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lordsmurf 06-28-2005 12:10 PM

the history of recording tv
Suggested reading:

In general...

KINESCOPE used through 1950s
KINESCOPE and AMPEX used in 1960s
AMPEX and U-MATIC in 1970s
BETAMAX and VHS in 1970s-1980s
VHS in 1990s-2000s
S-VHS in 1990s-2000s is option often unused
VCD in late 1990s-2000s is option sometimes used
DVD 2000s modern digital format

This is how people have been able to record for the past half century.

gatch72 06-28-2005 12:16 PM

I guess it was back in 1983, my dad bought our first VCR and it was a beta.
Tapes were smaller and didnt hold as much if i remember right.
Here anyway, it was hard to find movies to rent, because beta was just about gone.

lordsmurf 06-28-2005 12:29 PM

There were fewer Betamax retails available to buy or rent.
And the Betamax recorders were mostly 1-hour blank tapes.
Your memory is good.

I also want to point out that far too many people confuse the old home/consumer "Betamax" with the modern pro/broadcast "Betacam" shooting formats. Drives me nuts. I saw some sites earlier that think "beta is beta" which is flat wrong.

debwalsh 06-28-2005 01:23 PM

For demystification of the Beta format, check out

Not necessarily a pretty site, but chock-full of information about the format from someone who has been with the format almost from the beginning, and still sticks with it.

1-hour blank tapes? Maybe at BI, which few Beta units recorded after the early '80s. The SLP speed of VHS tapes had a lot to do with Beta's downfall. Then the rental chains started skewing toward VHS, just as they have in recent years toward DVD. When retail films stopped duping the VHS copies from Beta masters, and went the other direction, Beta was as good as dead. Only a few dinosaurs like yours truly still keep the format alive - all my best stuff is on Beta, after all! :>

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