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In a latest development, Sony has announced that it will stop selling Betamax video cassettes in March 2016.
The Japanese electronics giant revealed that it will also stop shipping the Micro MV cassette, used in video cameras. As we all know, it has not produced a compatible camera for the Micro MV since 2005.
The company launched the format in 1975, a year before JVC’s rival the VHS cassette, which eventually became the market leader after a long battle between the two brands and their fans.
Though many felt Betamax was the superior format, some cite the longer recording length of VHS tapes and the cheaper manufacturing costs for VHS machines among factors as to why VHS eventually won out. Industry experts, however, say, they were also other issues.
The reason VHS won out in the UK was that most people chose to rent their video machines in the early days and most of the rental chains were owned by Thorn EMI which made VHS machines under various names.
Betamax was also at the center of a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court in 1984, which established that recording video at home was legal, not a violation of copyrights, as long as it was for personal use.
The company has said, it would no longer produce its cassettes in Japan, the only remaining country where they are available. Sony said it has sold more than 18 million units of Betamax devices worldwide since their debut.
When Sony stopped making Betamax players, it had only sold 3,000 that year (and only in Japan), according to media reports.