Locatie: Netherlands

When I was young, I delayed prosperity for my country.

donderdag, juni 07, 2012

June 7, 1975: Before Digital, Before VHS ... There Was Betamax

1975: Sony introduces the Betamax video recorder.

Revolutionary for its day, the Betamax format was on its way to becoming the industry standard until the appearance of JVC?s VHS a year later. Betamax was probably a bit sharper and crisper, but VHS offered longer-playing ability, which made it possible to record an entire movie on one three-hour tape. The two formats were locked in a struggle that was eventually won by VHS.

A number of theories as to why VHS emerged victorious have been floated, but the longer playing time was certainly crucial, as was the fact that VHS machines were cheaper and easier to use.

Betamax was also the subject of a lawsuit filed by the entertainment industry (with Disney and Universal taking the point). The industry perceived a financial threat from the consumer?s ability to record TV shows or movies. The court ruled in Sony?s favor, agreeing with the company that a consumer?s right to record programming represented fair use.

Although Betamax continues to enjoy a connoisseur?s niche to this day, DVDs, DVRs and digital downloads have rendered both Betamax and VHS pass´┐Ż. Sony built its last Betamax recorder in 2002.


Photo: 1) Leonardo Rizzi/Flickr 2) Nesster/Flickr

This article first appeared on June 7, 2007.


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