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Many industry pundits had their own reasons: It was the short playing time of Beta that really did them in, was the most oft-cited opinion. The issues of the remote pause control and built-in timer were obvious to anyone who studied the products in any detail.
The final chapter on Beta has yet to be written; for now, consider this merely to be the introduction. In heavily accented English, he explained, patiently, as if to a schoolchild: We think adding remote pause to our video recorder would be a mistake. The year was 1978, and I was talking to a Sony vice-president at my very first Consumer Electronics Show about what I perceived was a short-sighted attitude in their product-planning department. Anyone in the audio industry was also quick to see the superiority of the front-loading cassette hatch, which made top-loading audio decks obsolete almost overnight.RCAs theory was that a four-hour playing time would be significant, since this was the average time of a broadcast football game.