Beocord VX 5500

(1991-1992) VHS video recorder, hi-fi stereo, Datalink, optional Nicam stereo decoder

Type numbers: 4535, 4536, 4560, 4561, 4562, 4563, 4566, 4567, 4568, 4569


Picture by Nick Jarman


This model replaced both the Beocord VX 4500 and the Beocord VX 5000. The model number and the position in the range suggested that the new model was a continuation from and an improvement over the VX 5000, though in actual fact it was most similar to the VX 4500, as no digital video effects unit was fitted. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Externally, the VX 5500 could be recognised by a few small details. Firstly, there was no model number printed on the front of the machine anywhere, unlike the previous versions. Secondly, the cabinet and trim panels were available in contrasting colours (for example a black fascia and white cover) to better match the finishes of the MX range of televisions. In use, it would be noted that on-screen menus had been slightly redesigned to match those of the new range of televisions. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Most of the features remained the same as those of the last of the VX 5000s. The 21-pin decoder socket remained, but could also be selected as an auxiliary input directly from the main menu. The cooling fan remained, but without the complex digital sections and their attendant power supplies to cool, the logic was rearranged so that the fan only ran whilst the deck motors were on, thus disguising the noise. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The absence of the digital video effects unit could be explained partly because the new Beovision TV models could be order or retro-fitted with a picture-in-picture module. This replaced some of the functions that the VX 5000 had offered, but it did not offer tape indexing. In an attempt to fill this gap, a new indexing system was introduced, fitted to the VX 5500. This was far less sophisticated than the previous offering, and was a manual, text-only arrangement that relied on the user giving each tape a name and a number. These had to be entered manually, and were stored in the memory of the video recorder. Each track on the tape could be manually named and stored too, and selected directly using the index search system. This marked a somewhat retrograde step over what had been previously offered, especially as the visual indexing system fitted to the VX 5000 had been completely automatic in operation. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The VX 5500 was, like the VX 4500 and VX 5000 before it, a well made and well specified video recorder that fitted in well at the top of the Beocord VHS range. It was eventually replaced by the Beocord VX 7000. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.


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