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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 17:58 
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I wasn’t a huge consumer of AV stuff in the 90s but I read all the magazines and I was working at a rental place and reading a lot of catalogs and magazines and my personal recollection is that I never saw SQUAT for Beta releases after even 1990. I’d say 86 or 87 was the real “end” in retail. By the time the 90s came around all the Beta jokes had been made and stuff was over. I never saw a trace of it. I knew some hardcore anime fans with Beta VCRs but by the time serious nation-wide fan subbing took off Super VHS was a thing so screw Beta. Whoever was buying The Fugative in 1994 was a serious fan getting his stuff direct.

However, I’ve been collecting stuff for way too long to make too many definitive declarative statements about anything. :) If they really were manufacturing as few as 20 at a time it’s safe to say that unless you find an list from Sony you can’t even begin to guess. They could be making them all for a hotel PPV service or an airline or some weird luxury prison in Saudi Arabia. Municipalities hang on to gear for ages sometimes so it could be something make for a DMV waiting room or a workplace sexual harassment training tape.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 22:04 
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signofzeta wrote:
I wasn’t a huge consumer of AV stuff in the 90s but I read all the magazines and I was working at a rental place and reading a lot of catalogs and magazines and my personal recollection is that I never saw SQUAT for Beta releases after even 1990. I’d say 86 or 87 was the real “end” in retail. By the time the 90s came around all the Beta jokes had been made and stuff was over. I never saw a trace of it. I knew some hardcore anime fans with Beta VCRs but by the time serious nation-wide fan subbing took off Super VHS was a thing so screw Beta. Whoever was buying The Fugative in 1994 was a serious fan getting his stuff direct.

However, I’ve been collecting stuff for way too long to make too many definitive declarative statements about anything. :) If they really were manufacturing as few as 20 at a time it’s safe to say that unless you find an list from Sony you can’t even begin to guess. They could be making them all for a hotel PPV service or an airline or some weird luxury prison in Saudi Arabia. Municipalities hang on to gear for ages sometimes so it could be something make for a DMV waiting room or a workplace sexual harassment training tape.

Same here. After the first video store I ever went to, Video Image in Burlington, NJ, took down their Betamax section in 86 or 87 I never saw another Betamax movie in a store of any type EVER after that (and believe me, I would hit any and ALL video and music stores I ever came across back in the day--so that's saying something.) Only the odd Betamax blank tape in Sam Goody's or Tower Records. So to me, Betamax was over by that point.

Even the mighty Movies Unlimited who had a HUGE mail order catalog from the late 80s to through the 90s listed NO Betamax titles in it whatsoever.

Lo and behold, I managed to get my hands on a Betamax release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast (released on video in 1992) not too long ago, and from what I've been able to find, Aladdin is also on Beta.

So never say never.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2018, 15:38 
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I actually got my hands on a Betamax machine last year. Found it at a recycling center, in full working order, with a remote, didn't pay a penny for it.

I still find it crazy that the damn thing is as old as I am - it was released the year I was born - but it still works great, while my Samsung blu-ray player started malfunctioning not even a year after I got it!

The problem with trying to figure out what the "last" betamax title is that the format didn't disappear almost overnight like Laserdisc did, but simply faded away from public view, first from the shelves, then from the catalogs. I don't think we should count professional, non-consumer releases tho, that'd just make your head spin.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2018, 20:20 
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I wouldn’t describe the end of LD as overnight at all. It took years.

HDDVD on the other hand died in like two weeks. I bought my first and only release, the big Bladerunner box, and then publishers started pulling out and it was dead by XMas. Stuff moves fast now...
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2018, 21:14 
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I meant like the disappearance of commercial releases. Of course I can't vouch from personal experience since they were never sold here, but looking at the release dates for commercial releases, they all pretty much come to a dead stop around 1999. Industrial releases don't really count - if anybody ever made a list of all the titles never been released on DVD or blu, unless they specifically excluded them (and maybe all the music releases), probably about half the list would just be industrial releases that were never targeted to consumers anyway or technically even sold at all, like all those General Motors training videos.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2018, 19:12 
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Yes, Disney was the last company releasing beta videos until 1992.
Warner stopped in 1991.
( In America )

In Europe the last Beta Movies were released in 1988/89 in the UK.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2018, 19:52 
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nordkorea wrote:
Yes, Disney was the last company releasing beta videos until 1992.

Not quite since I've found that The Lion King was released on Beta by Disney, and that hit the home video market in 1995.

And in a previous post, there's an article that states that Mission: Impossible is the last major studio beta release.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2018, 10:24 
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The "Mission Impossible" looks like a myth nobody could verify.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2018, 16:06 
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Stranger things have happened.

Like people finding titles on Laserdisc that weren't supposed to exist.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 05 May 2018, 08:57 
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I think the last Betamax-release is Maze Runner (Part III) - Death Cure


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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 05 May 2018, 23:57 
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thommen wrote:
I think the last Betamax-release is Maze Runner (Part III) - Death Cure

What the hell :D
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 08 May 2018, 10:44 
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how do you compare BetacamSP to LD picture quality ? Have you got any movie on Betacam ?
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 09 May 2018, 15:48 
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I can only imagine that if there were movies on Betacam SP, it would be movies that were intended for TV broadcast. Thus you might run into a lot of TV edits and full screen versions. Not sure how pay channels like HBO, Showtime stored their movies for airing--probable that they used Betacam and Betacam SP tape for airing their movies.

As far as comparing to LD--I would probably favor Betacam SP over LD slightly. While LD beats Betacam SP in terms of resolution (LD = 420-425 lines vs Betacam SP = 340-360 lines in NTSC land), Betacam is a true component video format while we all know LD is composite. Can't quite find the actual specs anywhere, but I believe Betacam SP has higher chroma bandwidth than LD as well, so it has a higher depth of color.

I would love to try to make a head-to-head comparison, but it would be amazingly difficult since you'd have to get your hands on a Betacam SP deck which are not only huge (bigger than many LD players), but still pretty expensive since they're still somewhat in use by commercial and industrial enterprises. Then you'd have to somehow have to try to compare similar programming. Only Betacam SP tapes I've been able to find on Ebay are music videos--no movies. So you'd have to somehow record a Betacam SP tape from a higher video source like a DVD with an existing LD of the same programming.

Even then it probably wouldn't be a fair comparison since the DVD or higher would be a different transfer with upwards of 10 years or more of video mastering technologies separating the two transfers.

In any case here are some videos people uploaded to youtube of Betacam SP footage they shot themselves so you can somewhat see how high quality it is.



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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 09 May 2018, 19:30 
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thank you.....
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 13:10 
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I have access to several Betacam SP players on my job, as I transfer video and film to digital just about everyday. It's very difficult however to find something that would make a comparison between the two formats, but I could perhaps look into recording off a DVD to a Betacam and see if the results could be shared. Since I'm using this equipment professionally I'm not certain if it's even allowed for me to do these kinds of things with the players.

For Laserdisc, we have a CLD-D604 which I think gives a pretty average represenation of the format. Downside however is that I'd then be comparing a consumer Laserdisc player to a professional Beta deck. Not really fair but I guess it's better than nothing. Processing is done by a Teranex and later captured in ProRes HQ with the help from a Hyperdeck.

Judging from what I've seen on Betacam SP so far, I think it's not overly noisy but certainly softer than Laserdisc. I do have Video Essentials on both Laserdisc and DVD (1997) so that would make a splendid comparison.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 17:29 
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nice info folks.....i have been studying today and found this ;

http://www.digimad.es/en/video-format-c ... x-imx.html

Betacam SP chrominance is 120 lines the same as LD , so the LD higher lights would make the LD colors more vivid i guess although not as precisse (composite),
anyway what a magnificent format LD is even compared to Pro-things like the Betacam SP


Last edited by ertoili on 10 May 2018, 17:37, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 17:37 
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a "DVD to Betacam SP" vs "DVD to LD" ......i want to watch that !

a "DVD to SVHS" vs "DVD to Betacam SP" is a good match too

I read somewhere that Broadcast tv stations abandoned S-VHS in favour of Betacam SP cause the multi-generation capabilities
of the VHS were horrific :)
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 18:10 
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ertoili wrote:
a "DVD to Betacam SP" vs "DVD to LD" ......i want to watch that !

a "DVD to SVHS" vs "DVD to Betacam SP" is a good match too

I read somewhere that Broadcast tv stations abandoned S-VHS in favour of Betacam SP cause the multi-generation capabilities
of the VHS were horrific :)

Nah, I don't believe any TV station would use any iteration of VHS or S-VHS. It just didn't have the color resolution for broadcast TV. The TV station equipment standards in the 80s were Betacam, Betacam SP, M (Matsushita's competing format to Sony's Betacam), MII (developed to compete with Betacam SP) and 1" Type-C.

Maybe you were thinking of Sony's U-Matic and U-Matic SP formats? Those were used by some TV Stations despite having less than stellar resolution (but higher signal-to-noise ratio.)
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 18:42 
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I learned to edit tape at a cable access station that was totally SVHS from the cameras to broadcast. This was maybe 1991.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 15:39 
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maybe not in the most advanced countries but in Europe some local tv stations i bet yes...
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