The Videotape Format War between VHS and Betamax

July 13, 2019 at 7:25 pm

An analog videotape format introduced by Sony originally developed in Japan. Betamax was first introduced in US market in 1975. Betamax was very less utilized by customers but still somewhere used by professional TV Production. The cassette utilized ½-inch tape, with an underlying limit of 1-hour initial time.

During the 1980s and mid of 1990, VHS caught the home video recording when VHS and Betamax format became competitive. Betamax was acquainted with the UK in 1978 and held a 25% piece of the pie in 1981, yet by 1986, it was down to simply 7.5%.


One reason behind its failure was VHS Technology was introduced to all sorts of manufacturers and it could be bought from JVC, Philips, Panasonic, while you could only buy Betamax from Sony. The competition among them brings down the price of VHS. That’s why VHS was less expensive and offered far longer recording time than a Betamax tape could.

The format war was effectively lost by Sony when they themselves began producing VHS. Although Beta was providing superior quality and VHS, decent quality in cheap as possible. In the US, Sony continued to produce Betamax until 1993 and in Japan until 2002. The last Betamax machine was made in 2002. Nowadays DVD popularity fades the use of cassette tapes for video recording. Transfer your old Betamax to DVD where we ensure 100% playback guarantee & 100 Year archival endurance.