Bye Bye Betamax

Other | Tuesday 10th November 2015 | Joe

When Sony introduced Betamax in 1975 the plan was simple: conquer the new market of video recording and playback. Phillips had just released the VCR, and JVC was just about to release it's VHS a year later. For its pure video quality, Betamax appeared to be king of the castle, and this remained so throughout the 1970s and 80s.

Yet the format quickly ran into trouble during a war with VHS whilst attempting to to dominate the market. JVC's product - despite its inferior quality - proved popular with consumers due to its cheaper manufacturing costs and its three-times longer recording capacity. By 1980 VHS controlled over 60% of the North American market, for example.

Betamax's long decline has been the subject of much ridicule in this years since, as the company struggled on without a commercial leg to stand on. By 2000 the technology was virtually extinct, and Sony has not made a single camera compatible with Betamax since 2005

Hallelujah! I hear you cry, as Sony announced that it will stop production in March 2016. It's been hanging around more than Basshunter (unbelievably he's only 30 - ten years Batemax's junior!) and, seeing as DVD's and downloads are now out-of-date, we wish Batemax a happy retirement not a moment too soon.