Beta VCRs

Way back in 1975, Sony debuted the first Beta VCR. Since then, the videotape war was lost to digital media. If you still have old Beta tapes rattling around, all is not lost. You can still find Beta VCRs and tapes available. The very last Beta VCRs were produced in 2002. It is still possible to find VCRs from many different brands.

Beta Tapes

In 2015, Sony, the original maker of Beta VCRs and tapes, announced it was discontinuing manufacture of its vintage blank media, such as Beta tapes. If you are looking for blank cassettes, you can find old "new" stock Sony tapes or new tapes made from some third-party manufacturers. On PAL systems, Beta tapes go up to 216 minutes, so consider the time constraints when purchasing new stock.

Conversion to Digital

Like all media, video cassette tapes deteriorate with age. If you have precious memories stored on Beta tapes, you may consider purchasing a VCR machine that can be used to convert your old tapes to DVD. It is possible to find machines that have an onboard VCR and DVD recorder in one, or you can purchase a standalone VCR that will connect to a DVD recorder.

VCRs for Parts

Beta VCRs in good condition can be expensive. Since the machines are no longer made, they must be purchased pre-owned. If you have a Beta VCR that is not in working order, you may consider purchasing another VCR for parts. These VCRs are less expensive than Beta VCRs that are in good working condition.

Beta vs Betacam

When purchasing new Beta VCRs or tapes, make sure that you are buying Betamax, not Betacam. Betacam was created as a professional videotape product. Although both Beta and Betacam tapes look similar, the recordings are not interchangeable.