AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This site more than any other reflects how far we have come in recording- in a very short time span of about 25 years. I have this site bookmarked and I go back and look at it in amazement at times. A lot of us older guys went through it and Imagine paying $1000 for a VHS or Beta VCR in 1978 that was woefully inadequate in recording duration and PQ. A lot of people did. That is what they cost. And some people think the DMR-E80H is expensive at $500. Geez. Relativity.
http://www.geocities.com/videoholic2000/Tidbits.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
HoustonGuy --


Yes indeed...thanks for that link!


I remember very well the first time I saw a VHS ad in the newspaper. It was 1977 and I had been lusting after a Betamax for a year or more but could never afford one. Back then, the Betamax was only available in a big cabinet that also housed a TV (if my memory is correct - and it may not be on this one point). It was very expensive - around $1800 I think.


Then, one day in 1977 I opened the newspaper and saw a full-page Macy's ad for the brand new RCA VHS VCR and it was only $1200! On top of that, I could buy blank VHS tapes for only $25 each. What a deal! So I went downstairs to the bank in my office building and took out a small loan - went to Macy's and bought the deck and 6 tapes.


What a great machine this was. Unlike the Betamax, I could record up to 4 hours on a tape and it even had a timer so it could record without me beng there. And, I could play back tapes on any TV. Within a few months I was borrowing an industrial video camera from work and shooting stuff around the house attached to the VCR via a multi-pin cable. Then I went to Radio Shack and bought a power inverter so I could get mobile and shoot from the car. I was in video heaven. Alright...I admit I was a little geeky...after all, when I was in high school I lusted after having a Quad Video recorder in my bedroom (never could have happened) instead of girls (a situation that later changed, happily).


As for the whole Beta vs. VHS battle...that battle was won by VHS when that RCA deck appeared. It just had too many features not available on the Sony. But I never understood the passion of those who insisted that Betamax was better than VHS. They both had the same resoultion specs and to my eyes, they looked pretty much the same.


Jump forward to 2003...what a difference a few decades makes! Now, I'm in HD and DVD heaven...but I still have many of those very first VHS tapes and they still play fine. Although recently I've been moving them to DVD for long term archiving including a a copy of my college senior project - a music perormance shot with B&W cameras and recorded onto two-inch quad tape. That one has been transferred from the quad tape to VHS and now to DVD.


God...I've turned into a video geezer...anyway, thanks for the trip down memory lane.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
I bought a Zenith Beta machine in 1980. Taught 3 additional classes to pay for it. Cost $1000. As to picture quality, no problem. The remote control was wired. Could pause, fast forward or rewind. And I could do timer record. It would turn itself on and start recording. The fact is that that machine still works. . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
I know that Zenith machine. In the 80's I had a video production company and we got one of those to make Betamax copies for clients. My former partner still has it and it still works just fine. Of course, finding tape for it became a problem but we lots of first-generation Betacam stock and that worked just fine in that old Zenith. A wired remote - what a quaint concept.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
I too had a beta but it was a Sanyo bought to do some transferring since the signal pass from beta to Vhs worked just fine in those early days, thanks for the trip down a no macrovison memory lane and no DMCA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
harrumph... I STILL have beta... a pair of SL-HF750's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Londo- those sell for about 400- 500 bucks on ebay if everything works. I have the Beta SL- HF900 which goes for about 300 bucks. 17 year old vcrs with that residual value is amazing.


Btokars- I agree -I think the 3-4 hour rec mode which VHS had first drove everyone to VHS early on and sealed the deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
HoustonGuy...


not till I finish converting 800+ 750's to DVD-R!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Fellow Betans!

This site has a complete listing of all Beta machines, from all manufacturers...
http://www.betainfoguide.com/indexnew.html

I've got a SL-HF900 also, and about 500 tapes I was planning to dub to DVD.

I remember drooling over the 750 when it came out. I bid on three on eBay just recently, but the eBay offerings got too steep (some go for $200 or more, even if they don't work). Beta I recordings from your 750 must be great.

Some of the stuff recorded in SuperBeta II looked darn good for tapes of broadcast sources (still does). I continued to use the 900 to record some programs even after I had a S-VHS recorder (S-VHS tapes were never cheap, and regular VHS was pretty marginal).

Soon after I got the Pan. E80, I got a HF-400 and HF-500 on eBay real cheap (both work) to avoid wearing out the 900. Already, my 900 only ejects tapes if I take the top cover off and push 'em out the last inch. It still plays the tapes like a champ, though.

Lots of my stuff was recorded in regular Beta on an SL-2000 portable unit (1982), and the head alignment that the superBetas had always produced a slight moire when playing the older tapes. The 500 is great for dubbing those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Londo - have you ever recorded in ED beta metal tape(I have seen those tapes on ebay for a premium) on the 750 which is one of the only ones that will record Beta I- It is supposed to do 520 line resolution per the link you posted. Hell, that exceeds DVD at 500. I would be surprised if the 750 actually did that though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,039 Posts
HoustonGuy,


First 520 lines is for analog horizontal resolution. DVD is 720 horizontal pixels (lines in analog world) but by the time it gets converted to analog and filtering you get about 540. You can't really compare analog and digital formats. ED Beta was great but it was analog so its signal to noise ratio was not even close to DVD plus I do not think you ever got 520 lines because of processing and you would need pro studio cameras of that time to even approach it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I still have a Ed Beta EDV-9500 & EDV-7500 sitting in the closet. As well as the Ed Beta EDV-55 2CCD camcorder, this was a huge sucker. Been in my closet for the past 10 years or so.


I also had many Sony Beta & Super Beta vcr's. Last one I sold was a Sony SLH-750 with about 400 tapes for $850.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Crud. I still have two SL-HF1000s. The Chroma response on those still beats anything short of digital recordings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
My first Sony BetaMax had the external clock / timer, a mechnical tuner and was top loading. Oh, and it cost me about $900. I was working in television engineering at the time and HAD to have it. I have probably owned about a dozen Beta machines and still have an NEC "Super BetaMax"! After I dub some old beta tapes to DVD it will go to the museum (storage).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
Those sites are showing modern recording equipment. I had found a site at one time with .avi images of the very first known recordings of broadcast tv from the 1930s! Here's a tidbit about it from another site:


1927:

John Logie Baird - Creates the first videodisc system fifty years before its commercial inception. The discs, based on existing phonograph technology, rotate at 78 rpm and have the ability to capture and reproduce hazy images when played on a gramophone and connected to a Baird receiver. The bandwidth is 5 khz and the images, though barely recognizable, are reproduced at 12.5 fps at a resolution of 15 points per horizontal line, 30 lines altogether. During the thirties, several copies will be sold by Selfidge's department store in London. However, the mechanical TV system goes into obscurity when the BBC decides to discontinue the product in 1936.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top