(written from a Production point of view)
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 six films, all episodes of The Original Series and The Animated Series and the first three episodes of The Next Generation 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 releases 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 box saying beta used to cover up the VHS logo.
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|The Original Series • The Animated Series • Star Trek films • The Next Generation|
|Home video formats|
|Physical: Betamax • VHS • CED • LaserDisc • VHD • VCD • DVD • UMD • HD DVD • Blu-ray Disc|
|Digital: Amazon • Google • iTunes • UltraViolet • Xbox SmartGlass|
Dates in italics are approximate.