Definition of Betamax in English:

Betamax

noun

trademark in US
  • [mass noun] A format for video recorders, now largely obsolete.

    • ‘Remember Sony's Betamax had a similar head start at a time when - like TiVo - people associated the technology with the brand.’
    • ‘But while Sony's public image moves boldly to the future, its product strategy is more in line with past Sony efforts, like the Walkman and Betamax.’
    • ‘And finally, on the technology front, Sony has announced it is finally going to stop producing Betamax video recorders.’
    • ‘Many readers might remember the battle between the two video formats Betamax and VHS in the 1980s. Betamax was universally hailed as the better technology, but eventually VHS won out.’
    • ‘That, they say, contrasts the case with Sony's famous victory over the movie industry, which ensured the consumer electronics giant could not be held culpable for misuse of its Betamax video recorders.’
    • ‘How about the mass adoption of VHS over Betamax video format (Beta had superior technology) or the advent of full colour, cost effective glossy printing presses?’
    • ‘It was full of old videos - old VHS tapes and even old Betamax cassettes, mainly filled with Sci-Fi shows such as Doctor Who, Star Trek and The Prisoner.’
    • ‘In 1976, movie studios sued Sony over its Betamax videotape recorder, claiming it facilitated piracy.’
    • ‘I think we're all well aware of the Betamax / VHS war and how that played out and I understand that nobody wants another standards battle on their hands.’
    • ‘To my first ever trip to a video store, and the overwhelming choice of Betamax and VHS versions of Star Wars.’
    • ‘At the last count, Caouette had 1,349 films on VHS, Betamax and 16 mm, and 2,046 LPs and CDs from which he sourced material.’
    • ‘Some people compare MP3 versus Vorbis to VHS versus Betamax.’
    • ‘The porn industry is said to be the hidden hand behind the success of the VHS home video format over the superior Betamax - and it could do the same for Sony's PlayStation 2.’
    • ‘Now we are about to see the Betamax vs VHS argument all over again with the imminent release of blue laser formats.’
    • ‘Indeed, many of these technologies were challenged by the recording and movie industries - unsuccessfully, thanks largely to Betamax.’
    • ‘Technically inferior to Betamax, Sony simply bulldozed the format into dominating the market.’
    • ‘That remote, the video recorder and the whole Betamax domestic system is now landfill.’
    • ‘It's often said that the smut business established VHS as the de facto home video standard over the technically superior Betamax, so never underestimate the pulling power of porn.’
    • ‘Sony's Betamax video tape recorder, which famously lost the 1980s video format war but held on for decades as a niche product, will finally be laid to rest after digital formats delivered a death blow…’
    • ‘Until recently, I thought electronic books were sharing a graveyard with eight-track tapes, Betamax video recorders and record players.’

Origin

1970s: from Japanese beta all over + -max from maximum.

Pronunciation:

Betamax

/ˈbiːtəmaks/