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Betamax is a home video recorder engineered by Sony. Unlike VHS, it has no guard band[?] and record by field. Some say the name "Betamax" was derived from a Japanese phrase (beta raw + gaki write). However, the system's trademark punningly incorporated the Greek letter Beta.

Compared with VHS, the size of the cassette is smaller and is widely said to have a better picture quality than VHS. For commercial home use Betamax lost over VHS despite a huge push by SONY.

Beta based videotape, however, became the most widely used professional recording format by television stations until it was surpassed by digital media at the end of the 1990s.

Also called Beta or Betacord.

See also: video tape, video recorder, VHS

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