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Old 29th February 2016, 09:12 PM
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Question Betamax

Hi everyone,

So, I was out at a local boot fair on the hunt for some cool VHS (it's getting harder and harder) and at the very last... 'boot' I come across an old Betamax player, complete with about 15 tapes all for 15!


Awesome! I had to get it before it made it's way to the dump. All of the tapes are in home recording cases, but strangely some of the tapes are official - there's the Blues Brothers tape and even an I Spit On Your Grave tape (without the case). So cool! Pretty sure it's a pre-cert too.

ANYWAY, the blasted thing is being a right pain to set up. I've managed to get the machine playing the tape, after it kept stopping (I don't think the spindle was working properly). But now it's just a case of connecting it to a modern TV - tough as there's no scart plug. Anyone have any ideas? I'd love to get it working! Still got a videodisc player to sort out too


Here's a thread dedicated to Betamax - a place to share your Beta memories and your own collection if you own any too....

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Old 29th February 2016, 09:57 PM
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It's not too difficult to hook it up, the easy way is to use a bog standard aerial cable from the RF out of the Beta to the aerial socket of the telly and tune the analogue tuner of the telly to the Beta's signal, you can also check if the Beta has a yellow plug marked 'av-out' that will give a composite signal ( run a normal hifi phono lead to the yellow plug on the telly and select the inputs on the telly remote til the picture appears. The same technique applies to Laserdisc too.

a tip, also make sure the Beta is nice and warm (maybe overnight) as condensation can build up inside and screw up a tape that's put in.

Welcome to the world of retro viewing Kyle
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Old 1st March 2016, 09:30 AM
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Thank you so much Plato! That's a huge help - I'll give that a go tonight and see what I can do. All the technical stuff like that is so alien to me.

Interesting point about the temperature too! When I tried it over the weekend, from the boot fair, it would play then stop after a couple of seconds - only fast forwarding. Tried it last night and it (more or less) kept on playing.

Do you have many Betamax yourself, Plato? Would love to see your collection if you have some
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Old 1st March 2016, 06:09 PM
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Only had a betamax briefly in the early 90s (a 2nd hand sanyo bought cheap) but it started making a whine and screeching noise after a few weeks so sold it on, even tho it was a cheap model the P.Q. on commercial tapes was noticeably better than a similar VHS, but the real star was the Sony C9 Betamax but at a eye watering 700 in 1983/4 it was way out of my price range, I've had VHS since 84/85.
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Old 1st March 2016, 06:27 PM
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When I was wee my dad had a pre cert Betamax copy of the exorcist. He didn't have a Betamax player though! I wish he still had the tape, cause I'd likely try to blag it.
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Old 1st March 2016, 07:36 PM
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What make is it kyle?

We had a Betamax top loader.

In those days the machine was rented from the likes of Radio Rentals,D E R,Granada or Stepek.

Betamax was slightly more expensive than VHS (When it arrived) to rent,but the general consensus was that it was the far better format.

I reckon the thing that killed Beta was tape rental itself.
The best videopits in our town charged 50p more for a Beta release than a VHS release.
VHS was rented at two quid a night whilst Betamax was 2.50 a night.
Fifty pence nowadays seem laughable,but back in the early eighties ten bob would've swayed you to ditch the Beta and begin renting a VHS machine.Especially as you weren't tied into any contract,it was a matter of signing the paperwork and they'd come and switch over the machines.
No direct debit in those days either.I remember my mother going into D E R every week and paying the telly and video rental!
Christ they could've probably bought them five times over!
(Maybe not:-as when video recorders first arrived on these shores,they were ridiculous amounts to actually purchase!)

One of the first films we rented for our machine was SCANNERS.

Later on Radio Rentals and D E R were swept up by the Thorn Emi group.
All these chains started jumping on the tape rental bandwagon with the VIDEO AT HOME label,however,the choice was very limited compared to the independents and the obscure titles we love on this forum would NEVER have seen the light of day in one of these shops!




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Rentals


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorn_EMI






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Old 1st March 2016, 08:16 PM
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Amazing post, Reaps! What was the van used for? I'm guessing you could order a home delivery of a film - just like a pizza? So cool!

The model I have is a Sony FL S1UB - this one...


I've looked on eBay and quite a few of the tapes are films I dont think are on DVD (I only had a very quick look mind you - an Evel Kneivel one!).

I feel like such a hipster - I'm not, I swear!
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Old 1st March 2016, 08:35 PM
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No no tape delivery mate-they were used for taking away tellys!
A two man lift some of them back in the day!
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Old 1st March 2016, 08:40 PM
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Tape delivery was left to the ahem,entrepeneurs,who equipped with a 'double decker' vhs machine would copy and rent pirates door to door and undercut the fleapits by a quid!
I preferred to go to the local pit-there were six or seven in our town!

The 'dragon' in question got so busy,he had to employ two other drivers!

Funnily enough,he now owns a 'car wash' on the same estate as my warehouse!
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Old 1st March 2016, 08:43 PM
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Here you go-Alan Sugar was responsible for the demise of the video rental shop!

You're fired!
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