On This Day In… 1975 – The Betamax Was Introduced In Japan


Before DVDs, Blu-Ray discs and even VHS tapes, there was the Betamax. The video format was introduced in Japan by Sony on this day in 1975 but received stiff competition when JVC’s VHS arrived a year later and subsequently pushed the Beta out of the Western market. Its localised success in Japan prompted Sony to release the SuperBetamax and Extended Definition Betamax, offering a better resolution. Now more of a novelty collectors item, the simple reason why the Betamax lost to the VHS tape was Sony’s inability to cater to the general public who wanted a medium that could record for longer and unattended, even if it meant compromising quality (which VHS answered with the Super-VHS).

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