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.
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