, and utilizes the VCR to bring the clothes back and forth between the house and the field.
  • Beastie Boys music video Sabotage was filmed with Betamax cameras.
  • In an episode of That 70's Show, Red buys a Betamax.
  • In the 2006 series Doctor Who episode The Idiot's Lantern, the Tenth Doctor created a makeshift video recorder with 1953 technology to trap an energy being on a Betamax tape. He jokingly claimed to have invented the VCR "thirty years early". Since Betamax was far from being the first popular video cassette (usually attributed to the VCR format of 1972), it joins a list of technical inaccuracies from that episode.
  • In the comic strip Get Fuzzy they have used the word Beta or Betamax humorously serveral times in some of the strips.

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Snake Professor Snake Jailbird, voiced by Hank Azaria, is a fictional character from The Simpsons. ... Pioneers LaserDisc Logo Laserdisc certification mark The laserdisc (LD) was the first commercial optical disc storage medium, and was used primarily for the presentation of movies. ... the internals of a DVD player A DVD player is a device for playing video DVDs. ... Married… with Children was a long-running American sitcom about a dysfunctional family living in Chicago, Illinois. ... // A scene from Cowboy Bebop (1998) Anime ) is a medium of animation originating in Japan, with distinctive character and background aesthetics that visually set it apart from other forms of animation. ... Cowboy Bebop ) (1998) is a Japanese anime, motion picture, and manga. ... Top view VHS cassette with U.S. 25c coin for scale Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS or simply as Video, is a recording and playing standard for video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by JVC (with some... The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world. ... Noel Fielding (left) as Vince Noir and Julian Barratt as Howard Moon The Mighty Boosh is a British cult comedy which has taken on several incarnations as a series of stage shows, a BBC radio series and a sitcom. ... The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, created by Maxwell Atoms, is an American animated television series that currently airs on Cartoon Network. ... Fred Flintstone. ... Malcolm in the Middle was an American situation comedy created by Linwood Boomer for the Fox Network. ... The Red Green Show is a television comedy that has aired on the CBC in Canada and on PBS in the United States from 1991 until the series finale April 7, 2006 on CBC. Reruns currently air on CBC Country Canada and The Comedy Network. ... The Beastie Boys are an American hip hop group from New York City: Brooklyn and Manhattan. ... Sabotage is a 1994 song by the American hip hop group Beastie Boys. ... That 70s Show logo That 70s Show is a Fox Network television sitcom centered around the lives of a group of teenagers living in the fictional suburb of Point Place, near Green Bay, during the late 1970s. ... This is a list of Doctor Who television serials. ... Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC about a mysterious time-travelling adventurer known only as The Doctor, who explores time and space with his companions, fighting evil. ... The Idiots Lantern is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... The Tenth Doctor is the name given to the tenth incarnation of the Doctor seen on screen in the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. ... Video Cassette Recording (VCR) was a video format by Philips, the first successful home videocassette recorder system. ... Bucky Katt Get Fuzzy is an American daily comic strip written and drawn by Darby Conley. ...

External links

  • The Ultimate Betamax Info Guide - covering the Betamax format in the North American market
  • Betamax PALsite - over 350 pages of Betamax information, running since 1997
  • The 'Total Rewind' VCR museum, covering Betamax and other vintage formats
  • The Betamax format in the UK, including technical information on servicing Sanyo Beta machines
  • "Daily Giz Wiz" Podcast discussing the Betamax
Home Video
Magnetic tape

VERA (1952) - 2 inch Quadruplex videotape (1956) - 1 inch type A videotape (1965) - U-matic (1969) - Video Cassette Recording (1972) - Betamax (1975) - 1 inch type B videotape (1976) - 1 inch type C videotape (1976) - VHS (1976) - Video 2000 (1979) - VHS-C (1982) - M (1982) - Video8 (1985) - MII (1986) - D1 (1986) - S-VHS (1987) - D2 (1988) - D5 (1994) - Hi8 (199?) - S-VHS-C (19??) - W-VHS (1994) - DV (1996) - D-VHS (1998) - Digital8 (199?) - HDV (2003) VERA (Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus) was an early videotape format developed by the BBC in the 1950s. ... 2 inch Quadruplex (also called 2″ Quad, or just quad, for short) was the first practical and commercially successful videotape format. ... 1 inch type A (designated Type A by SMPTE) is an open-reel videotape format developed by Ampex in 1965, that was one of the first standardized open-reel videotape formats in the 1 inch (25 mm) width (most others of that size at that time were proprietary). ... Sony U-matic VTR BVU-800 A U-matic tape U-matic is the name of a videocassette format developed by Sony in 1969. ... Video Cassette Recording (VCR) was a video format by Philips, the first successful home videocassette recorder system. ... 1 inch type B (designated Type B by SMPTE) is an open-reel videotape format developed by Bosch in Germany in 1976. ... 1 inch Type C (designated Type C by SMPTE) is a professional open-reel videotape format co-developed and introduced by Ampex and Sony in 1976. ... Top view VHS cassette with U.S. 25c coin for scale Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS or simply as Video, is a recording and playing standard for video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by JVC (with some... Video 2000 (or V2000; also known as Video Compact Cassette, or VCC) was a consumer VCR system and videotape standard developed by Philips and Grundig AG to compete with JVCs VHS and Sonys Betamax video technologies. ... VHS-C is the compact VHS format used for portable video recorders. ... M is the name of a professional videocassette format developed around 1982 by Matsushita and RCA. It was developed as a competitor to Sonys Betacam format. ... A Video8 cassette The 8mm video format refers informally to three related videocassette formats for the NTSC and PAL/SECAM television systems. ... Note: The MII video tape format is not to be confused with Panasonics M2 videogame console The official logo for the MII videocassette format (courtesy Panasonic) MII is a professional videocassette format developed by Panasonic in 1986 as their answer & competitive product to Sonys Betacam SP format. ... Sonys D1 format was the first major professional digital video format, introduced in 1987. ... Introduced in Japan in 1987, S-VHS (Super VHS) was an improved version of the VHS standard for consumer video cassette recorders. ... D2 is a professional digital video tape format created by Ampex and other manufacturers through a standards group of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and introduced at the 1988 NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention as a lower-cost alternative to the D1 format. ... Panasonic D5 HD VTR AJ-HD3700H A Cassette Tape for D5 HD(Medium) D5 is a professional digital video format introduced by Panasonic in 1994. ... A Video8 cassette The 8mm video format refers informally to three related videocassette formats for the NTSC and PAL/SECAM television systems. ... VHS-C is the compact VHS format used for portable video recorders. ... W-VHS is a high definition analogue video tape format created by JVC. Usually it used to store RGB or composite video at a resolution of 1125 lines on a magnetic tape of the same dimensions as VHS. Categories: Technology stubs | Television stubs | Video storage | VHS ... A MiniDV tape For other uses, see DV (disambiguation). ... D-VHS logo D-VHS is a digital video format developed by JVC, in collaboration with Hitachi, Matsushita and Philips. ... Digital-8 (or D8) is a consumer digital videotape format developed by Sony in the late 1990s. ... High Definition Video (HDV) is a video format designed to record compressed HDTV video on standard DV media (DV or MiniDV cassette tape). ...

Optical discs

Laserdisc (1978) - VHD (1983) - Laserfilm (1984) - CD Video (198?) - VCD (1993) - DVD (1996) - MiniDVD (?) - SVCD (1998) - FMD (2000) - UMD (2005) - HD DVD (2006) - Blu-ray Disc (BD) (2006) - AVCHD (2006?) - HVD (2010?) Pioneers LaserDisc Logo Laserdisc certification mark The laserdisc (LD) was the first commercial optical disc storage medium, and was used primarily for the presentation of movies. ... VHD is a videodisc format which was marketed predominantly in Japan by JVC. VHD stands for Video High Density, and there was also an audio-only variant called, not surprisingly, AHD. // Technology VHD discs are 25cm in diameter, though the user never sees them as they are stored in caddies... Laserfilm was a videodisc format developed by McDonnell-Douglas in 1984 that was a transmissive laser-based playback medium (unlike its competitor, laserdisc, which was a reflective system). ... CD Video (also known as CDV, CD-V, or CD+V) was a format introduced in the mid-1980s that combined the technologies of compact disc and laserdisc. ... Video CD or VCD, or Compact Disc digital video, is a standard digital format for storing video on a Compact Disc. ... DVD-R writing/reading side DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... There are two types of MiniDVD cDVD, which are 80-mm versions of the 120-mm DVD mini-DVD, which are standard CDs filled with the DVD-video format // cDVD A Mini-DVD-RAM with DVD Round Holder. ... Super Video CD (Super Video Compact Disc or SVCD) is a format used for storing video on standard compact discs. ... Fluorescent Multilayer Disc, abbreviated as FMD, is a data storage medium that follows the idea previously used in DVDs, making multiple layers to get more data on one disc, but takes the idea to a new level. ... The back of a UMD The Universal Media Disc Disk (UMD) is an optical disc medium developed by Sony for use on the PlayStation Portable. ... HD-DVD disc HD DVD (for High Density Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical media format which is being developed as one standard for high-definition DVD. HD DVD is similar to the competing Blu-ray Disc, which also uses the same CD sized (120 mm diameter) optical data... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) is a new digital optical media format introduced by Sony and Panasonic. ... Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) is an advanced optical disc technology still in the research stage which would greatly increase storage over Blu-ray and HD DVD optical disc systems. ...


 
 

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