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For a full-quality, complete version of this video and more
Betamax samples, please order our Sample Disc.
Convert Betamax to DVD, and ensure that these
aging tapes are preserved! The Betamax format
constitutes some of the most deteriorating tapes that we receive
at Timeless DVD. We can't urge our customers enough to order
a Beta transfer to DVD sooner rather than later.
On the right is a sample of a Betamax tape from 1984 that
was transferred to DVD by Timeless DVD. The video was filmed
on the Fourth of July at a small town's park festival. Notice
the lack of noise in the picture and the clear audio, which
we cleaned up from the tape. A longer version of this video
can be viewed on the Timeless DVD Sample Disc.
Two other Betamax videos are on our Sample Disc –
our oldest sample, showing a family pool in 1980, and a family
reunion in 1984. All of the videos were converted to DVD within
the past few years, using the studio equipment
that we use for every Betamax to DVD conversion. Can our video
services preserve your Betas as well?
Betamax is generally considered the oldest consumer
video format – if never the most successful. In 1975, Sony released
the format, which was developed from its own U-matic video standard.
The first Betamax machine cost over $2,000 in 1975 (about $12,000
in today's dollars!) and a single tape was $15.
Betamax is widely considered to possess significantly better
video quality than VHS, which we can preserve when we transfer
Betamax tapes. Initially, Beta tapes only ran 1 hour,
which was an early sticking point in the VHS-Betamax format war.
(Early Betamax releases of 2-hour Hollywood movies were usually
split onto 2 tapes.) By the time Betamax added a 2-hour mode
– and eventually BIII – VHS already had a six-hour
mode. Naturally, customers gravitated to the longer running time,
and since VHS machines were cheaper to produce on the manufacturing
end, they were cheaper to purchase as well.
As we all know, Betamax lost out to VHS in the end. VHS was
cheaper and easier for the consumer to use – and JVC
marketed the format better than Sony. For its part, Sony began
producing VHS machines of its own in 1988, and the last Betamax
model was released in 2002. However, fans of the format still
exist, rightfully claiming Betamax's quality superiority.
Today, most Betamax tapes that arrive at Timeless DVD need serious
work when we copy Betamax to DVD. It is not uncommon for these
tapes to have visibly flaking oxide or damage of which the owner
was unaware. Often, this is because most Betamax tape owners
haven't watched their tapes for many years (Betamax units being
scarce for a decade), and concurrently, the tapes were usually
stored away. As a result, digitizing video from Betamax tapes
can be quite challenging!