Continuation of Vintage Micro Television. This page has a bit of everything, here you will find miscellaneous information including photos of the first Sony televisions sold in the United States. The 7 inch Sony KV 7010U arrived April, 1968 and was the first and only television in the U.S. consumer market to use a Chromatron CRT for a brief period and then quickly modified to use the Trinitron CRT which was designated model KV 7010UA. This information is verified by Sony’s 1967 and 1968 Annual Reports, as well as press releases, copies in my possession. The Sony KV 1310 (12 inch viewable) was the first Trinitron model launched in Japan in October, 1968. The Sony KV 1200U, KV 1210U and KV 1220U series were the second models to go on sale in the United States, spring 1969. The Trinitron is considered to be the finest color cathode ray tube ever developed and Sony was awarded an Emmy by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1973 for the development of the Trinitron. It was the first television in the world to receive the award. Also featured, the original General Electric Porta Color from 1966 among other things. Scroll down to read more.
Magazines quoted on this site.
Popular Science August, 1959
Original magazine purchased by me. It features the world’s first true portable transistor television, the Philco Safari. See Page One.
Mechanix Illustrated May 1963
Original magazine purchased by me. The cover featured a three inch combination radio/television under development by RCA labs. A “new kind of television tube was being developed” is as far as the article went. This set never made it to market.
A clarifying press photo, one of eight projected sets of the 1970’s, a model of a proposed color television as foreseen by the RCA Advanced Design Center in New York.
One more RCA prototype television shown 1965. Never entered the market, however George Heilmeier’s team at RCA’s Princeton laboratory was secretly working on LCD development for flat screen television. See the story on PAGE ONE.
Update, May 8, 2017
A Videokarma member posted this in response to a question as to wheather it was possible to produce a miniature set as above in 1963:
“That is part of the 1961 “Sets of the Seventies”, a design program RCA did to envision what sets would look like around 1970. It was led by Tucker Madawick. I was aiming to do an article for my radio club, but my mother got sick, then I was taking care of her and my family, then I had a kid, then this, then that. Here’s a mockup of the bulletin cover and the first page” Photos courtesy Batterymaker.
An article about a prototype Philco micro television appears in the December, 1964 issue of Mechanix Illustrated.
Original magazine purchased by me, the cover of the February, 1966 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine, features a working prototype, dual sided, six inch color television.
The tube was 2 3/8 inches thick and could be viewed on both sides of the set. The set measured 10″ h x 6″ w x 3 1/2″ d and weighed 6 pounds.
This television was developed by the Intertel Corporation in Los Angeles. The article said it would be sporting a famous maker label and would be available by Christmas 1966 for about $200.00. Looks suspiciously like a Sony designed set, doesn’t it? (Look at 1965 Sony 4 204UW television on page one.)
Twin Picture TV
One year later, August, 1967, a working double sided television is shown at an electronics expo in Japan. The ID plate appears to read Sharp. Watch the black and white video, courtesy Getty Images.
The display may have been in color and could be seen on both sides of the display, front and back. In the video, notice the moving image reflections in the rear. This was the first time a working flat screen CRT was displayed to the public, a full 15 years prior to the famous Sony Watchman FD 210.
A better view of the double sided television.
1966 Sinclair Microvision Prototype
The year was 1966 and Sir Clive Sinclair demonstrated his first prototype pocket TV at trade shows. He called it “Microvision”. Due to production setbacks, his dream first came to fruition in 1977 with the introduction of the MTV 1. The photo below appeared in Life magazine. See Page Two for more information about the MTV 1.
1966 General Electric Porta Color
This urban legend by General Electric has the distinction of incorporating the first inline 3 electron gun color CRT in the world and the first portable color television. The second claim is questionable, one could lug around this 28 pound set from room to room, it did have a handle and one could plug in to the nearest power outlet, however no self contained battery or battery pack, so I would call this television transportable, not portable. Advantages of this CRT, increased brightness, (no brightness increase until the adoption of the slot mask in later years. One could argue that the larger holes passed more light at the expense of lower resolution) lower power consumption, fewer convergence adjustments, down to 6 from the previous 12 (Sony’s 1968 Trinitron reduced the number to 2) and smaller cabinet size and weight. Unfortunately, the first generation models suffered from poor resolution due to the large holes in the shadow mask. GE still used the conventional delta hole arrangement even though the CRT was now inline. The holes of the shadow mask were to big for the screen size of 10 inches. According to Eckhard Etzold, a collector/restorer from Germany, (his website: http://bs.cyty.com/menschen/e-etzold/archiv/TV/ge/porta-color.htm ) General Electric used a shadow mask from a 21 inch color set. GE should have engineered a finer pitch shadow mask from the start of production. Later year models adopted the slot mask approach used by it’s contemporaries. Another problem was lack of DC restoration and Automatic Color Control. It seems General Electric was on a mission of cost cutting to meet the introductory price goal of $249.95. In 1966, I was shopping for my first color set, the uniqueness of this new CRT design and low price for the time, were attractive, but the images produced by this set fell short of my expectations. Because of poor resolution, contrast, instability and faded colors, opting instead for the 1968 Sony Trinitron KV 7010UA shown below. One look at the Trinitron gave immediate reactions, this was something special, commenting to my friends that viewing a Trinitron was like looking at moving picture postcard images. In addition the Sony had superior cosmetics, leather and metal cabinet with brushed chrome accents and glass cover to protect the CRT, while the Porta Color cabinet was plastic with average detailing. Produced until 1978 with some unconfirmed reports of 1979 and 1980 models, the Porta Color went basically unchanged through it’s years of production still using tubes when it’s contemporaries went all solid state. The slot mask was adopted along with cosmetic, color and trim options. The GE Porta Color had an additional distinction, being that Sony had considered licensing the CRT for it’s first color televisions. The story of that decision follows below.
I found this set, November 27, 2012 in very good condition. I believe it to be the original 1966 model labeled M213CW 200. The Porta Color tag is located on the top of the cabinet, left hand side. The previous owner scratched “LL 45125” on the back of set which may be the serial number. The channel selectors are illuminated as well as the color and tint controls. It has a degauss switch on the back side panel. The spring loaded carrying handle operates well with good tension. The dual dipole antennas are intact, unbent and fully extendable. The previous owner replaced all the Compactron tubes in 2009 and cleaned the circuit boards and components thoroughly, including the tuner contacts. This set has the old style continuous UHF tuner channel 14 to 83. Almost overlooked, an earphone jack is concealed under the lower right cabinet extension, just below the letter “C” of “Electric”. The set operates very well displaying a well registered color image, unfortunately with the dim, course pixel structure using the delta shadow mask that Porta Colors have a reputation for. I have had the television on over the last two days, running it for 5 and 6 hours with no abnormality. It takes 23 seconds until an image appears and the image fills the screen fully and about one hour warm up until the color images stabilize. During the warm up period, the image brightens and the color saturation increases on it’s own. See photos below.
Click or tap on image for full view.
This screen shot is from the Bonanza television series, season 6, episode 28, originally aired April 11, 1965, entitled, “A Good Night’s Rest”, photographed on the fly from the ME Network telecast on November 28, 2012. In these screen shots, you can see the poorer contrast of the 1966 delta shadow mask compared to the 1976 Porta Color below, with the slot mask black matrix screen. The jaggies’ are not as noticeable on this set, but you can still see the trailing edges which appear on every Porta Color I have seen so far.
1969 General Electric Porta Color
I found this television on November 26, 2012 in very good condition, but unfortunately the color purity is way off and out of adjustment. The set was very well packaged but must have suffered damage during shipping as I saw a recent screen shot by the seller with no evidence of a purity problem. I will try a degaussing coil first to see if that improves things.
I’m not sure about the year of production on this set. It could be as early as 1969, because that was the first year that the Porta Color changed to the horizontal control arrangement. This model is one of the better looking designs in the 12-14 year production run. All tubes with the delta shadow mask and this set has no degauss switch. The dual dipole antennas are intact, unbent and fully extendable. All labels are intact indicating model number WM 203HWD-4 H-4 Chassis. There is some wear behind the channel selectors which are not illuminated. The UHF channel selector is the old style, continuous channels 14 to 83.
Click or tap on image for full view and I will post additional screen shots after repair.
1976 General Electric Porta Color
This television acquired in November, 2011, measures 17 3/4″ W x 11 1/8″ H x 16 1/4″ D and was manufactured April, 1976. The set is in excellent condition and operates well. This set has a slot shadow mask, unlike the hole mask seen on the original 1966 model I viewed some 45 years ago, but unfortunately still exhibits poor color rendition as the original. I’m not able to achieve properly saturated colors, inaccurate colors and trailing images with saw tooth edges. All plastic cabinet, the set is finicky, but it is interesting to see the warm glow of a tube television after all the years with solid state. See screen shots below.
Note the saw tooth jaggies, on left hand side as well as severe over scan. Room reflections in upper left hand corner. The best screen shot I could obtain. Most skin tones have a green cast which can not be eliminated by a full compliment of user and service adjustments at the front and rear panels. I also see trailing images which may possibly be corrected by restoration internally. I have observed the same trailing images on other Portacolors.
Close up of slot shadow mask with black matrix for improved contrast. Original Portacolor sets used hole system without the black matrix.
1966 Motorola “Tiny Tim” 1 1/8 Inch black and white working prototype television.
Because this 29 transistor, 14 diode receiver was designed and built in 1964, it does not use integrated circuits. It weighs only 12 1/2 ounces and the entire unit occupies just 1.2 cubic inches of space. The earphone cord acts as the antenna. This television was featured in the October, 1967 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. See photos below.
Rare 1967 Sony micro television prototype. Have you seen this set?
Sony demonstrated this polished working prototype micro TV in the summer of 1967. Only one year earlier, Motorola and Sinclair both demonstrated working prototype miniature televisions, the race was on, who would be the first? The answer, Panasonic with their TR-001 introduced in spring, 1970. Note the similar design cues in the production Panasonic TR-001. (see it on Page Two)
This image was taken from the cover of my Popular Electronics, October, 1967 issue. To the best of my knowledge, this set never sold in the United States, but may have been marketed in Japan only. It was common to create market specific products. If anyone has seen one, please contact me. It was scheduled to go into production in 1968 for approximately $200.00 and was mentioned in Sony’s 1967 annual report. It uses a 1 inch black and white CRT with a combination retractable hood/on-off switch. One would pull the hood forward to automatically power on the television. The set weighs almost two pounds and contains a rechargeable battery or AC power supply. The set uses an unspecified number of integrated circuits along with conventional transistors.
This is an original four page sales brochure of the first Sony Trinitron television sold in the United States, the seven inch KV 7010UA. It became available for sale in the Summer of 1968. I purchased new in spring of 1969.
Scans of vintage analogue 35 mm color print photographs taken shortly after acquisition of my original Sony KV 7010UA purchased in 1969.
Live Screen shots from the moon photographed August 2, 1971 taken off the Sony KV 7010UA. The mission, Apollo 15, carried two astronauts, Commander David R. Scott and LM pilot James B. Irwin, the seventh and eighth men to walk on the Moon. These images are photos of the actual 35mm color prints I took on that day.
NEXT, (Amended August 3, 2016)
Two digital photos of original analogue 35 mm prints photographed 1971. Actual screen shots off the Sony KV 7010UA from the Tonight show, August 2, 1971, the first Carol Wayne, the second, George Burns. The original images were much sharper, these shots are digital photographs of 45 year old 35mm analogue glossy color prints made with a Nikon camera. Keep in mind these images were produced with 45 year old studio cameras, probably the TK 44B. Since then technology has progressed considerably. EDIT: JANUARY 7, 2019. FOUND A SONY KV 7010UA. SEE THE “VINTAGE MICRO TV PAGE TWO” PAGE. Still, back in this time period, this set blew away everything else on the market in terms of color picture quality. Having both the KV 7010UA and the KV 1210U in my possession at the same time, I can say the 1210U had a brighter, better focused image. I started taking screen shots back in 1969, being impressed with the picture quality of the Trinitron system. If you look closely at the photo of Carol Wayne, you can see the tri-color vertical unbroken phosphor stripes on the screen.
Original Sony KV 7010UA 4 color service manual, block diagrams, wave forms, etc. Drop me a line if you would like a copy.
A conventional delta three-gun and its convergence assembly (left) and the Trinitron gun courtesy Sony Corporation.
A conventional three-gun color tube and the Trinitron color tube courtesy Sony Corporation.
Trinitron color system illustration from a Sony owners manual.
An original four page sales brochure was given prior to our purchase for the second Sony Trinitron television to go on sale in the United States, the 12 inch KV 1210U. (This model was also available as a KV 1200U with basic vinyl cabinet and the premium KV 1220U with a larger walnut cabinet, larger speaker and “Sky Tune” a tuning aid.) My future wife wanted a personal color TV, and I urged her to purchase this model. She made that purchase 1969, and it served her well. In 2006, the set still worked, but she gave it to charity. It never required servicing in 37 years!
The picture on the screen is an actual telecast image. Most TV manufactures superimposed a false picture on sales advertisements, Sony did not have to. Look at that image and this was in 1969 ! I was very impressed by the Trinitron system, it blew everything else away at the time. After learning that the KV 7010UA would be available in Summer 1968, I went to a demonstration of the KV 7010UA and the KV 1210U, the only two Trinitron models available at the time, on display at Sony’s New York City show room. After the demonstration, purchased the 7 inch model, $429.95, and it arrived at my home in early, 1969. My wife purchased the 12 inch model a few months later in the same year. It has been consistently reported on many websites that the 12 inch Trinitron was the first Sony color television, even on Sony’s website. When I met with the sales representatives at the New York showroom in 1968, I was told the 7 inch would be released first. 1967 and 1968 magazines reviewed the upcoming 7 inch Trinitron with no mention of the 12 inch. In my home town the first model in retail stores was the 7 inch KV 7010UA. The 12 inch KV 1210U came later in the same year. Been a fan of Trinitron ever since, recognizing the superior picture quality, could not wait for larger screen sizes. Purchased the first 17 inch models, the KV 1720 and model KV 1722 which was 17 inches and had a 114 degree deflection angle, making it the thinnest larger screen television at that time (1973) and moved on to larger screen sizes as they became available. Not a micro TV, but for historical purposes, I wanted to add this to the website. See Page Two for the next Trinitron model and full description of the system.
The original Sony KV 1210U purchased in 1969, $319.95.
1969 Sony KV 1210U
I found a replacement for my original Sony KV 1210U in excellent condition cosmetically, but it will require servicing to bring back a proper image on the screen. A full raster is displayed and I can receive weak telecasts on UHF from the still operating low power analogue stations in the Phoenix valley. When a digital converter was connected, I received a poor image. There was a small gouge in the upper right hand corner of the cabinet, but I filled it in with wood putty. The previous owner switched the lower control knobs around. The Pull On/Vol should be the continuous red circle which is placed as the color control in the below photo. The solid black knob should be next to the solid black Contrast control and the Brightness control should be moved to the Color location. The color coded control knobs should match the above photo of the KV 1210U.
We searched over 4 years to find this replacement and happy to now have this set in the collection, acquired May, 2013. I will post screen shots after the set is repaired.
Click or tap image for full view.
1969 Sony KV1210U
We found this model in May, 2021 in very good working order. The previous owner sent us screenshots just two days prior to shipping, but alas this set was damaged in shipment. It’s completely dead and will not power up. It could be as simple as a fuse or much worse. We haven’t determined the problem as yet. In the meantime, I’ve posted photos below. You can see it’s in pristine condition and notice the speaker grill is different. This would indicate a later production run, but these sets were manufactured in limited quantities and few exist today. I want to thank the previous owner for the care this set received over the decades.
1969 Sony KV 1220U
First 12 inch Sony Trinitron color television sold in the United States in premium cabinet with “Sky Tune” tuning aid. I was fortunate to find this 43 year old television in near mint condition March, 2012. The set looks like it was never used and in storage for the past 40 plus years. All controls are clean and free from noise or static, turn smoothly and no hum. The cabinet is pristine and the chrome is polished like new. The CRT is very strong having a spot on color decoder, displaying the famous Trinitron image quality with excellent detail, focus and depth of field. See below screen shots evidencing the image quality. The first generation 12 inch Sony Trinitron sold in 1969, available in 3 models, the KV 1200U with basic vinyl covered cabinet, the KV 1210U in walnut cabinet as shown above and this premium KV 1220U. The set add 2 earphone jacks on the front panel and measures 20 1/4″ W x 13 9/16″ H x 15 1/2″ D.
Click on first image for full view.
Sony KV 1220U screen shots captured on the fly, March 30, 2012 from the ME TV network of Mission Impossible episode 15 “The Falcon Part 2”, season 4, originally aired January 11, 1970. This is what you may have watched on your new Sony KV 1220U. 🙂
The screen shots below were captured on the fly, March 27, 2012 from the ME TV network. Bonanza television series, season 1, episode 9, originally aired November 7, 1959, title “Mr. Henry Comstock”
1969 Sony KV 9000U Trinitron is shown on Page Two.
This was my third Sony Trinitron television model KV 1720, purchased fall of 1970. 17 diagonal CRT and the largest Trinitron to date.
Added September 12, 2020: Woodward and Bernstein watching President Nixon’s resignation speech on a Sony KV 1720.
My wife mistakenly gave away my prized Sony KV 7010UA and the Sony KV 1210U as above, in 2006 prior to a relocation. She wanted to reduce our relocation expenditures. They went to a Goodwill store and if not sold, died in a land fill. Oh well … ! To this day, I remind her of it and she tells me “to get over it.” 🙂 They both were in perfect operating condition after 37 years of use. Since then, I have been searching for replacements. Recently found a 1971 Sony KV 1212U which was the next generation version of the 12 inch KV 1210U. It is similar but obviously not the original.
This 12 inch color model is the second generation version of the original KV 1210U. Now lower, but wider, measuring 12 1/2″ H x 18 1/2″ W x 15 3/8″ D. New control layout with the addition of an auto AFT switch on the front panel. New carrying handle and trim modifications round out the changes. This television has the outstanding focus and depth of field that I remember seeing on the original. I found this set December, 2011 in excellent condition as shown below.
Look at these amazing screen shots from a 40 year old Sony KV 1212U Trinitron, an analogue, standard definition image. The actual images look better them the camera could capture. The image almost rivals high definition and for those who remember, compare this image quality to the competing color televisions in 1969. Television has superior focus and depth of field.
Posted December 24, 2015
Sony KV 1722 with 114 degree deflection angle
The original Sony KV 1722 purchased in 1973, is still in my possession and working fine. See screen shots below. Never serviced in 42 years, it only has a small purity issue in the upper left hand edge of the screen. The set had heavy usage, recently taken out of 10 years of storage. The 17 inch Trinitron CRT with a 114 degree deflection angle, made it the thinnest larger screen television of this time period. It was also the first television in the world to employ this wide deflection angle which placed the electron beams closer to the phosphor screen for a sharper image. Illuminated channel indicators and secondary controls are hidden behind the front panel door. Vertical space saving design for smaller footprint. Premium champagne gold brushed aluminum panel with walnut veneer cabinet.
The KV 1723 model, (not shown) a variation, had slightly different cosmetics, being light gray trim instead of black, brown handle inserts instead of black and the “Econoquick” feature.
Photographed August 27, 2018 and still going strong.
Update June 27, 2014
New screen shots from one of my daily viewers. Not bad for a 41 year old television that has never been serviced. Sony’s just last, trouble free.
Sony KV 1214 Trinitron Color
Model KV 1214 was the third generation 12 inch Trinitron. New channel selectors with government mandated detent or click stop UHF channel selector, replacing the continuous rotary UHF dial. The television measures 18 1/2″ W x 12″ H x 16 3/4″ D. The set is in very good condition and operates well. Found this television March, 2012.
The Sony Television Story
A 1975 18 page booklet promoting the Sony Trinitron cathode ray tube (CRT)
On the right page, Sony describes a flat screen television it developed in 1975 and call it “the television of the future” An accurate foretelling of the future of television. This 1975 Sony laboratory prototype is a gas discharge 7 inch panel, only 1/4 inch thick. Two glass panels sandwich 212 horizontal cathodes and 282 vertical anodes forming over 60,000 pixels. A gas mixture fills the gap between electrodes and when current is applied, the gas emits ultraviolet light making the vertical rows of red, green and blue phosphors glow. Barrier ribs prevent interaction between the adjacent picture elements which also absorb ambient light, improving contrast. The 7 inch panel consumes 15 watts and provides 7 ft-Lamberts of luminance with a 20:1 contrast ratio. Interesting to note that in 1975, Sony claims it can build a 40 inch panel of this design, a forerunner of today’s modern plasma televisions.
Post August 5, 2016
“I will never be able to type for that long.”
It was about 19 months ago that Bob Burns first contacted me. He emailed me through my website and said, ‘We should probably talk by phone. You may wish to pick my brain and I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TYPE FOR THAT LONG.’ During the ensuing telephone call, many things ‘Old Sony’ were discussed. Towards the end of that first conversation he revealed that he owned a complete 25″ Profeel component system along with a top of the line Beta Hi-Fi VCR that he bought new in 1984. He explained that he had the equipment in storage, complete with all original shipping boxes, owners manuals, service manuals and accessories. He didn’t want the equipment to go to recycle and wanted it to go to someone who knew what the equipment was and would appreciate it. He asked if I had any interest in having the entire system, as he preferred not to break it up. “Are you kidding, of course I would,” I said, but we were moving soon and the equipment would have to wait. He replied that after having it for 31 years, a few more months would not be a problem.
Fast forward to today, we just took delivery of some amazing, pristine television and stereo devices. We will describe the equipment in detail further down, but first, a little about Bob.
Interesting to me, he was a tech at the El Segundo Sony service facility in the 1968-69 timeframe. One of his most profound memories from that time was when an early prototype Trinitron set was brought over to the facility by engineers from Japan and set up for all the employees to see. Astounded, as he and a couple of the other techs looked at it and each other, one said, “That is the end of the American television industry.” Little did he know at the time how true that comment would come to be.
Bob is a most interesting person who has had an amazing career. During his years in consumer electronics, his specialty was reel to reel tape and the associated high end components. He held numerous positions in consumer electronics both as an engineering tech and supervisor, culminating as Service Manager for Panasonic Corporation before leaving the industry in 1980 to go into aerospace. He is now retired and living in the Los Angles area. He also enjoys photography and visits the California desert every year to capture the colorful wild flower display in season.
So Bob, just want you to know that I enjoyed our long telephone conversations about Sony, the space program, the television and movie industry, cars, food, LA, NYC and so much more. The conversations often went well over an hour and always interesting.
Your equipment found a good home, we will be good stewards. Thank you very much for considering us as the new custodians of your equipment. Your pride of ownership shows in their excellent condition after all these years. We present your high end Sony Profeel Stereo Component Television System.
We have always admired the Sony Profeel system. Consumer television was elevated to a higher standard when in 1980, Sony introduced a new concept to home television viewing, component stereo television. They called it “Profeel” (professional feeling) which was to reflect the blending of consumer home television with professional video equipment. As in the long established component stereo audio systems, Sony was allowing the consumer to mix and match television components as well as upgrading in the future. The monitors came in different sizes and finishes and designed to match the look of high end audio systems and elevate to a higher standard, television viewing. Sony also offered a full line of beautifully crafted components and accessories to match the monitors and to integrate with existing HIFI systems. It was also about the “cool factor” and people were demanding higher quality television equipment. We are pleased to display this equipment in our home. At this time, not all of the components have been hooked up. Rather then post detailed information here, instead, full specifications for each component will be posted soon in PDF format. Watch for updates to show additional photos and screenshots.
Sony KX-2501A Monitor with Remote Commander RM-705, photographed July 6, 2019.
Sony VTX-1000R TV Tuner (top) Sony SL-2700 Beta hi-fi VCR (bottom)
Sony MLV-1100 Mutichannel TV Sound Adaptor (top) Sony ST-7TV TV Stereo Tuner (bottom)
Sony APM (Accurate Pistonic Motion) Speakers. They attach to the rear of the monitor cabinet and the angle of sound despersion is adjustable.
Screenshots photographed August 6 and 7, 2016. We had trouble with the moiré patterns appearing in the screenshots. Tap on images for larger previews with links to full resolution images.
This screenshot looks overexposed by my camera, but this is exactly the way the image was transmitted of our President. They had a bright spotlight on him at the podium. Very dynamic image.
Advertising the Sony Profeel system.
Advertisement Seiko TV Watch
I saved this full page news paper ad from the San Francisco Examiner, Wednesday, October 12, 1983. I purchased my TV Watch about the same time, but the model pictured in the ad is different. It has a dark band around the screen display and the bracelet has indentations which my watch does not have. You can see it on Page One.
Unfortunately after 20 relocations, some excellent historical data were destroyed by me. A few things still to post …
In the fall of 1988, Sony introduced their first Video Walkman product, the GV 8. This product also introduced their first LCD panel in a consumer product. I purchased this product new in that year, but sold it to purchase the upgraded GV 300. Still have this set. Here is an interesting technical paper published by Sony in July, 1988. It describes the theory of Thin Film Transistor Active Matrix LCD, first introduced by Seiko in 1984. (see Page Two A) If anyone asks you what was the first Video Walkman? … this is it. The GV 8 had a three inch panel, next came the GV 9 and the GV 300 with four inch panel. The successor to these products can be seen on Page Three A. Read about GV 300 accident.
Worlds first hang-on-the-wall flat television by Sharp Corporation
In June 1988, Sharp Corporation demonstrated a 14 inch flat hang on the wall color TV. This television convinced the electronics industry that the dream of color, flat, hang on the wall TV was now a reality. It spurned the LCD from a niche market of small devices, to full fledged home television.
1988 Sharp Prototype 14 inch color TFT LCD courtesy Sharp Corporation
It was a prototype only but set the stage for the worlds first flat hang on the wall production color television introduced in 1991.
See this Milestone Proposal presented to the IEEE.
Available with three designer frames, the CRYSTAL SERIES, the ART SERIES and the OBJET SERIES. The color TFT LCD panel was 8.6 inches, the largest consumer LCD television to date. The CRYSTAL SERIES model shown below, available in several colors, sold for a whopping $3,600.00 dollars! The ART and OBJET SERIES were higher priced. The panel contained 437,760 pixels and was driven by 2 thin film transistors per pixel for redundancy. No other LCD panel previous to this model had this redundancy. The tuner module attached to the rear of the set with a total depth of 3 inches. Sharp executives intended these televisions to be used as “visual art display devices”.
This television was the forerunner of larger color LCD panels which in the beginning were exclusive to Sharp. The competing electronic giants like Fujitsu, NEC, Pioneer, Panasonic, Philips and others eventually caught up, but the Sharp corporation pioneered flat, large panel television.
Added July 23, 2021
Mitsubishi HSCX6 Field Sequential Color Monitor.
Just found this rare oddity, a field sequential color monitor attached to a camcorder! I have little interest in the camcorder and quickly removed the monitor from the body of the camcorder and opened it up to find out how it works. I may need the camcorder as a backup to power the monitor, but it’s my goal to create a stand alone miniature monitor curiosity for display purposes. It requires a 6 volt power supply or 220 volts mains supply. It uses a 6 segment color cone which is angled in front of a 0.7 inch monochrome CRT, quite possibly the smallest CRT made. The cone is attached directly to a motor by drive shaft which spins at high speed to fool the brain in seeing a flicker less full color display. Mitsubishi claims this approach offers higher resolution and brighter images compared to the beam index or LCD methods, because there is no shadow mask or color dots used.
For a small-sized high quality color monitor using this system, the NTSC video signal (simultaneous signal) was converted into the video signal of a field sequential color display system. Mitsubishi decided to separate the NTSC signal into three primary color video signals, and display them sequentially in each field to achieve the field sequential primary color video signal . The frame frequency of the signal is 10 Hz (1/3 of that of an NTSC system), less than that formerly used in the 1951 CBS system, 24 Hz. So it is not acceptable because color flicker is conspicuous . In order to reduce the color flicker to the same level in NTSC, Mitsubishi decided to display the separated primary color video signal sequentially in each field after time compression by 1/3 , and increased its frame frequency by 3 (three) times (to 90 Hz). Using this method , the same level of frame frequency as that of an NTSC signal is achieved.
We will update this post after we get the monitor operating. We have full schematics and hopefully the monitor components are not damaged. Stay tuned.
Universely reviewed as the finest consumer color high definition CRT television ever developed, the Sony KD-34XBR960 34 inch, 16 x 9 aspect ratio CRT with super fine pitch aperture grill and newly developed fine focus electron gun and high intensity luminescent phosphors. The new aperture grill has 65% more slits for high resolution and the set produces a wide color gamut with the deepest blacks, unmatched by any LCD or plasma television. The flat screen reduces glare and room reflections. This television measures 39 1/8″ W x 25 5/8″ H x 23 7/8″ D and weighs a back breaking 195 Lbs.
Sony stopped production on all Trinitron televisions in the United States in 2007 and worldwide in 2008. With a forty year production run, the Trinitron CRT televisions were the most successful in television history. This model represents the pinnacle in that long history.
Added June 17, 2020. Three new Sony KD-34XBR960 screen shots photographed June 15, 2020. The set continues to operate very well 16 years after introduction. Reliability is a Sony hallmark. These three new images were shot with a Sony A6300 camera on tripod. SS 1/20, FL 37, Aperture 5.6, ISO 650, CWB. The set HAS NOT been professionally calibrated by ISF. The color settings are in “Pro” mode, adjusted to my eyes only. I think ISF calibration would improve color rendering.
My main viewing room television. Sharp 65 inch LCD 2005 first generation. Hope to upgrade soon. Click on image for full view.
* Update December 12, 2011: Replaced this set with a new Sharp Quatron 70 inch LED LCD 3D. Photos will post soon.
Sharp 65 inch LCD 2005 Screen Shot. Click on image for full view.
Sharp 2005 first generation 65 inch LCD screen shot, Natalie Morales NBC Today Show 2008. This TV/ Monitor has been used on the NBC Today Show since 2006. Only last week, June 7, 2010, NBC switched out this first generation model with the third generation Sharp 65 inch “Cornerstone” design. The first generation set flanked the podium on both sides during the 2008 Academy Awards Show. This set can also be seen on a daily basis on WGN America News Casts from Chicago. Later in 2010 Sharp will introduce a 68 inch model called the “Quatron” (46, 52 and 60 inch models now available) It adds for the first time a fourth sub-pixel, yellow. This will increase the color gamut, brightness and resolution. More then 2 million pixels will be added to the display, a 25% increase in display density for a sharper image, no pun intended. Update, just learned that a 80 inch model is now available, November, 2011 ! Click on image for full view of the 2005 set’s, screen shot, no crushing of black values and nice shadow detail in her black blouse. The quality of this image will be limited by your monitor settings.
Screen shots from 2011 Sharp 3D Quatron 70 inch LCD Model LC70LE735U. Tap or click on images for full view.
Sharp LC70LE735U Screen Shot photographed June 2, 2012
The next two screen shots were taken November 16 and December 12, 2015, four years after the Sharp LC70LE735U was purchased. The set was ISF calibrated shortly after purchase. I’m retired and the set is up and running almost 365 days a year, 7 days a week for 16 hours a day except when we are on vacation. The set stays on all day even when we leave for a short time to keep our dog company. There are some who trash Japanese televisions as being cheap and unreliable. Some say Japanese sets are built with planned obsolescence lasting only a year or two. We disagree, this set has never seen a service technician since the day we purchased over four years ago and we have had great experiences with Sony and other televisions. This Sharp is going strong with no evidence of dimming or abnormal operation, perhaps because the set has a full array LED back lighting system and the fact that it was calibrated to ISF standards, removing the retina burning factory setup. If the images look unusually sharp, (no pun intended) it’s because the panel is a Quatron which has 25% more pixels then a regular LCD set.
Tap or click on below images for full view.
4K also known as Ultra High Definition
A 4K screenshot from You Tube via Apple TV as captured on my ISF calibrated 1080P Sharp Quatron LC70LE735U LCD 70 inch television. The Quatron panel has 25% more pixels then a conventional LCD television. Tap on image for full view.
Universal Power Cord
Have a vintage micro television with a missing power cord?
Don’t despair, forget about spending a lot of money on EBAY for a vintage power cord. Just detach a standard AC power cord from a household appliance you no longer need. Strip the insulation from one end, tin and solder to a pair of alligator clips and slide the red insulators back in place. You now have a universal power cord that will clip on to virtually all power leads of various design.
The first photo below, shows my beat up jumper chord and the second photo shows the alligators clipped on to the two AC power blades of a Sony KV 5100 Trinitron Television.
A word of caution. If you try this with this set, be sure to insulate the 12 volt terminals located just below the AC power blades to avoid possible damage. I did not have the power cord plugged in when these photos were taken.