Room 4 exhibit 5
Sony SL-C5
FORMAT: Betamax  
DATE: 1981

PRICE: £500
[2005: £1280]


The C5 was a budget version of the C7, and came out at the same time. It looks very similar, apart from being a lighter silver colour, and differences in detail due to different or missing controls.

The main differences are as follows:
  • The tuner is simpler, requiring manual tuning using rotary presets, and has 8 channels rather than 12. The channel indicator consists of LEDs over the channel button, rather than a numeric display;
  • The timer only allows a single recording event, within 7 days;
  • No triple-speed playback, slow-motion, end-of-tape alarm or APS search system -- though it does have audio dub;
  • The remote was an optional extra, and was connected by wire not infra-red;
  • The Betastack tape changer could not be used.
  • The pictures for still frame and picture search are black and white, not colour. There is also a switch which selects between a picture or a black screen for Pause; it's hard to see what use this was!

In all other ways the two machines are the same, and share many components. The C5 was one of the most common Betamax VCRs, and is still recognised - and still used - today.