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gemmac1 20th Sep 2021 8:48 am

Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
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Hi all,

I am trying to sell my father's Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540) online, but I keep getting questions about it that I have no idea how to answer! I also can't find any info about this model online.

Can anyone tell me what kind of tapes will be compatible with this machine?

I have received advice that the Digital Betacam tapes are not compatible.

Many thanks in advance :)


shortwaverx 20th Sep 2021 9:58 am

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
Hi Gemma,

It's a Betamax format machine.

cheerfulcharlie 20th Sep 2021 10:22 am

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
The original Betacam tapes (light blue colour cassette) should be ok with it, but not the later dark matt blue cassette tapes marked 'SP' do not use them.

It will of course record as a Betamax not a Betacam, but a Betacam tape marked as 20 mins will give substantially more playing time on a Betamax.

dj_fivos_sak 20th Sep 2021 10:36 am

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
Only the early Betacam oxide tapes can be used for recording on this machine, and the recordings will be in domestic Beta (Betamax) format. The rest of the variants of Betacam (SP, SX, Digital) use metal particle tape which will damage the heads. A 20-min Betacam tape is the same as an L-500 and a 30-min one is the same as an L-750. The VTC 9540 is the same as the 9300PN just a bit modified for the South African market. Not sure how it found its way to the UK.


andrewferguson 20th Sep 2021 10:40 am

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
Your machine is a Betamax, and can play / record Betamax tapes. If interested parties are asking about Betacam, I would tell them that it would not work. (I've outlined the single exception below, but if a buyer is trying to use Betacam tapes in a Betamax, and doesn't already know about this exception, I would be hesitant to sell to them to avoid disappointment).

More details, if you are interested:

Betacam is a broadcast-quality format used by TV stations, while Betamax (your machine) is a poorer-quality format sold to consumers, like VHS.

Betacam tapes came in two sizes, since TV stations needed portable cameras for news gathering (small tapes), and longer tape lengths for broadcasting full programmes (larger tapes). The small tapes look very similar to the consumer Betamax format, but are *not* interchangeable - you cannot play a Betacam tape in a Betamax machine, and vice-versa.

The single exception to this, as mentioned by cheerfulcharlie, is that the early Betacam tapes (yes, there were several different variants of Betacam: Betacam, then Betacam SP, then Digital Betacam) can be used in a Betamax to play / record Betamax video. The later Betacam variants used a different tape type that will cause serious damage to the Betamax if used.

hamid_1 20th Sep 2021 2:28 pm

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
Sony invented the Betamax video system in the 1970s, for home use. Rather confusingly, Sanyo produced Betamax compatible machines but called them Betacord instead. (Maybe some trademark licensing issue?) Anyway, Betacord = Betamax. Tapes and recordings are interchangeable between Sony Betamax and Sanyo Betacord machines.

Sony then produced broadcast-quality video recorders called Betacam for TV stations to use. There were several different versions of Betacam. Some Betacam tapes will fit in a Betamax / Betacord machine but recordings made on one system cannot be played back on the other. In a few cases you can use the tape from one system as blank tape in the other, but in general Betamax and Betacam are not interchangeable. If you're not sure about a specific tape, just ask and post a picture if possible.

dj_fivos_sak 21st Sep 2021 8:49 am

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
The domestic format is called just Beta. Betamax, Betacord, Betavision etc is how the different manufacturers marketed their Beta VCRs and tapes. Sanyo had the V-Cord format before they started producing Beta machines and tapes, so that's where the "Betacord" naming came from.

simpsons 21st Sep 2021 9:10 am

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
Whilst the types of Beta video tapes are interesting, I would guess that the enquiry may have been a ruse to reduce the price. Betamax in the consumer world is Betamax.

The important information is if the machine will playback or record PAL I which is the CCIR system which was used in the UK. SA was one of the ex colonial countries which adopted this particular standard.

From the TV Standard directory, SA is said to broadcast on both VHF and UHF channels but here is the point, will the Sanyo VTC 9340 connect to a UHF TV set or VHF one. and or receive both. Only you can tell if the User Guide is not available. For reception, the tuning controls will have a choice of VHF or UHF marked Band 1,3 or IV,V

For connection to a TV, from memory, there is a test tone/video on the recorder to enable the TV set to be tuned to the recorder RF output. Should you have a PAL TV, switch the recorder on to the test tone and get the TV to scan on UHF to find out unless a Forum correspondent can offer advice.

Should it do so then, you can be confident, all things being equal, that your machine will work as intended in the UK and the price will be as found on the web sites which we are all familiar with.

Good luck


dj_fivos_sak 22nd Sep 2021 10:17 am

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)

This series of Sanyo machines have a removable RF modulator on the back of the unit so it's possible to change it for a UK modulator. My VTC 9350 has a UHF modulator (channel 34-38 adjustable) and a VHF/UHF tuner (I, III, U).


Sanbeta 28th Sep 2021 7:51 pm

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)
Looks like Sanyo did with that model, a similar thing with their popular VTC 5000.Give it a different outer case color and slightly change the model number. Definitely the same as a VTC 9300 but with a outer casing color change.First time i've seen that one too.

Good luck with the sale.


dj_fivos_sak 29th Sep 2021 11:42 pm

Re: Sanyo Betacord Video Cassette Recorder (VTC 9540)

Sanyo did the "different color finish and slighly different model number" thing to many models. The only unique model I've come accross so far is the multi system VTC 9455. Nothing else looks and functions like that one.


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