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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Betamax
TOS 01 Beta

A Betmax release

Betamax, also known as simply Beta, was a home video format introduced on 10 May 1975 by Sony, three years before its main rival VHS. Star Trek releases on Beta included the first five films and The Original Series before the formats demise in the early 90s.

Beta tapes were first released in boxes that were slightly larger than the tape itself providing for a tight fit. Similar to that one had with the sleeve one gets with a blank video tape. All of the episodes, including the color version of "The Cage" were first released in this fashion. Paramount was one of the last, if not the last, studio to release video tapes in the Betamax format. Beta tapes released towards the end of the format's life were often in the boxes made for the commercially more popular VHS format. Star Trek episodes were no exception to this and Beta tapes of the episodes were released in VHS sized boxes, with a piece of cardboard inserted into the box to make for a tighter fit and a big sticker on the front of the box saying "BETA" and smaller ones on the side of the bos saying beta used to cover up the VHS logo.

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Release chronology

Date Product released
Unknown
Unknown Star Trek: The Original Series
1980
Unknown Star Trek: The Motion Picture
1981
Unknown Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Special Longer Version
1982
Unknown Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
1984
Unknown Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
1987
Unknown Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
1989
Unknown Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
1991
Unknown Star Trek - The Collector's Edition

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