Brown Upholstered Zenith Beta VCR
Obviously James and I are on a similar wavelength today - a beta wavelength. :) I'm posting pictures of this Beta VCR I found, not just to show off how massive the thing is, but also check out the upholstered leather-tinted vinyl. it looks like a two toned roof on a Lincoln.
This is 1980's Zenith VR-9750J - the "video director". At $1125, the vinyl appointments and champagne colored metal was intended to appeal to the discerning videophile. The "Director" bit of marketing refers to special playback effects like scanning through the tape, slow motion, perfect freeze frame, wired remote, etc.
We can puzzle all we want to about the format wars, but I think that this monster was fighting on a different front altogether.