Home » Why Sony's Beta Videotape System Failed–and failed hard (Part 1) technology connections

Why Sony's Beta Videotape System Failed–and failed hard (Part 1) technology connections

by Langsongshipin123



Technology Connections now has a Patreon! Link below The late 1970’s and early 1980’s were a frightening time to be a video enthusiast. Two formats are …

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Why Sony's Beta Videotape System Failed--and failed hard (Part 1)

Why Sony's Beta Videotape System Failed–and failed hard (Part 1)

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Why Sony's Beta Videotape System Failed–and failed hard (Part 1)
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27 comments

Technology Connections 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Before you comment that "Beta didn't fail! It lived on for many many years in the professional world, with TV studios using Beta into the 2000s!" please note: This is not Betamax. Betacam is the format that was used in the professional market, and although it used the same basic cassettes and recorder design, it used component and later digital signals that were entirely unrelated to and incompatible with consumer Beta. Since Betacam is not and never was intended to be a consumer product, it's not mentioned in this discussion on the videotape format war.

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Krushak8888 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

… when he said not many of you know what a vhs us… made me feel old and I'm only 34… the cuspit child between old and new.

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Sebastian Gorka 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

going back to these and seeing short hair Alec is a bit of an out of body experience

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flarn2006 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

You missed an opportunity to add a "paused video tape" effect at 15:53.

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Nick Svitak 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

it's so odd rewatching this video being so used to modern TechConnect

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Endy Mallorn 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

There is one little detail you overlooked in the RCA / JVC comments – they’re two halves of the same whole. RCA was still, mostly, RCA-Victor. JVC was the local subsidiary company established to work within Japanese protectivist laws and still sell products. While JVC could, and did, have independent initiatives, they were fundamentally still a sister to RCA. This meant the license fee that RCA was willing to pay to Sony ended up being an internal payment, and the openness to letting firms like Matsushita pay them to build the device made the VCR pure profit.

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JuEdWa 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Why Amarica NTSC VHS Tapes are only T60, T-120, T-130 and T-160?… because in Europe we can record even 5 hours with SP mode on E-300 VHS tapes.

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endospores 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Sony Beta II and Beta III mode betamaxes came way too late.

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larky368 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

I went with Beta because you could fast forward while still viewing the picture so it was much easier to find the porn scene…I mean fast forward through the commercials.

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P Zakkly 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

More porn was available on VHS one of the reasons VHS won

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Michael Nielsen 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Did a faaaaaar better quality system like beta really lose to crap-vhs, BECAUSE OF F…… AMERICAN FOOTBALL???🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😎😎

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Spooky 88 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

I remember going into the video stores in the mid '80's (we rented a machine for my birthday) and there must have been 300 titles to choose from on VHS… and a sad little shelf in a dark corner with about 10 titles on Betamax. As most of our planned usage was watching movies, that decided it for us and Dad bought a VHS the following year.

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Allen .Berge 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Betamax had very complicated threading of the tape that threaded a significant amount of tape. It meant more complicated threading mechanisms, more to break and wear out. VHS was more reliable, but that isn't saying much. These things would wear out within 5 years.

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Ryan Pederson 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

I just discovered your channel and I am loving it!

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Murcia doxial 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

the real question is… which format is better to watch night court in?

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Ron B 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

It never did. The movie industry shut it down because of copy protection on their movies. Beta could bypass all the protection measures. They were never able to put copy protection on beta movies. VHS had copy protection and all the newer VHS decks could keep someone from copying movies. The old VHS decks didn't have that feature. Most people don't want 6 hours or more on one tape. Speed in SP was the best quality. Tracking didn't work as well on elp. Well this is all history now it's hard to keep people from ripping movies it's a whole new ball game .

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postminchoppa 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

1:32 brah both have their clocks set, this is what peak performance looks like

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Todd Dogg 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Should've called it Alpha. Would've killed VHS quick

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Idelacio 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Oh gods… that BBC Video jingle gave me quite the nostalgic kick. Haven't heard that for er… two and a half decades?

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Vectrex28 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

And yet I have a Sony CRT that has a built in VHS player 😛
They just gave up at some point

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Goatcha 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

I always thought it stood for Video Head System. The more you know I guess.

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Goatcha 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Finally I know how Long Play works and what the trade-off is! Wish I'd known it 20 years ago, but hey, yay for new knowledge!

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Joe Barton 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

I remember the last VHS cassette I bought, or rather my mom bought at my request, it was Shrek 2 and it came on a green cassette, it was when Shrek 2 had recently gone on video and DVD, so maybe 2005?

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David Lynn 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Still have my $1200 Curtis Mathis vhs in my attic

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Lion Bryce 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Wow, I definitely prefer the less professional yet higher production value feel of the modern day Technology Connections

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Sam_1_am 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

"but this is America damn it" 🤣

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Paul Adams 08/09/2021 - 7:53 AM

Fact: SONY invented both formats. They let JVC build Vhs machines because the video quality was inferior to Betamax and they didn’t consider it a threat. Until the porn industry started selling videos on VHS. Record time was longer on VHS. By the time Sony made machines with longer record time, it was too late.

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