Panasonic Pocket Watch CT-312B Color LCD TV/AM-FM Radio
An original purchase in August, 1987, this Panasonic CT-312B with 2.9 inch color TFT active matrix display with 89280 pixels, is the first of three elegant models with breakthrough image quality for the time period. The Magnavox and Sharp models are shown immediately below in this Time Line. The display pivots forward in the same manner as the Magnavox and Sharp models below. This allows ambient light to pass though the display without the need of the built-in back light, saving battery capacity. The unit also has a built-in AM/FM radio tuner. The television has unique, touch sensitive volume, channel selection and channel recall panel below the display. Electronic tuning with on-screen tuning bars which scan the VHF-UHF channels. Brightness, color and tint controls with audio/video, external antenna and earphone inputs. A flip out, easel type stand for viewing angles. The television operates on 6 standard AA size batteries or 9.5 volt external power supply. The batteries can be recharged by an internal charging circuit. The television measures 4 1/4″ H x 3 5/8″ W x 1 9/16″ D.
This television is an elegant, high quality device and still functions well today. Click on images below for full view.
Found the missing trim pieces for the top and bottom, so glued them in and re-photographed. Click or tap image for full view.
Panasonic Pocket Watch CT 311E Black Color LCD TV AM-FM Radio
Same model as above, except in black. Like new, mint, working condition. Found March, 2012. See screen shots below. This model was definitely a pioneer in the first high quality TFT (Thin Film Transistor) LCD color television with high density pixel display. Click on first image for full size details of this beautifully crafted television.
Quasar Spectator UP1348E
This television is essentially the same as the above two Panasonic Pocket Watch models and made by the same manufacture. The only difference is the front panel cosmetics and trade name. In all other respects, it is identical to the Pocket Watch models. Back in the day, I never saw this model advertised or displayed, so I wanted to add it to the collection. I found this television February, 2014 with all original accessories including the packaging and box. It is in excellent condition, a fine premium LCD television. See screen shots below.
Tap or click on image for full view.
Tap or click image for full view.
Posted October 28, 2022
Panasonic Pana Crystal Car TV TR-3LC1
This is the 1987 Japanese market model of the above Quasar SPECTATOR added to the time line. In addition to the features of the SPECTATOR, this model adds a wireless FM transmitter which transmits the television sound to your motor vehicles radio. It transmits on FM1 77.2 MHz and FM2 77.5 MHz. The selection is done by switch on the rear cabinet. There is a 6 pin “Diversity Unit” socket which attaches to the diversity tuning antenna. This set has a rechargeable battery and amazingly, after an overnight charge, it powers up using the internal batteries. We verified operation and will post screenshots using the A/V input. Stay tuned.
Posted April 14, 2019
Panasonic Pocket Watch Color CT-333S
Just found, April 13, 2019. We are not sure if this is the first generation or last in the “Pocket Watch” series. Our recollection was this model was available first, even though the model number is later. All the same feature as the above models CT-311 and CT-312, except it’s thicker to accommodate a larger speaker. 3 inch active matrix, TFT color display, AM/ FM stereo. Electronic on screen tuning. Battery operated and 9.5 volt power supply, car battery adaptor and slip case. 4 1/4”W X 4 1/2”H X 2 5/8”D. 18 oz.
April 14, 2019. Tiger Woods just won the Masters! The first screenshot of Woods is almost double the actual size, causing the pixel structure to be more noticeable.
Magnavox Color CH 1000BK
Introduced in 1987, made by Philips using the Magnavox name, a premium color TFT active matrix color TV. Panel is three inches with 92,160 pixel elements. The panel was supplied by Sharp Corporation which would introduce their own version shortly thereafter. It has a built-in back light and the the cabinet has an aluminum coating which allows ambient light to reflect through the display to save battery life. Manual tuning with on screen channel call. This set allowed the user to replace a worn back light without dissembling of the cabinet. It uses 5 standard AA batteries and supplied with hand strap, ear phone, and padded soft case. Very slim, attractive design, it measures 6 3/8″ h x 3 7/16″ w x 15/16″ d. The set was available in black and red.
This set was manufactured September, 1987 and I purchased new in November, 1987. It functions normally today. The screen shot below was scaled to be actual size on a 1600×1200 monitor. If viewed on a 1024×768 monitor, it will be over sized.
Magnavox Color CH 1000RD
Identical to the model above, except in red. I found this television in excellent working condition complete with soft cushioned case, March, 2012. See screen shots below.
Sharp Color 3ML 100BK CRYSTALTRON
Introduced late 1987, a premium color three inch active matrix TFT LCD with the highest pixel count to date, 92,160 elements, producing the most detailed image yet. Look at the Magnavox screen shot above and below. It was available in black and red. Built-in back light and aluminum coating on cabinet that allows ambient light to reflect though panel for battery conservation. Manual tuning with on screen channel call. It uses 5 standard AA batteries and supplied with ear phone, hand strap and soft case. This model is the most compact with a 3 inch panel, measuring 3 7/8″ w x 3 1/4″ h x 1 9/16″ d.
Jewel like craftsmanship with machined metal surfaces, beveled glass display screen, machined metal logo and color detailed script. Unusual is the fact that the user can replace the miniature back light tube without dissembling of the case. This TV had the most detailed image to date. This set was the first in a series of LCD televisions by Sharp and they led the way in technology advancement. Six months later, in June 1988, Sharp introduced a 14 inch, color, hang on the wall TFT, active matrix LCD television. 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 and by 2000, the LCD industry caught up to and then surpassed the CRT industry. In succeeding years Sharp would increase panel size and in 2005, introduced the industries largest, a 65 inch panel. In 2010, Sharp will introduce a 68 inch panel with a fourth sub pixel color, yellow. Early viewers have said the color expression is outstanding with a much brighter image because the yellow pixel allows more light to pass though the panel.
This set was manufactured November, 1987 and I purchased new in December, 1987. It functions perfectly today. The screen shot below was scaled to be actual size on a 1600×1200 monitor. If viewed on a 1024×768 monitor, it will be over sized.
Click on first image for full view.
Posted October 29, 2022
Epson ET 506
Other than cosmetics and LCD screen size of 2.5 inches, this set is identical to the below reviewed Epson ET 507. Runs on 6 double A batteries (AA) or 7.5 volt external power supply. Dimensions: 5 3/4 inches W X 3 1/2 inches H X 1 3/8 inches D. High quality feel and well preserved, screenshots to come via the A/V input.
Update June 12, 2019
Epson ET 507
Found an extremely rare Japanese market TFT LCD color television. We were attracted to its good looks and mint condition. Little is known about the set. A through search of the internet revealed only two posting. The first on Yahoo Japan with no description and a “Good Design Award 1987” article posted on the Japanese internet.
Very nice premium LCD TFT color 3.3 inch display. Serial number #10! Electronic on screen tuning. The set measures 6 3/8”W X 3 1/2”H X 1 3/8”D. Tint, color, A/V, antenna, earphone and power inputs are all located on the left side. Stylish pushbuttons on the front panel. Unknown pixel count and we verified operation. Screenshots to come.
Casio TV 1200
Not much is known about this rare, seldom seen Casio TV 1200 from 1987 and acquired June 17, 2017. It has a passive color 2.7 inch LCD display. Unknown pixel count, but likely the same as other Casio 2.7 inch sets in this Time Line. It has up and down electronic tuning with on screen display. The set requires four 1.5 volt batteries and also powered by an external six volt power supply. It has audio/video, phone and external antenna inputs with a pop out easel stand. As you can see, the set is pristine with an average quality passive color display. The set measures 5 5/16 inches wide, 3 3/8 inches high and 1 3/8 inches deep. Tap image to download full size image.
Casio TV 3000
Introduced in 1987, this 3.3 inch passive display color television has a generous image, larger then it’s competition in this year. High quality, elegant construction, with brushed metal face and chrome accents, machine metal logo and excellent detailing. Same design, flip up display panel used in the above Panasonic, Magnavox and Sharp models of the same year. This allows ambient light to pass though the panel, saving battery usage. Unfortunately, this Casio disappoints in picture quality with it’s passive display, the result is low contrast, low resolution color images when compared to the above Panasonic, Magnavox and Sharp active matrix TFT displays. Casio describes this display as a high resolution twisted nematic, HQM (high quality matrix) system. Built in back light, illuminates the screen when the panel is in the closed position. The television has audio/video, antenna, earphone and 9 volt external power supply inputs. Electronic tuning with a display marker built into the right hand side of the LCD display. Four way power system, operates on 6 standard AA batteries, rechargeable batteries, car battery or AC power supply. Recessed easel type stand. The television measures 4″ W x 6 1/8″ H x 1 1/4″ D and weighs 13.6 ounces.
I acquired this hard to find television in October, 2011 in excellent cosmetic condition, the best looking Casio model in my collection. This television uses the identical panel display as the Casio TV 3100 shown below. The image quality is representative of the screen shot shown for the TV 3100. Click on images for full view.
Sony Watchman FD 270
Introduced in 1987, this television was added to the collection because it has the distinction of being the thinnest Watchman of all that were introduced. Sony reduced the voltage to three volts from the customary six, so uses just two standard AA batteries. The set is one inch thick over the majority of it’s case, but broadens to 1 3/16 inch thick at the base. A CRT television only one inch thick!
Black and white 2.7 inch flat CRT with external antenna and earphone inputs, and easel type recessed stand. Three way brightness and contrast controls. The television is supplied with an elegant rubber, zippered, soft slip case and hand strap. The set measures 6 1/8″ H x 3″ W x 1-1 3/16″ D, and was manufactured January, 1988. I acquired the set September, 2010 and is in pristine condition cosmetically. I have two examples, both exhibit poor video performance. They have minor cut offs in the lower corners with low contrast and interference showing horizontal lines through the image. The image is sub-par and not typical of the other Sony Watchman TV’s in my collection. Click on image for full view and download.
Here, the white version in like new condition. This one performs better with no cut offs and the brightness and contrast controls function well, but still shows horizontal lines of interference. This television was manufactured October, 1987 and acquired June, 2011.
Below, a comparison of the thickness of the Sony Watchman FD 270 on the left and a Sony Watchman 230 on the right. The FD 230 has the same size CRT as the FD 270 and it’s front face is identical so is not shown.
Posted August 17, 2023
An ultra rare, milestone television set unknown to me and my Japanese friend said it’s rarely seen in Japan. A Google search reveals almost nothing. It’s the Hitachi C5-LC1 with the largest color LCD screen in our micro collection, a generous 5 inches and the first Hitachi brand!
Indeed a rare set because in October 1987, this was the first color LCD by Hitachi and was the largest consumer color LCD television available at the time. LCD color first became available in 1984 with a 2 inch screen. (Seiko) . By 1986-87, image quality improved with a 3 inch class display by Sharp and Panasonic and it wasn’t until 1991, that Sharp introduced an 8.6 TFT LCD color television.
This set set gives us a high quality TFT display with 115200 pixels, using a matt screen coating to reduce reflections and improve contrast. Have a look at the video below. The set is powered by a DC 5V power brick or detachable rechargeable battery which attaches to the bottom of the set and rotates forward at right angles if desired. The set has RCA A/V inputs for monitor use. The segmented display panel can tilt up and away from the cabinet which shuts off the backlight and ambient light illuminates the translucent LCD display, reducing battery drainage. The set has the old rotary tuning method with on screen green or blue stripe indicators as well as rotary volume, brightness, color and tint controls. Finally we have an earphone input and adjustable easel stand. The set measures 6.1 W x 5.9 H x 1.6 D in inches and weighs a substantial 780G, in part due to its metal construction.
Tap below image to play video.
Casio TV 3100
Introduced in 1988, you don’t see this model often, a very nice 3.3 inch color LCD TV cosmetically, but unfortunately the picture quality performs with passive matrix quality. No color adjustment, only tint adjustment. Built in easel type stand, audio, video input and electronic tuning. The set uses 6 standard AA batteries and measures 5 1/4″ h x 3 5/8″ w x 1 1/4″ d. This set is in good working condition and acquired in May, 2010.
Compare this set’s passive 3.3 inch display at top with Sony’s FDL 380 active matrix 3 inch display below. See the Sony FDL 380 on page four.
Posted March 1, 2023
Seiko LVD 601
Seiko LVD 601 TFT LCD color television/monitor, Japanese market model with 3.5 inch display. The protective curved lens gives us a nice aesthetic and although lacking premium surfaces, the set has a professional feeling. The side escutcheons are reminiscent of the early 1980’s Sony Profeel CRT televisions with side mounted speakers. Pixel count unknown, but estimated to be 92000. On screen digital display, push button channel call, channel up/down, volume up/down and antenna, A/V, earphone and DC 9 volt power input. The battery case is detachable, holding 6 double A (AA) batteries and a tripod socket is provided. The set measures 3.75W X 3.6H X 1.75D in inches, add .75 inches with battery case and attached easel stand.
Unfortunately the back light is tired and this example delivers unsatisfactory performance. Due to its unavailability in America, we are happy to have found this television for the time line collection.
Posted November 7, 2022
Seiko LVD 701
This is the big brother to the Seiko LVD 302, which is a Japanese market model with a generous 3.5 inch TFT active matrix LCD display. It has all the same features, inputs and controls as the Seiko LVD 302 and adds an A/V input so we will be able to add screenshots from this set. Uses 5 double AA battery’s or the external DC 9.5 volt power supply. Measures 5 1/2 inches high X 3 3/16 inches wide X 1 1/2 inches deep. Very nice premium set, operation confirmed and screenshots to come. Stay tuned.
Posted November 14, 2022.
Found this elegant Japanese market model TFT LCD color set in pristine condition, perhaps the most beautifully designed micro television in my collection, it’s part of the Panasonic Pana Crystal series. The set uses all metal construction, with high gloss enamel paint combined with a matt metal finish. Done in portrait design, this set elevates style and performance over the previous Panasonics with on screen electronic tuning and channel call. The antenna is completely submerged within the cabinet for storage. Measures 5 5/16 inches H x 3 5/8 inches W x 5/8 inches D, the thinnest micro color set in my collection and the screen is 2.7 inches diagonal, a significant size reduction from the previous portrait style Panasonic’s with the same screen size. Confirmed operation with the external 11 volt power supply and the battery is a proprietary rechargeable type which is confined to its quarter by a Phillip head screw. Panasonic is discouraging changing batteries. I could not photograph screenshots due to it’s proprietary A/V input socket. Click on images for detail. Overall, a high end elegant micro television.
Posted February 27, 2023
Sony FDL-401 Color Watchman
This premium LCD color television by Sony is well designed with a 105600 pixel, 4 inch on screen digital display. The built in rod antenna collapses into the cabinet, a nice feature, with a full array of controls and inputs, A/V, antenna, earphone and power. Push button volume up/down, channel up/down, UHF/VHF, display, brightness color saturation and hue complete the array. The set uses a 6 volt docking reachable battery or 6 double A (AA) batteries, both of which are missing from this acquisition. Push button up/down electronic tuning. The set measures 5.5 W X 4.5 H X 1.6 D in inches. This micro sets three color Trinitron ellipse logo was reserved for the Color Watchman series.
This set produces a pleasant display of colors, lacking the high contrast that most TFT LCD micros produce. Very pleasing pastel look, but I believe this is due to an aging backlight.
Posted June 19, 2023
Epson ET 304
Epson ET 304 with 2.6 inch LCD color display. Nice design layout with advanced electronic channel call, channel forward and back, volume up and down, but a step backward with a passive color display as seen by the below screenshots. Very high contrast which cannot be adjusted, washes out colors and details. The dipole antenna is located unusually in the center, folding flat against the rear all plastic cabinet and the fold out easel stand has a slot to allow the antenna to extend out from the cabinet allowing the stand to remain in place. All the usual inputs, antenna, A/V, earphone and DC 9.5 V power. The set is also powered by 5 double AA batteries. Color, tint and brightness rotary controls complete the package. The canted display screen is a nice design element, but in practice does little to improve the viewing experience. The set measures 5.5 H x 3.25 W x 1.5 D in inches.
Sony Indextron KVX 370 Watch Cube
Eight years after the introduction of the KV 4000, (see page two) Sony reduced the cabinet depth of a color television using a color CRT, to less then six inches from the previous 11 3/8 inch depth. The KV 4000 had the same size CRT as this new Indextron, 3.7 inches.
Introducing the rare Sony KVX 370 Watch Cube. How did Sony do it? This color Indextron tube is derived from 1950’s engineering studies from the Philico Corporation. The Indextron tube was know as the Apple tube by Philico. An entire story by it self. To appreciate what the Indextron can do, one needs a basic understanding on how color television was originally developed. See this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam-index_tube So after 34 years of development by others, the beam index tube was never successfully developed to a consumer application until the introduction of this set, the Sony projectors, Sony monitors and the Hitachi view finders.
Seven products were developed by Sony, using the Indextron technology. The first was in a projection TV because of it’s very bright light output, the FP 60 with built in Betamax VTR and the FP 62 without VTR, the second, this bed side combination color TV, alarm clock with on screen display of the time and TV channels, the IDX 5000 and IDX 7000 monitors and auto monitors, XAV-U50 and XAV-U51. Prior to this time, only Hitachi Corporation marketed index tube technology in the form of miniature color CRT’s, for camcorder view finders. Sony was know to be working on “large screen, hang on the wall, color, flat tubes” in the lab, but display technology was making giant strides and soon, large screen, hang on the wall, flat panel LCD and Plasma displays would gain popular acceptance. Sony foresaw this trend and did not develop indextron technology further.
The Indextron tube uses a one gun, one electron beam design and dispenses the shadow mask all together. I will dispense with the technical details of this design for now.
This model was purchased June, 2010. Upon arrival, I found this set to be in pristine, mint, unused condition, original box, all packing materials and paper work. I connected a digital converter box and after power up, the set automatically searched for an over the air channel three (3) , locked on and displayed a great image, however, the bottom one fourth of the image is cut off. The seller described this problem in his listing. This set has a history of capacitor failure. A gentleman from Paris, France has shared technical information with me, even supplying me, a 76 page Sony service manual. I intend to replace all defective components hopefully with full restoration. Watch for screen shots after restoration.
Back in the day, only saw this set featured in a Popular Science magazine article. Never saw this set displayed in store front windows or advertised for sale, indeed very rare and the white version is extremely rare.
Electronic tuning with channel presets stored in memory, the alarm can be set to turn on chimes or the TV. It has video/audio and antenna inputs with a angle adjustable built in stand. Color, hue, contrast and brightness controls are located at the bottom of the set. Ear phone jack for private listening. The set can be operated in a car but has no self contained batteries. What makes this TV special is the Indextron color tube and the fact that it is the first and only stand alone direct view television receiver in the world to successfully utilize beam index technology for the consumer market.
The TV measures 5 1/4″ w x 5 1/4″ h x 5 3/4″ d weighs 2 lbs. 14 oz. Manufactured January, 1989 and retailed for $399.00. Click on images for full view. You can see screen shots and restoration information on the Indextron Page.
New Sony KVX 370 Screen Shots, scaled to be actual size on a 1600 resolution monitor. You can see restoration information on the Indextron Page. The first image is oversized and you can click on image to see pixel structure.
Sony Indextron KVX 370 Watch Cube Black
Added the black version, found in Germany late August, 2011 in very good, clean condition. It still has it’s red dot sticker in place, but not in pristine unused condition as the above white model. I used a jewelers polish paste called Hapich GHE to rub out a few scratches on the cabinet and viewing screen. This product is very effective and the set looks like new. Upon power up on September 8, 2011, all functions are working, displays, clock and a full color screen with no cut offs. There is evidence of some color variance (color bleeding). The tell tale odor of failing capacitors is evident. As discussed above, this model is notorious for leaking, bad capacitors. I expected this and a recap and adjustment will be required before screen shots can be displayed. Any further operation of the set could exacerbate the problem, caused by leaking electrolyte damaging circuit traces. Watch for photos after restoration. I am pleased to now have both black and white versions of this unique television. This model was manufactured February, 1989 and although purchased in Germany, it receives NTSC analogue signals and not PAL.
Click on images for full view.
Update: May 3, 2012
I sent this black model to Andy Cuffe who replaced the bad caps in the above white model, KVX 370. Andy found that the antenna presets were not set properly and “the boards were in very good shape with very little corrosion. Sometimes I see them with open traces, and surface mount resistors that are badly corroded, but not on this one.” 20 capacitors were replaced and upon return, I find the picture quality to be the equal to the above white model and now possess a working Indextron in each cabinet color. See screen shots below.
Sony GV S50 Video Recorder/Monitor Walkman
This is the successor to the original Sony GV 8 Video Walkman introduced in 1988. I purchased the GV 8 new in 1988, sold it and bought the GV 300. Also owned the GV 9 but sold that model as well. Unfortunately, the GV 300 suffered an accident. An unknown substance spilled onto the GV 300 while in storage, the case is rubberized and the result was a gooey mess. I have cleaned it up and it functions normally, but not very photogenic. See Page Five for screen shots.
The first photo is the GV 300. It looks near identical to the original GV 8 except it has a larger four inch display instead of three inch. The display is hinged and can be lifted up for a better viewing angle. The GV 300 measures 8 1/2″ H x 4 15/16″ W x 2 1/4″ D. All other specifications similar to the GV S50
This GV S50 has a four inch active matrix TFT display, 92,160 pixels, panel likely supplied by Sharp, built in back light. The nice thing is the supplied tuner/timer TGV 3, docks and un-docks from the main unit resulting in the most compact Video Walkman in the series and the display folds down much like today’s laptop computers. The battery pack attached to rear of the unit. Electronic tuning, on screen display, stereo sound, using the popular 8mm video tape format of the period. The unit measures 6 15/16″ w x 4 7/8″ d x 3 1.4″ h. Subtract 1 5/16″ when tuner/timer unit is detached. Multiple power sources. Purchased new and operates fine today. The GV 300 and GV S50 have the highest contrast ratio and deepest blacks of all LCD micro sets in my collection.
Screen shots from Sony Video Walkman GV 300 four inch active matrix TFT display, 92,160 pixels. GV 300 introduced 1990. Scaled to be actual size on a 1600 x 1200 resolution monitor. If viewed on a 1024 x 768 monitor, screen shots will be enlarged.
Next, Page Four.