Beta vs. VHS


Compliments of How Stuff Works.

The availability of a wide variety of software is the reason the Windows Computer Platform won its huge market share over Apple, even though the Apple Platform was better and easier to use. It's also why the VHS Recording Format beat the Beta Recording Format, even though the Beta picture quality was far better in detail than the VHS.

And it's the same lack of attention to marketing realities that is going to cause 24/7 cable news programming and the World Wide Web to replace the big-three networks along with newspapers as traditional sources of news. This just goes to prove again, "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

(For an excellent site on journalistic standards, please visit Rhetorica.)

The Apple vs Windows Computer Platform War:

To help you understand what happened in the Beta vs. VHS Format War, it makes sense to first discuss what happened in the more recent Apple vs. Windows Platform War that younger readers will probably be more familiar with.

While the Windows Platform in many discount stores had shelf after shelf filled with a wide variety of software programs and games available for sale, the Apple Platform did not. An Apple user would be lucky to find a small area in the store dedicated to their software needs that would work with their platform, sometimes product limited to only a few shelves that were difficult to locate while shopping. Windows, on the other hand, had a huge variety of word processing programs, spreadsheets, business programs, utilities, and games, games, and more games, not to mention the free shareware that was rapidly becoming more available for downloading over the Internet.

While Apple literally owned over 95% of the professional graphics arts business when Windows 3.1 entered the market, the other applications were small, Apple relying on its cult-like following to promote its brand name. But in business, this is not the kind of formula that creates the real-life survival numbers that are needed to move a ton of product. It's this kind of movement that is responsible for reducing the price of the next generation of product. It's the fuel that shifts a platform engine into high gear to literally fly to the head of the pack.

Because of Apple's continued loyalty to its users that represented only about a 5% market share, Apple was not able to move near enough machines out into the field. Relying on cult-like users to move a format into mainstream is like relying on relatives to get a job interview.

The lack of machines in the field unfortunately creating a lack of users. With fewer users to convince software and hardware providers to invest their money into new programs and add-on products to support more applications for the Apple Platform, only a few revised and new innovative products made their way onto store shelves the following year. Without these innovative and new software products to encourage users to buy Apple, Apple had no hope of catching up to Windows.

As Apple tried to develop software partners to work with, the Windows Platform went after relationships with manufacturers to produce more Windows-based machines with brand names that included IBM, HP, Compaq, and eMachines to name a few. These companies displayed their logos on machine covers along with the Windows insignia that was stuck to monitor screens, easily viewed by the customer on the product shelves of new discount stores across America. In the end, with so many brands trying to move their Windows-based machines out to a waiting public, the sucking sound created a price war among Windows Computers and add-on accessories that were filling the growing number of discount computer stores that were popping up all across the country.

So instead of Apple vs. Windows in the discount stores, the price war was between Windows and Windows.

This decision by Microsoft to move tons of Windows-based computers through the pipeline allowed tons of new users to be created. Related software and accessory after-market manufacturers were then able to sell skid loads of goods to them, in turn realizing generous profits that in part would be available to reinvest in their next generation of upgraded products.

Now that you can easily understand what happened in the computer format war, you are ready to appreciated a similar event that occurred about a decade earlier called the Beta and VHS Format War. But when you discover the background of this war, you will surely ask yourself, "Why didn't Apple learn a valuable lesson from this historic marketing battle, which had occurred in the late 70's, foreshadowing its coming platform war?"

That's a very good question, one that Apple should write a book about (or may have already). They might consider titling it, "Too many Apples under the tree and not enough in the garden."


Early bulky mid 1970's Beta Machine w/optional timer and mechanical tuner. Compliments eBay.

The Beta vs. VHS Format War:

The Beta recorded excellent picture quality that was far better than VHS (Video Home System.) It used a smaller-sized cassette case, important when mailing copies of tapes of video home movies to friends and relatives. And at three-copy generations down, you could still recognize your friend's smiling face when played back on the Beta machine. On the VHS machine at three-copy generations down, you were lucky to recognized your friend.

VHS, on the other hand, was the first to introduce a national marketing promotion that displayed a slim, portable-looking VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) System that included a side-by-side tuner and recorder, a built-in clock (up to then optional, if you can believe it), three-hour recording capability (Beta had only two), and three-free recording tapes when the unit was purchased during the promo (tape wasn't cheap.)

This new slim-looking VHS VCR format from Japan was sold in America by a solid, consumer-recognized American brand name, the Radio Corporation of America, RCA. At that time, RCA was still an American-owned company for our younger readers. It just goes to prove you'll always find strange bedfellows when it comes to making money.

Matsushita Electric Company of Japan manufactured the product that RCA was selling against the Beta VCR manufactured by another Japanese company, Sony Electronics Company of Japan, which they marketed through another tried and true American television manufacturer, Zenith Electronics Company.

And to prove that Matsushita understood the importance of getting products into the field, as Windows would accomplish in the coming platform war, during the first full year in which RCA was selling the Matsushita Format, the Matsushita brand name in America, Panasonic, would not be selling the same unit against RCA.

And to make matters worse, Sony was the first to have developed the VHS M-Wrap, giving it up in favor of the Beta wrap, which allowed a higher-writing speed that translated on playback into a more detailed television picture. Sony was betting that this would be the deciding factor for people when deciding to buy a VCR.

Matsushita, on the other hand, had picked up the technology abandoned by Sony and promoted it through another company it owned a majority of shares in, JVC, JVC having purchased the tossed patient from Sony.


(I think somewhere in that time period Ampex also came into the picture using a tape load that covered 1/2 of the drum in its broadcast machines in the early 1970's, working with Toshiba. But I can't prove it, rumors heard back in the 1970's that salespeople loved to tell. But if you want to read another similar story on the history of the M-Wrap, please check at the end of this chapter.* And if you wish to visit this same site for detailed technical explanations on how the tape format works, be my guest.)

With Sony now believing it had discovered a better tape wrap technology with a faster writing speed for an outstanding playback picture, it went to the bank with its marketing directive that the number one feature the consumer would want when buying a VCR format was the picture quality on the screen. That was because at that time there were basically no rental movies, VCR's used to create and playback home movies or special network shows off of television where picture quality was very important. However, recording family picnics was not the number one application for the male buyer of the American family. It was the NFL football game, and it would turn the tables on Sony.

As mentioned, Panasonic's sales force had to bite its lip and wait one year before it could sell the new attractive slim-design VCR in the American marketplace, giving RCA twelve months to build marketshare with Matsushita-built machines. Sony was a Japanese manufacturer. Panasonic was a Japanese manufacturer. RCA was an American TV manufacturer. Zenith was an American TV manufacturer. The players for the VCR format war were in place.

In today's world and to the X'er Generation, this all has no meaning, where products are made and shipped from a blur to them. But back in 1978, it did when America was a manufacturing nation, providing an interesting mix of foreign and American companies. Within a year a winner would be silently declared in the VCR format war. What was amazing is that the loser had no idea the war was over before it had begun.

Because of the innovative marketing by Matsushita and RCA, the following year, 1979, Beta and VHS literally flipped their market shares from the previous years, suddenly VHS had 90% of the market to Beta's 10%. This caused around nine more VHS machines to be available for every one Beta that went into consumer homes. And those consumers were now ready to playback rented movies from the new boy on the block, the local video store. In the end, these numbers would dictate how the video store owner would run his business.

Here is how it worked.

Mainstream movies duplicated by Hollywood studios to video tape were bought in quantity, by title, through small, independent, entrepreneur video store owners across America who were willing to gamble their own bucks. These were the pioneers of the videotape movie rental industry. These small owners could not "floor plan"** the huge quantity of rental tapes that were needed to attract customers, instead needing to pay cash upfront. And on top of that, they had to carry two tape formats on each popular title, one for Beta and one for VHS, the cash outlay being a huge gamble. The owner would make his money back only on what he called "turns," the number of times a single titled was rented over its useful life.

As each store owner ran their individual rental store business, they quickly discovered that the VHS movies rented four, five, or six times faster than the Beta titles . . . the VHS movies providing the turns and the profits, while Beta titles stayed on the shelf with very few turns.

Seeing the "green" coming across their counters for rental of VHS tapes, it didn't take long for store owners to realize that stocking Beta directly affected their profit margins, quickly and almost overnight, dropping the entire Beta movie format altogether and selling the cassette titles to get them out of the store, freeing up more shelf space for new incoming VHS movie titles.

Beta owners found themselves walking into video stores across the country looking for new Beta movie releases, discovering their format was no longer on the shelf. In fact, in many cases they found themselves with no movie titles at all. They instead were suddenly forced to drive twenty to thirty minutes from their home just to rent a movie that would fit into the slot in front of their Zenith, Sanyo, and Sony Beta machines, not to mention having to drive the movie back for return.

A few video-store owners did carry only Beta tapes, realizing that Beta owners were trapped and had no other place to go, their turning a negative into a positive to create a profit center for themselves. However, as fewer Beta machines sold into the early 1980's, these stores had a clock ticking over their heads. Eventually, they would have to bow down to the winner of the VCR format war, VHS.

About the same time that video rental houses figured out what was going on in the market, neighbors, who owned the different formats, soon discovered their rented tapes could not be traded, either. It was amazingly simple. The VHS movie tapes would not fit into the Beta's slot on the front of the machine, and the same vice versa for Beta to VHS. And there was no adapter available to buy to play the Beta tape in the larger slots of the VHS machines. While the two technologies used a 1/2-inch videotape width, the machines wrapped the tape differently around the drum head located inside the machine.

And on top of that, while newer Beta machines were being manufacturer for the longer desired recording speeds, called Beta II and Beta III, these new speeds were not compatible with the older Beta I speed. Suddenly, if you can believe this, Beta's most loyal customers couldn't playback their original recorded tapes on the newer Beta machines when their older machines broke down. I think that's when the word "bummer" came into vogue along with some other words to describe the original Beta owner's frustration of being tossed to the wolves.

While I was on the road, some dealers told me that new Beta owners actually returned their new VCR to the dealer the next day. Why? Because the machine's slot was the wrong size for their neighbor's rented movie cassette tape. It was called the "block effect" . . . homeowners buying VHS machines so they could trade rental movies with their neighbor who owned the same format and most importantly, the same tape-slot opening.

Sony realized too late what RCA's marketing had done to capture the amazing marketshare in such a short period of time using very effective and unique promotion and product; a side-by-side VCR and electronic tuner with remote and three-hour recording time that sold with three-free LP (long play) tapes to get the consumer immediately started with their recording . . . three-hours being the magic number to record an entire football game. While Sony also developed a small three-hour recording machine a year later, as mentioned above, which was called the Video Director through their American distributor, Zenith, the damage had already been done.

Sony even tried a mail-in promo in the very early 80's to move movies for its dying Beta format, as if they were a tiny Netflix. The DVD coming technology would be cheaper to mail, unaffected by magnetic fields, and less bulky to handle. Also, the sophisticated Java software, JaveScript language, and server technology was not yet available to manage databases that would watch over the inventory and mailings to potentially millions of customers. Rental movies being mailed were still twenty years away in spite of Sony's efforts.

While the Beta picture was great for recording family videos and early on could provide slow-motion, reverse slow-motion with steady picture, and Hi-Fi stereo sound that VHS could not feature in its early products, Matsushita and its manufacture licensees quickly caught up and within a year their new machines not only had these same advanced and desired features, but some even performed better than on the Beta.

Sony had truly lost the war before the battle had even begun.

But about a decade later and true to form, Sony finally began to manufacture VHS machines. Their magazine ad was a true Sony classic, as were most of Sony's ads. The right-hand page had large copy that read white on black, one word dropping down below the other until the page had been filled:

"Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never . . ." it had read.

Turning the page, you quickly discovered where the ad copy was going, seeing pictures of VHS machines, the wonderful ad copy tagging the marketing campaign's mission,

" . . . Never Been Better. VHS from Sony."


Format War Over! Politics sadly win over the marketplace.

Want the Big Picture? As a John Q Public consumer, you may not like this personal commentary

Blu-Ray won the format war during a critical announcement during the 2008 Winter CES Show in Las Vegas in early January 2008. But not because of the buying habits of consumers like you and I. It was because of politics from Hollywood's elite. Of course, Sony was already in the movie business and Toshiba was not, famous instead for its high technology computer chips and integrated circuit design.

But let's remember something very important in the society we live in called America, a place where people want to immigrate to and not emigrate from. The earlier Beta vs. VHS format war was won by Joe Q. Public, not Hollywood.

In the case of VHS, the turning point in that war was the introduction, (circa 1977 by Matsushita via marketing through its competitor RCA), of a small and sleek two-piece VCR / TV Tuner unit that would easily fit onto a shelf under or around the home television set. The unit came with a LED built-in clock and capable of three hours of recording time via a promotion that provided three free blank tapes. The three-hour recording time just happened to be the length, are you ready . . . of a televised American Football game.

It was only after that one-year promotion period that Matsushita's own imprint, Panasonic, would be allowed to market the machine in the United States.

Sony's Beta tape machine was banking on the picture quality of the record and playback images of its Beta wrap technology. It's recording and playback machine, on the other hand, was bulky and heavy with an optional add-on clock that would need to be placed near the unit for recording time set-ups.

And the machine only recorded one and two hours of video. But because of its excellent video quality, Beta was perfect for archiving one or two hour television shows and dubbing those video images from home movies . . . quality so good even two and three generations down would still yield little Jimmy's face in the video for relatives to see after their tapes had been mailed out. However, with Matsushita's machine three generations down and Jimmy had become a faceless alien from the planet Mars.

In the end VHS won because it was a male thing, sports fans being able to record all those games from the available national, network television on-air channels. Cable was still in its infantcy and satellite was still under the control of government for security concerns, a time when this nation understood that nothing remained around forever that wasn't first protected.

Moving now to the format war of 2008.

Disney had probably decided it wanted its animated characters and movie images on Sony's Blu-Ray format because it packed more Gigs per layer, potentially allowing more features that Disney may have wanted for its hi-def movies. But because of that, the Blu-Ray format loaded much slower, "up to a minute and a half for the basic machine," the salesmen had said before one could get the DVD rolling. I assume because of all the available features, the Blu-Ray was not the most friendly either for creation of original DVDs to be distributed out into the marketplace. Interesting enough, it was the porn industry that said HD-DVD was much more friendly to creating DVDs in hi-def than Blu-Ray and therefore loved the format.

But then all the other mainstream, movie production houses slowly joined the Blu-Ray bandwagon, even though there were already over one-million HD-DVD machines sold in to the marketplace. That political decision shut down the HD-DVD format within days of a January 2008 announcement that the last production house was going to move into the Blu-Ray camp.

The result was the American public would now be FORCED to buy a more expensive machine filled up with so much information you would have to pay around $600 to buy one that would load more quickly than its $400 model. And on top of that, it looked like the Blu-Ray was designed for mainly displaying hi-def movies, it not focusing on the normal 400+ resolution DVDs that consumers already owned in the tens-of-millions.

That had shocked me. The Blu-Ray picture, when playing back on a normal DVD in my home, had dirty colors with an uncomfortable visual noise in the picture I couldn't get rid of. The basic machine even had three color memory setting along with a horrible "Home Theatre" option and normal one called "bright" version.

Yet playing with the color, tint, brightness, and contrast controls in the memory options for the playback of a normal DVD still didn't correct the annoying picture on my 57" Sony HDTV television set. In fact, the setting varied greatly when watching different DVD movies, my having to abandoned the settings for an overall disappointing experience having owned a basic Blu-Ray machine purchased for $399.

I took the Blu-Ray back to the discount house only after having it around the house for a week, telling the tech the problem. The response was the machine was really made for watching hi-def DVD's. In other words, what Blu-Ray never had said was that you might need to keep your normal playback DVD machine in the house, having to now also make room for a Blu-Ray into your stack of existing video source equipment.

But the Blu-Ray had not been marketed that way. The HD-DVD, on the other hand, played back a normal DVD with such an amazing picture on my 57" HDTV it almost looked Hi-Def. So with the market collapsing around the HD-DVD, I was now able to purchase a refurbished A2 machine (no longer sold) for $69 on eBay from a Toshiba authorized dealer (Feb 2008.) Brand new A3 machines were still selling for a blow-out price of around $89, but without the added S-VHS output.

When I say an amazing picture on the HD-DVD machine, I am not talking about when using the machine's HDMI output! I are talking about when using the machine's component video output jacks, since my audio input with the HDMI cable was already being used with a HDTV cable box.

But one might say I still wouldn't be able to watch hi-def movies. Well, at $24 - $30 each for Blu-Ray I really didn't care. Being able to watch four normal DVDs from a Blockbuster in-store sale of 4-for-20 bucks with stunning picture playback on my Toshiba HD-DVD was the better deal for me, so I'm not going to worry about it.

Of course, if you are one of the unlucky ones to have created spoiled brats in your house that now demand mums and dads go out and buy those expensive Blu-DVDs while they are having to pay $4.00 a gallon for gasoline to get to work to support those little IRS deductions, well I just don't feel sorry for you. It you can buy your little darlings the hi-def $30 Disney movie, then you can afford the gasoline, too, dude.

Oh, one other thing. The HD-DVD machine is not as high as the Blu-Ray so it stacks a little tighter in your rack. Just thought I'd mention it.

How the format war looked in 2007

HD DVD (Click on title for more information.)

About HD DVD

BLU-RAY (Click on title for more information.)

About Blu-Ray

Technology Partners:

Toshiba, Thompson/RCA, NEC, Microsfot, Intel, Hewlett Packard, LG, Sanyo

Technology Partners:

Sony, Philips, Samsung, Pioneer, Panasonic, LG, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Dell, Thompson, Mitsubishi, Hitachi

Movie Studios:

Universal, HBO, Warner Bros., Paramount, Weinstein Co.

Movie Studios:

Sony Pictures (and MGM), Disney, Lionsgate, FOX, Paramount, Warner Bros.

Laser Type: Blue

Laser Type: Blue

Disc Capacity:

15 GB per layer (two layers are standard)

Disc Capacity:

25 GB per layer (two layers are standard)





Original Price:

$500 + basic model down to $250 in 2007 X-Mas season.

Original Price:

$1,000 + basic model down to $500 in 2007 X-Mas season.

Chart Source: Time Magazine, April 24, 2006, Page 92

PC World's Guide to the Best Blu-ray Players for 2008

(I assume while leaving out your home collection of DVDs.)


Addendum - Beta vs. VHS

What is ironic is that for some reason there is now a run on these old Beta machines on eBay, sellers starting them out at $9.95 and getting close to a $100 on the final bid. That's interesting because it's hard to find new and fresh Beta tape. This is surely a fad that will fade for the same reason it faded thirty years ago, along with the problem of parts no longer being available or simply hard to find, these machines tagged as "vintage."

Yet Beta did fine in the broadcast market where the needs were different, its Betacam providing excellent pictures for broadcast applications. And when used with a Steadycam harness, the video cameraman was allowed to walk up steps while recording a professional broadcast image without a single jerk in the final recorded product, the final image looking like it was floating. Today Beta SP is a very popular format with broadcast production groups, a cult following similar to graphic artists loving their Apple Computers.

Ironically, the reason the Beta SP was so popular in the 1990's, and still is today, is because accessories are carried by rental houses all over the world for production houses to use while on the road. The MII broadcast camcorders accessory were not as easily available in the 1990's. Any producer will tell you, time is money . . . and they don't have time to deal with something that is not available around the corner for a PA to pick up.

Sounds like the same complaint that came from the consumer Beta VCR owner, eh? I find that twist amusing, Beta finally figuring it out and in turn extremely successful in the broadcast business. While it was the manufacturers of VHS and MII machines that have had to struggle being accepted.




* Note: Copy below on M-Wrap compliments of Tim Stoffel Web site, which is no longer on the Web. Read this site instead, Freelists, which discusses the early history of VHS and Beta.

"Helical scan cassette machines posed a major problem. The tape had to be wrapped around a cylinder, and past a number of fixed guides and heads.

Sony provided the first solution, by using a ring that pulled a loop of tape around the video heads and the rest of the guides. The system was simple and worked well. Sony also came up with another method: Two tape guides were mounted on moving tracks, and pulled the tape out of the cassette, and around the video head. They couldn't get this to work well, and abandoned the idea in 1966.

JVC quietly bought the patent to that threading system and used it for the first time in a machine called video home system, or VHS! The ring threading system was simple, and Sony owned the patent on it. The M-load system, as the moving guides system came to be known, was hard to manufacture, and required excessive tape tension. But, they didn't have to buy rights to use it from Sony; JVC already owned the rights. Interestingly enough, many professional machines built by Sony today use the M-load system, while the corresponding machines built by JVC and Panasonic use the ring load system!"

Note: While one contributor on the above blog writes of Sony selling the M-Wrap technology to JVC, which he says was later marketed it to RCA, that is not exactly true.

JVC was owned by Matsushita (Panasonic USA registered in the United States as MECA.) It was Matsushita, not JVC, that had allowed Panasonic to market the technology to RCA with the agreement Panasonic would not introduce their own version of the product for one year. RCA marketed the slick-looking two piece set (VCR with matching-sized tuner with built-in clock) with three free tapes that would record for three hours . . . the length of an NFL football game!

The Beta machine at the time was heavy and ugly, the clock actually a separate piece. It recorded for only two hours. While the Beta format had the better picture because of the higher writing speed of the Beta Wrap and why their picture was totally superior to VHS, the buying consumer (guys) didn't give a damn since the three-hour recording was the end goal.

Like I have said in this chapter, that move by Panasonic turned the market share 180 degrees. VHS tapes only after one year owned 90% of the consumer hardware business, handling over the movie rental business across the United States to the VHS format. How do I know? I was there in one of Panasonic's divisional offices when the news hit in 1976, Panasonic sales people furious they couldn't sell the new VHS machines.

But of course, Matsushita fully understood what it was doing, their marketing plan simply genius . . . going to their main television competitor and allowing it to pave the road to success for the VHS format to win the format war. Matsushita and its secondary company, JVC, were manufacturing giants in Japan just waiting in the wings to market their VHS machines to America. I remember the resulting political cartoon showing Japan bombing America with boxes of VHS machines..

Later a similar marketing plan was followed by Microsoft in the computer software format war, as it marketed Windows to virtually all the computer hardware manufacturers, which in turn demanded tons of third-party software using the Microsoft codes. Apple had gone the way of Beta. I heard that during the top sales days of VHS machines, Matsushita's sales of VHS machines in the world could be calculated in the billions of dollars.

Now it is happening all over again with DVD-HD vs. Sony's Blu-Ray. "Hey, Toshiba, want to win the war? Mark down your machines to $150 or less and allow the users three-free POPULAR tape titles in the DVD-HD format, not like the current campaign promoting old loser titles. History repeats itself for those who understand that volume is the name of the game.


Note 2:** Floor planning is used by businesses to purchase (lease) products for their sales floor without having to invest any money until the products had been sold within a given time period. Think of it like a loan that has a date when the payment for the purchase is due, the dealer betting the products would be sold off the store's floor before he had to pull money of our his own pocket to pay the leasing company. Instead, the profits from the sale of the products paid off the loan before it was due.

This allowed the creditworthy dealer to make a profit without ever having to make a major investment into his inventory. Of course, if the buying climate changed or interest rates shot up after an agreement had been signed, suddenly the dealer could not move the product and could face bankruptcy, as actually happened in the electronics world at the end of the 80's and into the early 90's.

Also, manufacturers would offer special discounts to large dealers who bought a huge quantity of products for their sales floor or warehouse operation. If this dealer reduced their next buy of inventory below this discount level because of slowed marketplace conditions, the product suddenly became more expensive at the dealer's wholesale level. Sometimes that advertised dealer discount price was the dealer's only profit margin over the competition. I watched large chains become caught in this Web overnight, some large ones even going under, shocking manufacturers. Electronic manufactures had to suddenly find new markets to park their inventory, as factories would rarely slow down their production of churning out new products.

As one manager had told me when I had worked in the midwest, "As a manufacturer, you have two options concerning the new product that is sitting in your warehouse. You're either selling it or you're buying it."

And that is the bottom line of all business.



Note: *** VTR (Video Tape Recorder) is the profession term for broadcast tape recorders. VTR's represent many formats that include VHS 1/2-inch industrial two-head machines, 3/4-inch U-Matic industrial/professional machines, BetaMax machines, and MII broadcast machines.

Any time a professional/industrial/broadcast VTR is mated with a broadcast or industrial/professional camera where they fit together and are powered by a onboard battery, the configuration is called a Camcorder.

When the Camcorder is mated to a harnessed balancing system (the unit weighing 60 lb. or more) it's called a Steadycam. The Steadycam is used when the cameraman has to change levels like running from a sidewalk onto a street, up a staircase or stairway, or to walk around an object 360 degrees without a single jerk. These jerks can ruin the emotion of a scene, the Steadycam a valuable asset to writers, directors, and producers to make their ideas into a reality.

If you're a marketing or sales director and need a corporate film produced, contact the Baltimore Film Factory first.  Rob has shot all over the world.

Baltimore Film Factory

One film maker I met during my production days is Rob Tregenza, who owns the Baltimore Film Factory with his wife. He is the only cinematographer I have ever met that was a human Steadycam, using his knees as if springs and shooting scenes that would go for over five minutes without an edit. I believe the term for this is called "mes-en-scene."

He produces corporate videos and also markets foreign films by independent artists if you are in the independent movie-house business. He also provides VHS copies for viewing these films. Please contact Rob at the above link for more information, winner of many fine awards.

Click here to read Roger Ebert's comment on one of Rob's independent films.


Go to Chapter 7, "HDTV Programming"


Copyright 2007-2008









"Freedom is Knowledge"