Modern Relics: The brief history of Betamax

How Betamax lost the video format war

The relentless march of technological development means once cutting edge inventions are continually being relegated to the scrapheap, or at least the musty bottom drawer. From what might have been to what never stood a chance, our Modern Relics video series takes a look back at technology that has fallen by the wayside, found itself on the wrong side of a format war, or was simply superseded by new innovation.

In this episode we look back at Betamax, a loser in the VCR format war of the early 1980s. Despite the technical superiority of Betamax, it just didn't catch on with needs of the general public.

Anyone out there remember siding with Betamax in the VCR wars? How long did you hold out before switching to VHS? We'd love to hear your stories in the comments below.

Be sure to check out previous episodes of Modern Relics here.

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