Recordable DVD standards

— 11:43 AM on February 26, 2001

Digital Silence wonders if this won't be VHS vs. Betamax all over again.

For those who are old enough to remember the Betamax/VHS home recording format battle, it still brings back bad memories. Sony's Betamax made it to market first in 1974. Sony asked Matsushita and JVC to license the Betamax technology from them, but was turned down (apparently unaware that JVC would soon be ready to introduce their own technology). So for awhile Sony had the VCR market to itself, selling 30,000 Betamax VCRs in the US alone. But that changed in 1976 when JVC came out with the VHS format VCR - and thus was born the "format wars". JVC had a machine that already doubled Sony's recording time of one hour, and that difference would prove crucial. By January 1977, JVC was joined by four more Japanese electronics manufacturers to build and market VHS format VCRs. It got even uglier from there with price cuts and legal manuverings galore. As we all know VHS won the battle, but a lot of people got burned in the process.
The rest of the editorial can be found here. TR's post-Comdex coverage of the +'s and -'s of the DVD recordable wars is here.
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