5 December 2005
No 8-tracks, though
The holiday catalog from J&R has arrived, and as always, it's crammed full of neat techie stuff that I don't really need but am always tempted to buy anyway.
Page 22 is labeled "Media," and they've got CDs and two or three flavors of recordable DVDs and tape for digital camcorders and even Sony MiniDiscs.
And in the midst of all this is a number I know well: L-750.
Migod, it's actual Beta tape! From Sony, with the Betamax logo and everything, and a $3.99 price tag. Considering the last consumer Betamax for the US market came out in 1993, this would seem incredible. (Then again, I bought my last Beta machine in 1997.) But production continued in other markets, notably Japan which matters, since Japan, like the US, uses NTSC video and the very last Betamax was produced in 2002. And I must admit that the idea that you can still get tapes for what is technically a thirty-year-old system has a certain visceral appeal; it's like finding a stash of Kaiser-Frazer parts.