It's the transport mechanism that kicks VHS butt!

Das Imperator

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Beta machines: SL-HF300 - SL-2000, HVC-2200 - SL-5400, a BMC-220 & BMC 550

My first Betamax was in fact a BMC-220 Camcorder I got for the princely sum of $5. I had to wait about six months before I got hold of a nearly dead Sanyo VCR 4400 to play back the one tape my mother got for me to test the camera with.

I've had several Betas over the years, some lasting longer than others. I've stuck with Beta not so much for the picture but because of it's fantastic response time to control input. I have a Sony SLV-N50 HiFi VHS VCR and an SL-HF 300 and it's just no comparison - the SL-HF 300's betascan and beta skipscan can run circles around the glacial VHS machine even though it is lacking in frame advance ability. When the SLV-N50 is compared to my SL-2000 a non HiFi and non skipscan unit but with jog/shuttle feature then known as "Videola" or "Swing Search" - well there still no comparison. Beta's U-load system was the right way to do thing when you wanted to move the tape back and forth quickly or accurately. VHS's M-load simply takes forever to switch between modes. Whereas a Beta-Skipscan call take 1/2 a second to commence you'd be waiting at least three or four seconds to get a similar request from the SLV-N50. And since only recently VHS machine wound the tape back into the shell when rewinding or fast forwarding the skipscan feature simply wasn't available. Because Sony Betas kept the tape threaded you were always able to keep your place on the tape even when you turned off the machine - a great feature for those of us who keep a blank tape ready to go when we watched TV in case something we want to tape comes on. You don't waste precious seconds looking for the next starting place. Beta's quick response time is great for editing out commercial breaks and for when you gaffe and resuming a recording and need to quickly go back before the real starting point comes on.

I'd bought that SLV-N50 over year ago along with a 10 pack of VHS tapes. I still have one VHS tape left in it's shrink wrap. In that same year I must've gone through at least thirty or forty L-750 Beta tapes in that same period. And I have about 150 blanks to spare...

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Submitted Mon, 23 Jul 2001 03:07:32 GMT