Today’s WTF were we thinking is is the Betamax machine, commonly known a “beta”. It was a VCR.
The machine itself wasn’t much different than the VHS machines, it was the cassette that was.
Beta came from Sony in 1975 and JVC released VHS in 1976. VHS for awhile had a longer play time giving it the advantage. Beta eventually caught up, but the damage was done. Most the market was VHS.
We had a beta machine for a few years in the late 80’s. Honestly, you could not tell the difference between that quality over a VHS. Sure it sucked that we couldn’t barrow or lend movies because nobody had a beta machine, or even knew what it was. They had one big advantage that VHS never had. We never had to wait to rent the new release movies. No waiting list for Beta !!!
Our local video store had a small but well stocked Beta section. The downside was it was off to the side and next to the magical “Adults Only” curtain. Which made things interesting. Mom was trying to keep us kids from seeing what was behind there, and the people behind the curtain were trapped not wanting to come out while a mom and her kids for looking for movies. Ah, good times down at the Music Forum !!!