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Sony is finally saying goodbye to this 40-year-old device

The Betamax was released back in 1975, but it’s only now that Sony has decided to stop selling cassettes for it.

One of the ads for the Betamax back in the 70s.
One of the ads for the Betamax back in the 70s.
Image: Nesster/Flickr

WHEN IT WAS released back in 1975, the Betamax kicked off a major format war surrounding video recorders.

While VHS eventually dominated the industry, Sony continued to support its format long after its launch.

It had stopped manufacturing the Betamax back in 2002 (having stopped selling them around the world in 1998) but continued to sell the cassettes and offer repairs for existing devices.

Now, 13 years later, the company has announced it will finally stop selling Betamax cassettes from March of next year, say Engadget.

The Betamax was Sony’s attempt to dictate the video recording market, but while it was one of the first video machines to be commercially successful, it sold 2.3 million units in 1984, it eventually lost out to VHS.

The main reason was because Betamax could only record one hour of footage at a time while VHS could record two or more.

While Betamax cassettes were smaller, their inability to record longer shows or movies was a significant flaw. Sony did improve the duration of its tapes, and made the Betamax cheaper, but the damage was already done.

If you still happen to use one, then you have a few more months to stock up on cassettes and supplies for it.

Betavhs2 The size difference between a Betamax tape (top) and a VHS tape. Source: Wikimedia

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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