Browse Definitions:
Definition

Betamax

Contributor(s): Vern Piantanida

Betamax is a videocassette recording ( VCR ) technology that uses magnetic tape 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) in width. It was originally developed in Japan by Sony. Betamax is rarely used by consumers, but is still used to some extent in professional television (TV) production. Nearly all home VCR machines are designed for Video Home System ( VHS ), another technology for video tape recording.

A Betamax cassette is physically smaller than a VHS cassette. The Betamax tape takes a more direct path through the recording and playback apparatus, so the recording and playback operations are faster and more convenient. Some engineers believe that Betamax offers better image quality than VHS technology. However, greater wear occurs on a Betamax tape as compared with VHS, shortening the life of the cassette. Also, Betamax cassettes have less capacity (in terms of recording time) than VHS cassettes.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the VHS and Betamax formats became competitive, and ultimately, for complex legal reasons, VHS captured the home video recording and reproduction market. By 1993, Betamax was essentially obsolete among consumers in the United States. The last Betamax machine for the Japanese consumer market was manufactured in 2002. In recent years, the use of cassette tapes for video recording and reproduction has become less common because of the widespread availability and popularity of DVD technology.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About Betamax

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close