Back on track with Betamax transfers

What goes around comes around – our latest acquisition is another Sanyo Betamax VCR

Remember the battle that took place between the two big rival home video formats in the early 80s? Matsushita’s VHS (Panasonic and JVC) took on Sony’s rival Betamax format head to head – and won. By the end of the 1980s Betamax was dead and buried – despite being technically superior.

Image of Sanyo VTC-5000 Betamax player with monitor

Yesterday's Tech Today: Sanyo VTC-5000 Betamax

While we get many, many requests for VHS and S-VHS videocassette transfers to DVD and editable computer files (such as DV-AVI and DV-MOV, among others), we get a small trickle of such requests for Betamax format tapes. Which is just as well because the VCRs on which to play them are now very rare. And those we have had haven’t been that reliable.

However, we’ve now acquired another machine – a British-made Sanyo VTC-5000 Betamax recorder – which is in unbelievably good condition and plays those cherished Betamax videocassettes perfectly. So much so that a 1986 off-air BBC1 recording of Neighbours (featuring Jason Donovan as Scott and Kylie Minogue as Charlene!) played back perfectly – and much better than could be expected from an equivalent VHS recording of the day.

These fine machines were made at Sanyo’s Lowestoft (Suffolk) factory and are generally regarded as being technically superior to their Sony counterparts, so if you have a few Betamax tapes you’d like transferring to DVD or to computer file (perhaps you want those old home movies on YouTube or playable on your iPhone or iPad?) then get in touch with us using the Contact form at the top of the page.

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