Unlike the Sony and JVC designs, both of which resembled the effective U-Matic design, the other VCRs were based on distinctive design concepts that proved to be inferior to Beta and VHS.
In addition, just as Sony's Betamax was essentially a miniaturization of the U-Matic but with a more advanced recording technique, the VHS closely resembled the U-Matic (and thus the Betamax), even though the recording format, tape-handling mechanisms, and cassette sizes remained different.
Because of the common technical heritage in the U-Matic, the Beta and VHS designs were closely comparable in cost and performance.
Sony managers and engineers felt that their earlier willingness to compromise on the U-Matic had been a competitive error.
It features Thys, spindly in his underwear, performing amateurish mimes and manipulating items belonging to the ex-priest who ran the school's video studio (and who, de Gruyter says, stashed pornographic U-matic
videos there; both artists, he adds, had discomfiting religious upbringings).