10 Nov 2015

Sony says goodbye to Betamax tapes

Sony has announced that it will stop selling Betamax video cassettes in March 2016.
The firm revealed on its website that it will also stop shipping the Micro MV cassette, used in video cameras.

It has not produced a compatible camera for the Micro MV since 2005.
Sony launched the format in 1975, a year before JVC's rival the VHS cassette - which eventually became the market leader after a long battle between the two brands and their fans.
Although many felt Betamax was the superior format, most cite the longer recording length of VHS tapes - three hours versus one - and the cheaper manufacturing costs for VHS machines as the main factors as to why VHS eventually won out.
The BBC still has Betamax tapes in some of its archives but most broadcasters had stopped using them by the year 2000.
"It's sad when the consumables of a format dies because then you can never go back to it," said BBC video editor Pete Doherty.
"I remember watching Michael Jackson's Thriller on Betamax. It represents the time when we were just beginning to watch things on demand.
"If you missed a programme on TV before that, you just had to wait for the repeat.
"Having said that, I don't think many people will miss Betamax. I can't imagine there are many machines left to play them on."