Betamax first came out 45 years ago. While the technology has become something of a punchline, a shorthand for any obscure out-of-date format, Sony's Betamax was the first real consumer video system available in the US. It launched debates and court cases about copyright, fair use and ownership, ending with a Supreme Court case that paved the way for everything from Blu-Rays to DVR. Sure, it might have lost the war to JVC's VHS tape, but it also led the way. It also set of precedent for Sony stubbornly backing proprietary technologies no one really wanted. We might think back fondly on Betamax, but Minidisc and Memory Sticks are harder to love. Check out Technology Connections' great Betamax vs VHS comparison here Read our full story on Engadget: Get More Engadget: • Like us on Facebook: • Follow us on Twitter: • Follow us on Instagram: • Read more: