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BetaMax -- "The better format". You can still hear this from people who used to have BetaMax videos in 1980s and who are now forced to move to VHS compatible VCRs or to digital VCRs because lack of blank tapes, etc...
BetaMax was developed in 1970's by Sony to offer consumers the same possibility for video recording as they did have for audio recording.
BetaMax was the first one to offer certain functions that we nowadays take as granted -- they provided first HiFi videos, first "tape remaining" counters, peek search, Automatic Program Search (in VHS systems nowadays called as "indexing"), etc...
BetaMax also had better resolution than rival formats, because it used more tape for each second than other formats. This was also the flaw that eventually gave VHS the winning edge -- American consumers didn't give a shit about quality of their recordings, but instead they wanted to fit as much video as possible into one tape. In Europe currently all the VHS systems have SP/LP options that allows you to choose double recording time (and obvisouly, reduced quality) -- in U.S. all the VCRs have also XP or EP option that allows users to fit triple the recording time to one tape (means: already crappy VHS quality/resolution is divided by three).
BetaMax and its "big brother", BetaCam, are nowadays de facto in professional TV companies, producing companies and other video editing companies, although digital video is finally killing this format (just like it is killing all the other analogue formats), but that will take many, many years.
For more information about BetaMax, please check out this site: