'Where dead betas go and some are reborn!'

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What machine do you need? (PAL system- Australia)


The type of machine you will need will largely depend on your application and the way the sound was originally recorded on to the tape.  Picture quality is virtually identical between machines except for those using 'superbeta' modes.

There are compatibility issues and loss of quality if you play back tapes with stereo sound on a mono only capable BETA machine. (refer to Beta Audio Recording Systems).


The following information is offered as a guide. 


Home movies:-  These are recorded, generally as mono sound except in the case of linear stereo from an SL C9 used with a SONY series 3000 camera.


  · A late model mono sound machine such as the SONY SL C35 or SL F30 with simple features is recommended from both a cost and reliability perspective.  (less drive belt and head wear problems)  To obtain two sound channels for a stereo recording device, a special lead must be used to connect the single audio output to both input connectors.  

Pre-recorded movies:-  These can be mono, linear stereo or HiFi stereo sound recordings.  The HiFi recordings also have a mono sound track as well but the quality is not as good, so you need to decide if that is important.


  · For mono sound track recording use a machine as suggested above.  
  · For linear stereo, use a machine such as the SONY SLC9 or SLC40.  
  · For HiFi stereo, use a machine such as the SONY SLHF100, SLHF 150 or SLHF950.  
  Note: The SLO1700 and SLHF100P printers are the only machines capable of recording and playback of both linear stereo and HiFi sound. The SLO1700 is a very solid top-loading machine built for industrial use. It combines the mechanical direct motor drive, linear stereo audio and beta noise reduction features of the legendary Sony SLC9 with the added stereo HiFi and video heads of the SLHF100 to give HiFi stereo audio performance on the same tape. It also features quality VU meters and an hours meter to monitor head wear in hours, plus multiple level adjustments and monitoring points for signals to get levels just right.  

The models of restored beta machines available and their main features are listed in tables, sorted according to manufacturer name as follows.






Also there is:- 

NEC  (derived from Sony parts and not very common)

GENERAL  (basically a Toshiba V33 copy)

  Repair costs vary on the basis of parts availability, time taken to repair and the general condition of the machine including wear, mechanical damage, corrosion, etc.  In many cases, video heads are no longer available for Beta machines, so their condition will determine if the machine is worth repairing.  I have a video head tester to determine their condition.   Second-hand heads are only used for repairs as a last resort.  All repairs are guaranteed for three months.