Beocord V 3000

(1991-1992) VHS video recorder, Standard and Long Play speeds

Type numbers: 4520, 5422


Picture by Nick Jarman


The profusion of video recorder models that had characterised the late 1980s B&O range all quietly disappeared when the VX 5000 was introduced. In some ways this was a desirable state of affairs, a range containing similar machines from different manufacturers was confusing for everyone, and rapidly advancing technology meant that not of them really represented what B&O stood for. Some were not even that good. The excellent VX 5000 solved all these problems, here was a model that was instantly recognisable as a B&O, worked with all the current TV sets, was well featured and was not available elsewhere with someone else’s name on. However, the VX 5000 was very expensive, costing more than some of B&O’s televisions of the time. What was needed was a simple model for those who wanted a B&O video recorder but did not want something too complicated. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

On paper, the V 3000 answered most of these questions. Apart from the omission that it was only a mono machine when all the televisions were stereo, this simplified model seemed a good idea. Except it wasn’t. Like the earlier VHS 63, B&O had allowed the supplying manufacturer (Hitachi this time) to supply the cabinet work as well as the internals. This meant that the V 3000 looked just like the Hitachi version (except that it was black instead of grey) that you could buy in any high street electrical shop for half the price. None of the changes made for B&O really represented an improvement, especially the bizarre decision to remove the clock and channel display, which made the machine appear faulty even when it was in perfect working order. The only change of any merit was to alter the computer operating system so that the Beolink 1000 remote control terminal could be used. Like the VX 5000, communication occurred via Datalink into the AV socket rather than directly to an IR sensor in the VTR. Even this did not work too well, it was difficult to match the keys of the Beolink 1000 to the functions of the Hitachi mechanism and electronics, so some functions (e.g. tuning and timer operations) were frustratingly awkward to operate. The on-screen displays also appeared cheap and out of place in a B&O context, especially when compared to those produced by the television itself. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Surprisingly, the mechanism of the V 3000 was similar to that used in the VX 5000. It gave reasonable results for a simple machine, and was the first B&O model to offer two speed (SP/LP) recording and playback, something thus far avoided by B&O as the quality degradation that the slower tape speed caused was at odds with their quality image. A further problem was that LP recordings could not be played back on any other B&O video recorder. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The simplified operation of the V 3000 meant that it suited simpler Beovisions, such as the LS and MS ranges, better than it did the more elaborate ones. It was not a popular model though, customers either found the extra money for a VX 5000 or bought something else instead. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.



Further Reading