Video Cassette Recorder

Description (Brief)
This front-loading Betamax video recorder was manufactured by Sony at the height of the company’s competition with producers of the rival VHS format. Beta recorders initially featured a one hour recording cassette, later lengthened to match VHS. Early Beta machines were slightly larger than early VHS units and designers struggled to put a quality audio signal on the tape without compromising video signal quality. Both formats were available for about ten years but ultimately Sony could not solve the audio-video problem without a major redesign that made newer tapes incompatible with older machines. Sony dropped the Beta format in 1988.
Currently not on view
Object Name
video recorder
recording device
date made
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 10.1 cm x 43.2 cm x 38.1 cm; 4 in x 17 in x 15 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Magnetic Recording
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Magnetic Recording
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Lynn G. Herbert

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