In the 'Supreme Court decision in Sony v. Universal Studios a.k.a. "the Betamax case"' you can read how the new video technology was viewed at the time.
Although, a long read here are some good ones:
"Several capabilities of the machine are noteworthy. The separate tuner in the Betamax enables it to
record a broadcast off one station while the television set is tuned to another channel, permitting the
viewer, for example, to watch two simultaneous news broadcasts by watching one "live" and recording
the other for later viewing. Tapes may be reused, and programs that have been recorded may be erased either before or after viewing. A timer in the Betamax can be used to activate and deactivate the
equipment at predetermined [p.423] times, enabling an intended viewer to record programs that are
transmitted when he or she is not at home. Thus a person may watch a program at home in the evening
even though it was broadcast while the viewer was at work during the afternoon. The Betamax is also
equipped with a pause button and a fast-forward control. The pause button, when depressed, deactivates the recorder until it is released, thus enabling a viewer to omit a commercial advertisement from the recording, provided, of course, that the viewer is present when the program is recorded. The
fast-forward control enables the viewer of a previously recorded program to run the tape rapidly when a
segment he or she does not desire to see is being played back on the television screen."