What's new

Recording Poll (1 Viewer)

Whiich of the following types of VTRs have you recorded with?

  • Reel-to-Reel Half Inch (either CV or EAIJ format)

    Votes: 3 6.3%
  • Umatic 3/4 inch

    Votes: 4 8.3%
  • Cartrivision

    Votes: 2 4.2%
  • Sanyo V-Cord

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Akai 1/4 open reel

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Philips VCR

    Votes: 3 6.3%
  • VX

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Betamax

    Votes: 17 35.4%
  • Super Video Recording

    Votes: 2 4.2%
  • VHS

    Votes: 44 91.7%
  • Video Compact Cassette

    Votes: 4 8.3%
  • Super Beta

    Votes: 4 8.3%
  • Super VHS

    Votes: 19 39.6%
  • DVD

    Votes: 37 77.1%

  • Total voters
    48

Neil Brock

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
4,317
Now that we've seen when everyone starting collecting, let's see what machines were used!
 

MatthewA

BANNED
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,727
Location
Salinas, CA
Real Name
Matthew
I never actually recorded on 3/4" u-matic but I managed to get tapes and a VTR years ago. I even found some EIAJ tapes and a machine with a built-in playback monitor that didn't work. I got audio, but not video, and one of them had the documentary Scared Straight on it while the other had what sounded like an episode of As the World Turns based on the names of the characters.

In addition to movies and TV shows I hadn't seen before, Beta helped me find network-length versions of some early Cheers, Family Ties, and Golden Girls episodes before their respective DVDs came out. I also managed to get ahold of a bunch of Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere, but only the former can I replace with a complete DVD set; for the latter, I must settle for Hulu and its mish-mosh of unremastered and edited episodes. Most of what I found was filler or could be easily acquired on disc. But I agree with those who say it had slightly better picture than VHS.

When we needed a new VHS deck to replace the Hi-Fi stereo one we got in 1983, we bought one that also had S-VHS capabilites; another JVC. This was around 1998 or 1999 and I recall recording the early years of Futurama this way along with the uncut ALF reruns that aired on Odyssey. More good foresight on my part.*

I also have collected TV shows on film. Moving pictures of the first three years of my life prior to my 3rd birthday exist on Super 8 film only, so that sparked my interest in going beyond that. In 1998, I bought a 16mm projector at a collector's convention in Hanover, PA, and through many different sources obtained a bunch of film chain prints of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (both Viacom syndie prints and CBS network back-up prints that still had commercials), Laverne & Shirley, Trapper John MD, Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, The Bob Newhart Show, and a couple short-lived MTM Productions shows.

Much of that is still at my Mom's house. She also has a DVD/VHS recorder so I can back stuff up whenever I visit her. There's a Beta VCR there but it doesn't seem to work anymore. One that works is at my house, though.

*The one time I managed to tape it off NBC on January 8, 1990, the last episode before the official premiere of The Simpsons, which poached their writing staff, was the one episode Lionsgate bothered to release uncut!
 
Last edited:

Sky King

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
508
Real Name
John
In May of 1980 as a college graduation present to myself, i bought a Sony Betamax SL 8600.
I used it religiously until it started getting "tired." I then bought a Realistic Superbeta machine in 1987.
That one still works to this day, although it isn't used very much.
Beta was touted as the superior format when I purchased my first Betamax. In a non scientific test, I compared the picture quality of my Betamax to my friends RCA Selectavision VCR. My Betamax won hands down.
 

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
7,901
Real Name
jr
Only VHS.

Over the most of the 2000s decade, I was still using the vhs machine to record tv shows when I wasn't home. Mainly recorded stuff to watch later, and didn't save any of them.

Eventually this vhs machine fell into disuse when I started to use a dvr for the same function.

(Never thought of using a dvd recorder in those days).
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
11,403
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Plain ole VHS here. My dad has had a DVD recorder since they were introduced. He still records stuff for the great-grandkids on a regular basis. Before he got rid of his tape capabilities I had him transfer all my VHS home recordings to DVD... and we've still never watched them. FWIW I have the last 2 VHS machines I owned in storage (inside the house in a "safe" area - that is, a place my wife won't touch). I should dump them but I have a few things I recorded before taking them out of service that I tell myself I'll watch some day. Sure... that's going to happen...
 

AndyMcKinney

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
3,186
Location
Kentucky, USA
I started with VHS in 1986. I think the first thing(s) I recorded "to keep" was the second and third Planet of the Apes movies that were airing after school on our market's newly-minted independent TV station (WDKY-56, which is now a Fox affiliate).

I progressed from mono VHS to hi-fi in my university years and after I got married, I got my Aiwa HV-MX1 to trade foreign tapes and then, the first of a few S-VHS decks.

I only used SP and LP speeds for things I kept. I got started in 'tape trading' not long after making my first recordings, so learned very quickly to avoid SLP for anything I meant to watch more than once.

My first DVD-R recorder was one of the Panasonic HDD models. The hard drive in it died due to a common fragmentation issue (as I recall). I had to pay Panasonic to fix it (which wiped out everything on the drive, of course). I later got a (IMO, better) Pioneer HDD model. Still use it to this day. Not to record off-air anymore (since .MKV and .MP4 files are there and in HD), but to back up VHS/Beta, etc. I even bought a second Pioneer of the same model used off eBay a few years ago for about $80.00. Later picked up a multi-standard Panasonic DVD-R from J&R as an open-box item for a very nice discount. Has come in handy for backing up some of my old PAL VHS tapes!
 

Worth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
5,183
Real Name
Nick Dobbs
SuperBeta was just an enhancement, wasn't it? Or was it a separate format the way S-VHS was?
 

JQuintana

BANNED
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
1,194
Real Name
Me
In early 1985, Sony would introduce a new feature, High Band or SuperBeta, by again shifting the Y carrier—this time by 800 kHz. This improved the bandwidth available to the Y sideband and increased the horizontal resolution from 240 to 290 lines on a regular-grade Betamax cassette. Since over-the-antenna and cable signals were only 300–330 lines resolution, SuperBeta could make a nearly identical copy of live television. However, the chroma resolution still remained relatively poor, limited to just under 0.4 MHz or approximately 30 lines resolution, whereas live broadcast chrominance resolution was over 100 lines. The heads were also narrowed to 29 μm to reduce crosstalk, with a narrower head gap to play back the higher carrier frequency at 5.6 MHz. Later, some models would feature further improvement, in the form of Beta-Is, a high band version of the Beta-I recording mode. There were some incompatibilities between the older Beta decks and SuperBeta, but most could play back a high band tape without major problems. SuperBeta decks had a switch to disable the SuperBeta mode for compatibility purposes. (SuperBeta was only marginally supported outside of Sony, as many licensees had already discontinued their Betamax line.)[16][17]

In 1988, Sony would again push the envelope with ED Beta, or "Extended Definition" Betamax, capable of up to 500 lines of resolution, that equaled DVD quality (480 typical). In order to store the ~6.5 MHz-wide luma signal, with the peak frequency at 9.3 MHz, Sony used a metal formulation tape borrowed from the Betacam SP format (branded "ED-Metal") and incorporated some improvements to the transport to reduce mechanically induced aberrations in the picture. Beta ED also featured a luminance carrier deviation of 2.5 MHz, as opposed to the 1.2 MHz used in SuperBeta, improving contrast with reduced luminance noise.[18]

Sony introduced two ED decks and a camcorder in the late 1980s. The top end EDV-9500 (EDV-9300 in Canada) deck was a very capable editing deck, rivaling much more expensive U-Matic set-ups for its accuracy and features, but did not have commercial success due to lack of timecode and other pro features. Sony did market Beta ED to "semiprofessional" users, or "prosumers". One complaint about the EDC-55 ED CAM was that it needed a lot of light (at least 25 lux), due to the use of two CCDs instead of the typical single-CCD imaging device. The Beta ED lineup only recorded in BII/BIII modes, with the ability to play back BI/BIs.[19]

Despite the sharp decline in sales of Betamax recorders in the late 1980s and subsequent halt in production of new recorders by Sony in 2002, Betamax, SuperBetamax and EDBeta are still being used by a small number of people. Even though Sony stopped making new cassettes in 2016, new cassettes are still available for purchase at online shops and used recorders are often found at flea markets, thrift stores or on Internet auction sites. Early format BetaCam cassettes—which are physically based on the Betamax cassette—continue to be available for use in the professional media.
 

Tom.W

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Messages
329
My first vcr was a Sanyo beta vcr (not technically betamax) which I used to record things like Nick at Nite. I got cable around 1985,so I managed to record part of My Three Sons before the cut versions aired. I later switched to VHS, but had to purchase a beta machine from ebay a few years ago to play the MTS tapes. I was disappointed in the ME-TV airings which are not only cut and timesped but have muffled sound. My beta tapes actually sound much better than the ME-TV MTS episodes. (Although of course they are somewhat faded.) I even broke down and purchased the CBS dvds.

In later years. I bought Panasonic dvd recorders, first with the HDD. Also a Philips, which seems to have held up better, although I don't use it that much these days. Most recording i do now by capturing to my pc's hard drive with Hauppauge products. I also started using an hdhomerun unit, which is nice for digital channels like Decades but has some weaknesses.
 

greenscreened

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 20, 2018
Messages
480
Real Name
Bob
I had been shopping for VCRs and heard about Sony's new upcoming SL-2700 Hi-Fi Stereo Betamax, which I waited for a few months for, then bought it the very first day it was available, back in 1984 @ $1,500 (my recollection was $1,200 but one Google result said the former).

Bought various other Betas and VHS later.

Beta really shined over VHS even to the average customer eyes when it came to viewing dupes made B to B, versus V to V, and of course B to V, and V to B.

Plus, it overrode (didn't remove) copy guarding for playback on a Beta, as if you made a VHS copy from the Beta copy then played the new V copy thorough a VHS machine, the copy guard was again visible.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
356,451
Messages
5,113,050
Members
144,095
Latest member
zoobird
Recent bookmarks
0
Top