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TOS 01 Beta Package

A Betamax release

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, The Original Series and 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 episodes 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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Release chronology

Dates in italics are approximate.

Date Product released
October Star Trek: The Motion Picture
November Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
March Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Special Longer Version
February Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series Group 1 (episodes 2-11)
May Star Trek: The Original Series Group 2 (episodes 12-21)
November Star Trek: The Original Series Group 3 (episodes 22-31)
April Star Trek: The Original Series Group 4 (episodes 32-41)
November Star Trek: The Original Series Group 5 (episodes 42-51, 1)
30 September Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
September Star Trek: The Original Series Group 6 (episodes 52-61)
April Star Trek: The Original Series Group 7 (episodes 62-71) and Group 8 (episodes 72-79)
July Star Trek: The Animated Series Volumes 1-11 (all)
December Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
September Star Trek: The Next Generation Tapes 1-3
Unknown Star Trek - The Collector's Edition
June Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

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