It's official. Sony is finally killing off the virtually obsolete Betamax analog video cassettes.
Introduced in 1975 by Sony in Japan, the first-ever Betamax to make its way to the U.S. market was the LV-1901, which came with a 19-inch color monitor in tow. However, with the arrival of the VHS format, Betamax was slowly pushed into the backburner.
Decades later, Sony has decided to kill off Betamax completely. Come March 2016, Sony will pull the plug on Betamax video cassettes, as well as the microMV camcorder cassettes.
The Japanese company spilled the beans on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in a news release.
"Sony in March 2016 will end the shipment of beta video cassette and micro cassette MV. Beta video cassette is a recording medium of magnetic tape recording method "Betamax format," which was developed towards the video recording applications for the home, we have been producing since 1975," notes the company (translated) in the release.
The production of the video tape recorders for the Betamax was halted thirteen years ago. While one can find new cassettes on Amazon Japan, Sony Japan lists the beta tapes as out of production.
Since the Betamax recorders were withdrawn by Sony in 2002, the only products available to consumers were the tapes. The final Betamax products that were made were the following cassettes: 2L-750MHGB, 2L-500MHGB and EL-500B, as well as a cleaning tape i.e. L-25CLP. These will also be discontinued beginning March 2016.
The Betamax video cassettes are not the only things to be withdrawn. Sony is also bidding adieu to the minuscule MicroMV camcorder cassettes and will pull them off the market officially. The products which are calling it a day are the cleaning tape MGRCLD and the MGR60 tape.
So with the Betamax video cassettes becoming discontinued officially, we can finally say goodbye to rewinders - remember putting back reels inside the cassette with a pencil and twisting away till it went back in? RIP rewinders. RIP Betamax.