Of course, the picture’s better on Betamax – so claimed home hi-fi nutters in the mid-1980s unwilling to admit the entertainment system they’d spent hundreds on was minutes away from becoming obsolete. Sony’s also-ran of the video age launched in the UK in 1978, but had been plugging away in the US since 1975. A year later JVC had joined the fray with its VHS format and while Sony was slow to bring other manufacturers on board, the newcomer quickly jumped into bed with various Japanese electronic firms. Soon VHS was everywhere. Even though Beta led the way in innovations (it’s the system that brought us fast-forward and rewind!), VHS’s ubiquity and the tapes’ greater recording capacity swayed the public. By 1988, Sony threw in the towel, and got ready to launch their own VHS recorders.
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Top of the Pops
Friday, 19.30, 00.30, BBC4
Yes, again, though while this one doesn’t match in quality last night’s episode, it’s certainly fascinating because there’s another strike on! That means again we wheel out the videos and repeats, though it’s been intriguing to see how the links have progressed, from Peter Powell out of vision in a toilet through to Simon Bates with the Rubik’s Cube and some fake applause. This time we make use of the magic of CSO to make it look a bit more like Tommy Vance is standing in a proper studio, though it’s still quite obvious, especially when we’ve seen more or less all the clips several times before. Still, a bit of a novelty, isn’t it?
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Points of View
- In 'Potty Time, Michael Bentine’s', Scott McPhee says: "The obligatory Christmas episode. Jingle Bells parody; “Oh what fun it is to ride in a super sonic sleigh.”"
- In 'Play School', George White says: "Yes, that’s right, he is. Australia is a small world."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard Davies says: "It sounds like it’s worth writing a feature on the rise of stand-up comedy over the last 20 or so years."
- In 'Play School', David Smith says: "Don Spencer is also, in one of my favourite pieces of telly trivia, Russell Crowe’s father-in-law."
- In 'Play School', George White says: "Don Spencer is “Australia’s No 1 Children’s Entertainer” A. Because he took permanent residence in Australia. B. He’s..."