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VX Video
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In the early 1970s all the major consumer electronics companies were racing to develop a consumer VCR that would record a full length movie without the need to change tapes.

In May 1975 Sony launched Betamax in Japan and the USA, but it was only a one hour system. Sony asked Matsushita/Panasonic, largest CE company of them all, to pool resources. Sony also asked Matsushita's subsidiary, JVC. Both said no because both had their own secret research projects.

Matsushita's system was called VX. It squeezed 100 minutes from a cassette by compromsing picture quality. Apparently unaware that its product was named after a nerve gas, Matsushita built a factory to make VX machines and started selling them in Japan and the USA in June 1976.

JVC was working on a Video Home System which used slant azimuth to get two hours without loss of picture quality. Two magnetic heads are oppositely angled, to record tracks on the tape which can only be read by similarly angled heads. So the tracks can be packed very tightly and even overlap.

When Panasonic's company founder, Konosuke Matsushita, visited JVCs labs in Yokohama and saw a prototype two hour VHS machine working, he pressed his cheek against the metal chassis to signify company approval.

JVC unveiled VHS in Tokyo in September 1976. Panasonic committed, scrapped VX and shut the new factory. It soon became well nigh impossible to find anyone inside Matsushita who remembered, or would admit remembering, VX. 

So far it has not been possible to find a photo of VX video. Any ideas anyone?












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