What Happened To Betamax?

Not many people are familiar with the story of Betamax, as it was quickly wiped out by the whirlwind that was VHS. This story, however, is an important one, as it set the stage for the console wars of our future.

what is betamax?

In simple terms, Betamax is a video cassette recorder. It would record video onto a small cassette tape that could be played again and again. Sony had created something revolutionary. You could now record your favorite shows and movies away from home. What’s more, the Betamax functioned extremely well. Unfortunately, a storm was brewing, and Betamax had a fierce competitor to fight.

A fight for survival

Soon after the Betamax was made, JVC launched the iconic VHS- or Video Home System. But why wasn’t it possible for both systems to coexist? Network effect. The greater number of people using these machines, the greater the value. With a new and threatening adversary on the rise, Betamax was in danger. A war between video formats began.

VHS Wins, but why?

Looking back, it’s obvious that VHS won. But why exactly? Betamax functioned better and produced better-quality sound and video. Although that’s true, the VHS was significantly less expensive than Betamax. JVC also triumphed in the licensing department. In the end, VHS became far more popular, and Betamax faded into nothingness.


So what’s the main idea here? Why is this fight so important? If you look back on more recent technology wars, such as Apple and Android, you can find a semblance of Betamax V.S. VHS. It also shows that the underdog can emerge victorious.

Further Reading


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New post on my website, check it out if you’re old enough to remember VHS…

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Hey all! Just uploaded a new post to my website. Who’s old enough to remember VHS? ….. Now, who’s old enough to remember BETAMAX???? I bet I caught some attention! For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, learn all about the story in my new post!

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