Betamax


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to Betamax: Laserdisc

Betamax

The first popular consumer VCR on the market. Using half-inch (analog) tape cassettes, Sony introduced Betamax, also known as "Beta," in 1975. The first cassettes held only one hour of video, but the capacity was subsequently increased to two hours in order to hold an entire movie. Sony later introduced Beta Hi-fi, which improved audio quality, and SuperBeta, which offered a better image.

Beta vs. VHS
One year after Beta was introduced, the VHS format came out in a slightly larger cassette that held a full movie from the start. For several years, pre-packaged movies were offered in both Beta and VHS. By the late 1980s, Beta had been almost entirely eclipsed by VHS, although Betamax machines were still manufactured by Sony until 2002.

The Betamax technology was considered to be better quality than VHS, and to this day, "Betamaxed" refers to a superior technology overtaken by an inferior one (see Beta/VHS debacle). See VHS, Cartrivision, helical scan and Betacam.
References in periodicals archive ?
VHS eventually won out against Betamax in the battle for most popular format
Yes, there are a hardcore of Betamax users who must still be recording The Bill and Dynasty off UK TV Gold (or whatever it's called these days) in a Canute-type effort to stop progress.
We, too, had a Betamax video recorder, and I remember it getting harder and harder to rent videos from the shop as VHS took over.
Sadly, it seems that The Wanted have stumbled headlong into Betamax territory, despite an early lead.
Beginning with the technical tinkering and tape-swapping 'videophilia' spawned by the first Sony Betamax recorders in the mid- and late 1970s, Greenberg explains the work done by those who saw the possibilities of pre-recorded cassettes and then convinced Hollywood studios to release movies on the new medium.
But the Betamax was widely acclaimed to be superior to VHS, and it failed only because of a lack of marketing prowess.
But in their current suits, the broadcast networks attempt to differentiate between the Betamax case and the Hopper DVR, stating that Dish encourages TV viewers to infringe by skipping commercials and by storing TV shows for extended periods of time.
So, to cheer ourselves up in a suitably non-PC, guilty pleasure sort of a way we decided to dig out some dusty old Betamax cassette recordings (kids, ask mum and dad) of the Northern Irish joker in full flight on ITV's long-running mother-in-law gag-fest The Comedians.
It was the most utterly comprehensive destruction of a Derby field in my lifetime, and I've still got the heavilyused video tape of his performance to prove it - if only I could find a replacement betamax video player at the next Antiques Roadshow
General dispensing and contact lens CET points will be provided by Andy Hepworth (pictured)--'Modern Day Varifocals: Betamax to HD Vision' and Jonathon Bench--'Striking the right balance of material properties' respectively
introduced the Betamax system, an innovation that allowed the taping of TV shows and the production of home videos.
Swapping a young, progressive up and coming manager like Roberto Di Matteo for Hodgson is like trading a Blu-ray player for a Betamax video machine.