Sony Ends Beta Videotape Production

TOKYO—Sony is ending end the shipment of Beta video cassette and micro cassette MV tape in March, 2016. The electronics vendor made the announcement at its Japan Press Center.

Beta magnetic tape is at the heart of the Betamax format, which Sony has produced since 1975. Betamax was pitched against VHS in the “video format war” to be the tape type adopted for home recording. VHS ultimately prevailed, but Sony continued producing Betamax recorders and cassettes.

Sony ended Betamax recorder production in 2002. It ended production of micro MV recorders in 2005.

“As a result, the recording media of the Betamax format… and shipping of the recording medium of the micro MV format,” will end, Sony said. This includes EL-500B, 2L, 500MHGB, 2L-750MHGB and L-25CLP, the cleaning tape for Beta; micro MV cassettes MGR60 and MGRCLD, the micro MV cleaning tape.