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I recently bought a Betamax SL- HF750 on EBay to transfer the better end of my collection. I have had some suprizing insights. The bulk of my Beta tapes are not worthy of movement to DVD. My sense of the quality issue is, that at best, X1 speed, with the best possible tape, the 240 lines of resolution out of 525 that the Beta format could capture, leave a lot to be desired in 2003 DVD-R terms. I recorded most originals from a C-Band satellite with composite inputs. When I imagine viewing the Bogarts, the John Fords & the WWII documentaries on a larger screen, with a more critical eye that is now tuned for DVD, I think that of the 1K Beta tapes I have, I will save only the most rare and move them to DVD. Those less rare, I'll just watch for them to show up on TCM.
 

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Sad but true. I used to have a lot of Bullwinkle and Soap (tv series) shows on betamax. Even the Smurfs. Now, I just wait for the stuff to come out on dvd. It's just not worth transfering it to a dvd-r. Unless you own a super rare tape of a show or movie that is unlikely to be released on dvd, or rebroadcast so you can record it to hdd or some recordable dvd format, just let procrastination be your motto.
 

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Progress.


There were days when I would have killed to be able to find a 750 for sale, in any condition. The ironic thing is that once Beta stagnated, the numerous improvements to VHS and tape formulations eventually made it actually better in quality. I leap-frogged right over all of that with a jump to SVHS, but today I can't stand looking at tape of any kind. Bit-bucket PVR's rule, as do DVDR's.
 

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Not only that, but it is amazing what IS available now on commercial DVDs. I had a bunch of ßeta tapes I made of the Secret Agent series (from the 1960's) when it was broadcast by a local station in LA in the 1980's. I started using my E80H to transfer them to DVD-Rs, until I discovered that a collection of ALL of the series' 48 episodes can be purchased on DVD for $102, including shipping.

If I had stuck to copying my own, the blank DVD-Rs alone would have cost a good chunk of that.
 

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But a lot of stuff isn't even on the burner. There are a ton of old Disney live films I'd kill for (Follow Me Boys, Dr. Syn/The Scarecrow, Tonka, etc.) among others that simply never get released. I saw a set of Russ Meyer DVDs recently, but they were from France! Why no USA release? Ask Russ Meyer. Point is, there are a lot of things that are coming out and a lot of stuff that may never come out. I was glad to see the teen music comedy "The Last American Virgin" finally get release as well as "Rock 'n' Roll Highschool" but where is "Eating Raoul" also from Paul Bartell? there seems to be no rhyme or reason for what gets released anymore. For that reason alone, I'm still in need of DVD recording equipment...
 
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