Sony 1982
Betamax SL-C9

beta vcr logo


sl-c9 tuning controls
Tuning controls

Black SL-C9ES

slc9es front left
Black SL-C9ES - front left

slc9es front left
Black SL-C9ES - front right

The SL-C9 is a very special machine in the range of Sony Betamax machines. It first came on to the market in 1982 and was the 'top of the range' model for many a year afterwards.

What makes it so special? Well to put it simply it is because the C9 incorporates so many advanced features. Features that even today still put many current video recorders (non Beta included) to shame. From the technical point of view the most amazing achievement of this machine is the tape transport. This uses two separate direct drive dc motors, one for each of the supply and take up reels. The result is that the tape transport is simply beautiful. The ability to change from normal speed playback to trick speeds of one tenth, a fifth, with near frame accurate advance in both forward and reverse is incredible for a domestic VCR.

Internally the machine is densely packed with sophisticated electronics. At the centre of the control systems are no less than three micro processors.

From the consumer point of view the C9 is a stylish front loading machine which has a 9 event 14 day timer, Beta Noise Reduction (BNR), audio dubbing facility, a camera input and perfect picture in pause mode not to mention a real-time counter and APS indexing system. The APS system is a classic example of a feature which was to later find its way on to a rival system. The ES model is also equipped with a stereo / bilingual modulator and was also found in black. Tape remaining picture

Another nice feature of the C9 is the tape remaining indicator. This shows using a six segment LED display roughly how much tape is left. When the final ten minutes is reached, the remaining LED starts to flash.

The SL-C9 has a professional sibling, the SLO-420P. This is visually almost identical with the most obvious difference being the replacement of the tuner controls and board.

Features include:

SL-C9 front flap
SL-C9 front flap