Betamax (also called Beta, and referred to as such in the logo) is a consumer-level analog videocassette magnetic tape recording format developed by Sony, released in Japan on May 10, 1975. The cassettes contain .50 in (12.7 mm)-wide videotape in a design similar to the earlier, professional .75 in (19 mm) wide, U-matic format. The format is virtually obsolete, though an updated variant of the format, Betacam, is still used by the television industry. Like the rival videotape format VHS (introduced in Japan by JVC in October 1976 and in the U.S. by RCA in August 1977), Betamax had no guard band and used azimuth recording to reduce crosstalk.
Contributions by 188.8.131.52, Franny Wentzel, and 184.108.40.206.