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How Betamax Bit the Dust – and Other Tales of Forgotten Tech

How Betamax Bit the Dust – and Other Tales of Forgotten Tech

“Sony is to no longer make Betamax video cassettes – something that will come as a surprise to many people who thought that Betamax had long since bitten the dust. But 28 years after it lost the battle to the VHS (or Vertical Helical Scan) format produced by JVC, Sony – which stopped manufacturing Betamax recorders in 2002 – will cease production of the tapes, too.

It’s a long, strange tale, set against a technology landscape that has changed quickly. Betamax was the first major attempt to provide high-quality record and playback capabilities of broadcast and domestic material to the average home.

So why did VHS – a technically inferior standard – win the standardization battle in Europe and worldwide? As with all technological advances, just having the best technical performer doesn’t necessarily mean that you will succeed and get widescale adoption. The per-unit cost to produce and to the end user define, in most cases, how viable a new technology launch will be.”


Posted on: January 17, 2016, 6:15 am Category: Uncategorized

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