Re: Betamax
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 10:05:48 -0700 (PDT)

John Clark wrote:
>A bit of an exaggeration, Betamax gave a better picture but the difference
>was subtle, so subtle you couldn't even tell the difference unless you had a
>very good and expensive TV, and there are more important technical

Hopefully this message won't vanish into limbo the way that everything else
I've sent in the last month or so has done.

As far as I'm aware, the basic difference between VHS and Betamax is that
VHS stores luminance and chrominance information on the same track, while
Betamax (like professional Beta formats) stores them on seperate tracks.
Consequently Betamax gave a better picture than VHS even though the basic
resolution was roughly the same; this is also why Betacam usually gives
better pictures than Hi8, Super-VHS and DVC even though Betacam's
resolution is lower.

>From the research I've done, the fundamental problem in the Betamax vs
VHS war was almost the same as Apple vs IBM; Sony wanted to screw their
customers for as much money as they could get by being the sole supplier
of Betamax systems, while JVC licensed VHS to anyone who wanted it. As a
result, VHS bloomed and Betamax languished. The small technical benefits
of Betamax over VHS just weren't worth the additional cost and hassle.

But it's irrelevant to me as my main VCR is Hi8...