OK here goes some more details
With the iron oxide video formats the writing speed is all. There has been many formats but only 2 lasted the first round of the war <---
N1700 (LP version of N1500)
For picture CVC was worst, but Vhs was next worse.
I never saw and compared a working VCR format to anythiung else but saw them at school.
V2000 did have good trick play but overal picture quality was between Beta and Vhs.
Beta HiFi in the UK did exist with the Sony SL-HF100UB and SL-HF950, also Sanyo had the VTC-M40 a great big everlasting hunk of VCR, mine has a newish motor and the penultimate set of heads in the country. Duplicators had the SL-HF100P.
Super Beta was very good, excellent colour rendition, copies of DVDs and broadcast Digital Terrestrial looked very good, also great for editing.
Editing how about a Beta final copy looks better than a Vhs edit master, extra generation and still looks better, well an edit master looked better than a Vhs tape straight from the camera. This was a direct comparison using a Sony F1 portable against a JVC or Panasonic VHS-C portable.
Super Beta vs Super VHS
I did the trial and it was interesting, all S-VHS recordings I have seen had washed out watercoloury colours, like a line drawing with broad brush colours. Super Beta colours were so much better than the slight drop in horizontal resolution was not noticed, so in general the Super Beta picture was better to watch than S-VHS.
Normal Vhs was around 240 line, Beta 260 line, I reckon Super Beta was getting near 300, S-VHS around 400, the unreleased in the UK ED-Beta was 500 line, only the digital formats such as DV could beat it,
Tape life, how about recordings made in 1985 still being pretty good, played back on the VCR which took them. 30 years is a pretty good life for a tape, and to be honest my SL-F1UB.
The Pro-X tapes though are perfect.
The loading mechanism is very siimple one loading ring with lots of pins on, very heavily influenced by U-Matic, pretty reliable and tended to just work.
Head drums all were 1500 rpm in the 50Hz world but diameters were.
74.5mm Beta giving a 20% higher write speed.
Beta was best at the time, I have owned over the years, 8 I think, 2 scrapped, 2 sold, 1 spares, 3 still have.
Best picture SL-HF950
Best sound SL-HF950, SL-HF100UB, VTC-M40
Best trick play SL-C9UB
Best for editing SL-HF950 followed by SL-C9UB
Best engineered SL-C9UB, SL-F1UB
Best portable (out of 4) SL-F1UB
Best 1/2" VCR ever sold in the UK SL-HF950