Richtige Fernseher haben Röhren!

Richtige Fernseher haben Röhren!

In Brief: On this site you will find pictures and information about some of the electronic, electrical and electrotechnical technology relics that the Frank Sharp Private museum has accumulated over the years .

Premise: There are lots of vintage electrical and electronic items that have not survived well or even completely disappeared and forgotten.

Or are not being collected nowadays in proportion to their significance or prevalence in their heyday, this is bad and the main part of the death land. The heavy, ugly sarcophagus; models with few endearing qualities, devices that have some over-riding disadvantage to ownership such as heavy weight,toxicity or inflated value when dismantled, tend to be under-represented by all but the most comprehensive collections and museums. They get relegated to the bottom of the wants list, derided as 'more trouble than they are worth', or just forgotten entirely. As a result, I started to notice gaps in the current representation of the history of electronic and electrical technology to the interested member of the public.


Following this idea around a bit, convinced me that a collection of the peculiar alone could not hope to survive on its own merits, but a museum that gave equal display space to the popular and the unpopular, would bring things to the attention of the average person that he has previously passed by or been shielded from. It's a matter of culture. From this, the Obsolete Technology Tellye Web Museum concept developed and all my other things too. It's an open platform for all electrical Electronic TV technology to have its few, but NOT last, moments of fame in a working, hand-on environment. We'll never own Colossus or Faraday's first transformer, but I can show things that you can't see at the Science Museum, and let you play with things that the Smithsonian can't allow people to touch, because my remit is different.

There was a society once that was the polar opposite of our disposable, junk society. A whole nation was built on the idea of placing quality before quantity in all things. The goal was not “more and newer,” but “better and higher" .This attitude was reflected not only in the manufacturing of material goods, but also in the realms of art and architecture, as well as in the social fabric of everyday life. The goal was for each new cohort of children to stand on a higher level than the preceding cohort: they were to be healthier, stronger, more intelligent, and more vibrant in every way.

The society that prioritized human, social and material quality is a Winner. Truly, it is the high point of all Western civilization. Consequently, its defeat meant the defeat of civilization itself.

Today, the West is headed for the abyss. For the ultimate fate of our disposable society is for that society itself to be disposed of. And this will happen sooner, rather than later.

OLD, but ORIGINAL, Well made, Funny, Not remotely controlled............. and not Made in CHINA.

How to use the site:

- If you landed here via any Search Engine, you will get what you searched for and you can search more using the search this blog feature provided by Google. You can visit more posts scrolling the left blog archive of all posts of the month/year,
or you can click on the main photo-page to start from the main page. Doing so it starts from the most recent post to the older post simple clicking on the Older Post button on the bottom of each page after reading , post after post.

You can even visit all posts, time to time, when reaching the bottom end of each page and click on the Older Post button.

- If you arrived here at the main page via bookmark you can visit all the site scrolling the left blog archive of all posts of the month/year pointing were you want , or more simple You can even visit all blog posts, from newer to older, clicking at the end of each bottom page on the Older Post button.
So you can see all the blog/site content surfing all pages in it.

- The search this blog feature provided by Google is a real search engine. If you're pointing particular things it will search IT for you; or you can place a brand name in the search query at your choice and visit all results page by page. It's useful since the content of the site is very large.

Note that if you don't find what you searched for, try it after a period of time; the site is a never ending job !

Every CRT Television saved let revive knowledge, thoughts, moments of the past life which will never return again.........

Many contemporary "televisions" (more correctly named as displays) would not have this level of staying power, many would ware out or require major services within just five years or less and of course, there is that perennial bug bear of planned obsolescence where components are deliberately designed to fail and, or manufactured with limited edition specificities..... and without considering........picture......sound........quality........

..............The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of todays funny gadgets low price has faded from memory........ . . . . . .....
Don't forget the past, the end of the world is upon us! Pretty soon it will all turn to dust!

Have big FUN ! !
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©2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Frank Sharp - You do not have permission to copy photos and words from this blog, and any content may be never used it for auctions or commercial purposes, however feel free to post anything you see here with a courtesy link back, btw a link to the original post here , is mandatory.
All sets and apparates appearing here are property of
Engineer Frank Sharp. NOTHING HERE IS FOR SALE !

Friday, September 30, 2011

SONY KV-FX29TA YEAR 1988.



















































The SONY KV-FX29 is the first television of SONY with 100HZ Digital scan Technology.The set is a multistandard and has many features including STEREO sound + teletext + still picture + 50 programs PLL synthesized tuning with OSD (Classic 80's green Sony OSD).
And of course a remote, and allows external speakers connection.

SONY with this model developed his own 100HZ Digital scan Television , SONY KV-FX29 ,display system with increased field frequency ; digital scan converter means including field-memory means supplied with an input video signal of an interlaced television system having a selected plurality of fields per second different from PHILIPS 100HZ scan system.

The SONY KV-FX29TA is A 100HZ frame rate TELEVISION In a known arrangement, the frame rate of a television signal is doubled by using a field store. In a first operating mode, each field of the television signal is entered into the field store in this arrangement and read out twice at twice the frequency. In a second mode, only every second field is entered into the field store and read out four times at twice the frequency. In an arrangement for converting an original picture signal representing a sequence of frames, each of which is composed of two interlaced fields, into a converted picture signal which has a double field frequency with respect to the original picture signal, is for doubling the field frequency, for the purpose of noise reduction, motion compensation and line flicker reduction.

 The SONY KV-FX29 TA features also Beam Scan Velocity modulation.
When the phosphor screen of a video signal reproducing apparatus, such as, the screen of the cathode ray tube in a television receiver, is scanned by an electron beam or beams so as to form a picture or image on the screen, the beam current varies with the luminance or brightness level of the input video signal. Therefore, each electron beam forms on the phosphor screen a beam spot whose size is larger at high brightness levels than at low brightness levels of the image so that sharpness of the reproduced picture is deteriorated, particularly at the demarcation between bright and dark portions or areas of the picture. Further, when a beam scanning the screen in the line-scanning direction moves across the demaraction or edge between dark and bright areas of the picture, for example, black and white areas, respectively, the frequency response of the receiver does not permit the beam intensity to change instantly from the low level characteristic of the black area to the high level characteristic of the white area. Therefore, the sharpness of the reproduced image is degraded at portions of the image where sudden changes in brightness occur in response to transient changes in the luminance or brightness of the video signal being reproduced. The increase in the beam current and in the beam spot size for bright portions of the reproduced picture or image and the inadequate frequency response of the television receiver to sudden changes in the brightness or luminance level of the incomming video signal are additive in respect to the degradation of the horizontal sharpness of the reproduced image or picture.
It is well known that an improvement in apparent picture resolution can be achieved by modulating the beam scan velocity in accordance with the derivative of the video signal which controls the beam intensity. This video signal is referred to as the luminance signal and the derivative of the luminance signal is employed for such control. An advantage of this method over a peaking approach to picture sharpness enhancement is the avoidance of blooming of peaked white picture elements.
It is known in the prior art to apply a differentiated video signal to the input of a double ended limiter incorporating a pair of threshold circuits. The limiter consists of two separate differential amplifiers, where each amplifier is separately biased to provide double ended limiting as well as to provide coring. The limiter arrangement develops a doubly clipped signal output which does not respond to excursions of the differentiated signal which lie below selected threshold magnitudes. Thus the gain of the limiter is such as to provide sharpness enhancement for slow transients while precluding excessive supplemental beam deflection with fast transients. The coring capability of the limiter arrangement significantly lessens the likelihood of noise visibility.

TV signals are defined primarily the National Television Standards Committee (NTSC), the Phase Alternative Line (PAL) or the Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire (SECAM) systems, and used in different countries around the world. An analog TV signal utilizes mainly two or three RF carriers, combined in the same channel band. One carrier may commonly be amplitude modulated (AM) with video content, and the other may be frequency modulated (FM) and/or amplitude modulated (AM) with audio content. An analog TV receiver functions by performing a series of operations comprising adjusting the signal power, separating the video and audio carriers, and locking to each carrier in order to down-convert the signals to baseband. The baseband video signal may then be decoded and displayed by achieving horizontal and vertical synchronization and extracting the luminance and color information. After demodulating the received signal, the resulting baseband audio may be decoded, and left, right, surround channels and/or other information may be extracted.
 - The SONY KV-FX29TA  Features a multistandard PAL/SECAM/NTSC 3.58 & 4.43 CCIR B/G/H/I/L/D/K/M. The different coding processes, e.g. NTSC, PAL and SECAM, introduced into the known colour television standards, differ in the nature of the chrominance transmission and in particular the different systems make use of different colour subcarrier frequencies and different line frequencies.

The following explanations relate to the PAL and NTSC systems, but correspondingly apply to video signals of other standards and non-standardized signals.
The colour subcarrier frequency (fsc) of a PAL system and a NTSC system is fsc(NTSC) = 3.58 MHz or fsc(PAL) = 4.43 MHz.
In addition, in PAL and NTSC systems the relationships of the colour subcarrier frequency (fsc) to the line frequency (fh) are given by fsc(NTSC) = 227.50 * fh or 4•fsc(NTSC) = 910 • fh fsc(PAL) = 283.75 * fh or 4•fsc(PAL) = 1135 • fh so that the phase of the colour subcarrier in the case of NTSC is changed by 180°/line and in PAL by 270°/line.

The invention relates to a digital multistandard decoder for video signals and to a method for decoding video signals. Colour video signals, so-called composite video, blanking and sync signals (CVBS) (chroma-video-blanking-sync) signal is a signal comprising both the chrominance and the luminance component of the video signal. Therefore, the CVBS video signal may be PAL video signal, a SECAM video signal, or an NTSC video signal. are essentially composed of a brightness signal or luminance component (Y), two colour difference signals or chrominance components (U, V or I, Q), vertical and horizontal sync signals (VS, HS) and a blanking signal (BL).

In order to decode a video signal and restore a color image, a color TV set has to identify the color TV standard used at the emission. Conventional color TV sets are equipped with a system for automatically identifying the norm or standard of the color TV set used for the emission. The invention more particularly relates to an automatic method for identifying a color TV standard in a multistandard TV set.

Presently, the most commonly used color TV standards are PAL, NTSC and SECAM standards. For these three standards, each line of the composite video signal comprises a synchronization pulse, a burst of a few oscillations of the chrominance sub-carrier signal, then the signal itself corresponding to the image, comprising superimposed luminance and chrominance information, the latter information being carried by the luminance signal.

The characteristics of the chrominance sub-carrier in the various PAL, NTSC and SECAM standards are defined in the published documents concerning these standards and will not be described in detail here. However, the main characteristics of these various standards will be briefly reminded because these indications are useful for a better understanding of the invention.

In the PAL standard, the frequency of the chrominance sub-carrier is equal for all the lines, but the phase of one of the modulation vectors varies + or -90° from one line to another. The frequency of the chrominance sub-carrier is standardized at 4.43 Mhz. In this system, the burst signal is also shifted by + or -90° from one line to the next.

In the NTSC standard, the chrominance sub-carrier is equal for all the lines.

In the SECAM standard, one uses two chrominance sub-carrier frequencies which alternate from one line to another, at 4.25 Mhz and 4.40 Mhz, respectively. These two chrominance sub-carriers are frequency modulated.

The multistandard color TV sets must have distinct internal systems designed to decode the luminance and chrominance signals for each standard used.

Therefore, these TV sets have to previously identify the received standard.

Systems for automatically identifying the standard used already exist. Generally, for such an automatic standard identification, the systems known use the bursts of the chrominance sub-carrier signal that are present at the beginning of each line. In fact, these bursts are standardized and calibrated samples of the chrominance sub-carrier transmitted on the video signal and comprise all the characteristic information concerning the transmitted color standard. The information contained in these bursts represents the frequency, the phase of one of the modulation vectors and the frequency or phase variation of one line with repect to the next one.

- CTI Picture Improvements circuitry in which colour signal, e.g. the line-sequential colour difference signals (R-Y,B-Y), is processed by an edge steepening circuit e.g. a colour transient improver and/or a two-line delay line in which the colour signals from two lines are added. The delay line may be part of a drop-out compensation circuit in which the colour signal of line n is replaced by the signal present for line n-2. A CCD-line may be used as the two-line delay line, and an amplitude limiter included. ADVANTAGE - Increased picture sharpness and improved signal-to-noise ratio.

The SONY KV-FX29 weights 65 KG. The 2 handgrip on top side are talking enough..........................

This tellye is rare and an unique model.
It was produced for a brief period of time in 1988, no other older models are similar nor any further, even the internal chassis is pretty unique and  only developed for this model and not shared in other types.

With 180 Watts of power supply requirements runs cool and quiet offering very good pictures flicker free, even without any digital enhancements still present in much more recent models with sophisticated chipsets.

The Trinitron colour tube, designed by and used exclusively by Sony in all its colour receivers, was the first to have an in -line gun arrangement. The Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) has been slowly changing since its con- ception about 50 years ago. Since then the emitter, accelerator and focus structures at the “gun” end have been added to the vacuum tube to shape and control the amount of electrons from the gun. At the target end of the CRT, the luminescent screen is made of a phos- phor mixture. Phosphor glows white when struck by electrons. Phos- phor brightness is directly proportional to the amount of electrons that strike the phosphor. The CRT sport brightness was controllable with a gun and phosphor screen. The electron beam produced a spot of light that was stationary on the phosphor screen. Placing an electromagnetic field near the electron beam after it left the gun created movement. The spot intensity and location were now controllable and the CRT became known as the pic- ture tube. To produce a color picture on the CRT screen; three independent gun structures are used. The electron guns produce different amounts of electrons targeted to their corresponding Red, Green and Blue phos- phors. Red, Green and Blue are the primary colors for light. In 1968 the Sony Trinitron picture tube was a departure from the tradi- tional three-gun color picture tube. Three major changes to the old color tube created a distinctive Trinitron picture tube:
 1. Instead of three small electron guns, focus was improved using one large electron gun structure that all three beams pass through.
 2. Electrostatic convergence plates were added to bend the outer elec- tron beams so they would land on the corresponding red and blue color phosphor.
 3. A continuous vertical slotted aperture grill at the screen end that: • Reduces the effects of terrestrial magnetism. • Prevents adjacent and stray electrons from striking the wrong phos- phor. • Allows more electrons to pass, increasing brightness without short- ening life. • Results in a flat screen. This reduces annoying room light reflections (glare).
It has a single gun assembly with three cathodes mounted in line horizontally, a striped -phosphor screen, an aperture grill with vertical slots instead of the traditional type of shadowmask, and a faceplate with cylindrical rather than parabolic curvature. The Trinitron tube produces a very good display - some people, including the   Obsolete Technology Tellye ! - author, would say the best aven if some exceptions with the PHILIPS ERF Series. There are sound technical reasons for making this claim, for example the design of the large electron lens which provides excellent resolution. An advantage of the cylindrical in comparison with the traditional parabolic faceplate is the fact that most of the external light that falls on it is reflected away from instead of towards the viewer, thus improving the. contrast and reducing eye strain.
The Black Trinitron introduced a couple of years ago gives a further improvement in this respect (the faceplate has been darkened to a black colour). Since the first Trinitron tubes appeared in the UK in the late sixties there has not been a great deal of change in the design, though a number of improvements have been introduced. More recently we have had the Black Trinitron mentioned above and the Pan -focus gun which gives uniform focusing over the entire screen area, eliminating any need for dynamic focusing but further added in large screen models in the 70's and 80's and 90's.

Any model with 100HZ scan tech coming after this SONY KV-FX29 ta is a different model and technologically different.

The set is build with a Modular chassis design because as modern television receivers become more complex the problem of repairing the receiver becomes more difficult. As the number of components used in the television receiver increases the susceptibility to breakdown increases and it becomes more difficult to replace defective components as they are more closely spaced. The problem has become even more complicated with the increasing number of color television receivers in use. A color television receiver has a larger number of circuits of a higher degree of complexity than the black and white receiver and further a more highly trained serviceman is required to properly service the color television receiver.
Fortunately for the service problem to date, most failures occur in the vacuum tubes used in the television receivers. A faulty or inoperative vacuum tube is relatively easy to find and replace. However, where the television receiver malfunction is caused by the failure of other components, such as resistors, capacitors or inductors, it is harder to isolate the defective component and a higher degree of skill on the part of the serviceman is required.
Even with the great majority of the color television receiver malfunctions being of the "easy to find and repair" type proper servicing of color sets has been difficult to obtain due to the shortage of trained serviceman.
At the present time advances in the state of the semiconductor art have led to the increasing use of transistors in color television receivers. The receiver described in this application has only two tubes, the picture tube and the high voltage rectifier tube, all the other active components in the receiver being semiconductors.
One important characteristic of a semiconductor device is its extreme reliability in comparison with the vacuum tube. The number of transistor and integrated circuit failures in the television receiver will be very low in comparison with the failures of other components, the reverse of what is true in present day color television receivers. Thus most failures in future television receivers will be of the hard to service type and will require more highly qualified servicemen.
The primary symptoms of a television receiver malfunction are shown on the picture tube of the television receiver while the components causing the malfunction are located within the cabinet. Also many adjustments to the receiver require the serviceman to observe the screen. Thus the serviceman must use unsatisfactory mirror arrangements to remove the electronic chassis from the cabinet, usually a very difficult task. Further many components are "buried" in a maze of circuitry and other components so that they are difficult to remove and replace without damage to other components in the receiver.
Repairing a modern color television receiver often requires that the receiver be removed from the home and carried to a repair shop where it may remain for many weeks. This is an expensive undertaking since most receivers are bulky and heavy enough to require at least two persons to carry them. Further, two trips must be made to the home, one to pick up the receiver and one to deliver it. For these reasons, the cost of maintaining the color television receiver in operating condition often exceeds the initial cost of the receiver and is an important factor in determining whether a receiver will be purchased.
Therefore, the object of this invention is to provide a transistorized color television receiver in which the main electronic chassis is easily accessible for maintenance and adjustment. Another object of this invention is to provide a transistorized color television receiver in which the electronic circuits are divided into a plurality of modules with the modules easily removable for service and maintenance. The main electronic chassis is slidably mounted within the cabinet so that it may be withdrawn, in the same manner as a drawer, to expose the electronic circuitry therein for maintenance and adjustment from the rear closure panel after easy removal. Another aspect is the capability to be serviced at eventually the home of the owner.
(To see the Internal Chassis Just click on Older Post Button on bottom page, that's simple !)


Sony Corporation (Sonī Kabushiki Gaisha) (TYO: 6758, NYSE: SNE), or commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate with revenue exceeding ¥ 7.730.0 trillion, or US$77.20 billion (FY2010).  Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, products for the consumer and professional markets. Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group, which is engaged in business through its eight operating segments – Consumer Products & Devices (CPD), Networked Products & Services (NPS), B2B & Disc Manufacturing (B2B & Disc), Pictures, Music, Financial Services, Sony Ericsson and All Other.  These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal business operations include Sony Corporation (Sony Electronics in the U.S.), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Ericsson, and Sony Financial. As a semiconductor maker, Sony is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders. Its founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka derived the name from sonus, the Latin word for sound, and also from the English slang word "sonny", since they considered themselves to be "sonny boys", a loan word into Japanese which in the early 1950s connoted smart and presentable young men. History Masaru Ibuka, the co-founder of Sony: In late 1945, after the end of World War II, Masaru Ibuka started a radio repair shop in a bomb-damaged department store building in Nihonbashi of Tokyo. The next year, he was joined by his colleague, Akio Morita, and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K., (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan's first tape recorder called the Type-G. In the early 1950s, Ibuka traveled in the United States and heard about Bell Labs' invention of the transistor.  He convinced Bell to license the transistor technology to his Japanese company. While most American companies were researching the transistor for its military applications, Ibuka and Morita looked to apply it to communications. Although the American companies Regency[disambiguation needed] and Texas Instruments built the first transistor radios, it was Ibuka's company that made them commercially successful for the first time. In August 1955, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo released the Sony TR-55, Japan's first commercially produced transistor radio.  They followed up in December of the same year by releasing the Sony TR-72, a product that won favor both within Japan and in export markets, including Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany. Featuring six transistors, push-pull output and greatly improved sound quality, the TR-72 continued to be a popular seller into the early sixties. In May 1956, the company released the TR-6, which featured an innovative slim design and sound quality capable of rivaling portable tube radios. It was for the TR-6 that Sony first contracted "Atchan", a cartoon character created by Fuyuhiko Okabe, to become its advertising character. Now known as "Sony Boy", the character first appeared in a cartoon ad holding a TR-6 to his ear, but went on to represent the company in ads for a variety of products well into the mid-sixties.   The following year, 1957, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo came out with the TR-63 model, then the smallest (112 × 71 × 32 mm) transistor radio in commercial production. It was a worldwide commercial success.
  University of Arizona professor Michael Brian Schiffer, Ph.D., says, "Sony was not first, but its transistor radio was the most successful. The TR-63 of 1957 cracked open the U.S. market and launched the new industry of consumer microelectronics." By the mid 1950s, American teens had begun buying portable transistor radios in huge numbers, helping to propel the fledgling industry from an estimated 100,000 units in 1955 to 5,000,000 units by the end of 1968. Sony's headquarters moved to Minato, Tokyo from Shinagawa, Tokyo around the end of 2006.
  Origin of name When Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a romanized name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TKK.
The company occasionally used the acronym "Totsuko" in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name. Another early name that was tried out for a while was "Tokyo Teletech" until Morita discovered that there was an American company already using Teletech as a brand name. The name "Sony" was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words. One was the Latin word Sonus which is the root of "sonic" and "sound" and the other was "sonny," a familiar term used in 1950s America to call a boy.
The first Sony-branded product, the TR-55 transistor radio, appeared in 1955 but the company name did not change to Sony until January 1958. At the time of the change, it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters to spell its name instead of writing it in kanji. The move was not without opposition: TTK's principal bank at the time, Mitsui, had strong feelings about the name. They pushed for a name such as Sony Electronic Industries, or Sony Teletech. Akio Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to any particular industry. Eventually, both Ibuka and Mitsui Bank's chairman gave their approval.


By Japanese standards Sony is a comparative newcomer. It started out in May 1946, recently celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. Most of the major Japanese companies in the consumer electronics field were formed much earlier. Hitachi and Toshiba for example date from the nineteenth century, Matsuhsita from the early years of the twentieth century. During those fifty years however Sony's achievements have been second to none. Sony started operations as Tokyo Tsuchin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). Its aim was "to make unique products", and to "create and introduce technologies that larger companies cannot match". One of its earliest achievements was Japan's first reel-to-reel audio tape recorder, which was launched in 1950. The tape to go with it, also developed by the company, was called Soni-tape. In 1954 the company launched the first all -transistor radio to go into production anywhere. When, in the following year, it decided to start exporting, a simple brand name that would be easily recognised in any part of the globe was required. Sony was the obvious answer, and in 1958 the company changed its name to the Sony Corporation. The Sony Corporation of America was set up in 1960. Sony UK, in 1968, brought Sony to Europe. Innovation continued apace. In 1960 Sony launched the fast fully transistorised portable TV receiver. Five years later the first open -reel video tape recorder for domestic use was introduced. The Trinitron colour system arrived in 1968. It was incredible, though typical, that Sony should develop its own colour TV tube from scratch. While relying on the traditional three primary colour phosphors and a shadowmask, the phosphors were laid down in stripes, the mask became a shadow grille, the guns were arranged in -line and the faceplate became much flatter. This was to be the way tube development would go. The Betamax VCR system was introduced in 1975. It is today generally accepted that it was the best of its time. But, as with the Trinitron system, Sony wouldn't licence it to other manufacturers. That mistake led to its demise, and wasn't repeated. The 8nun video system, which has come to dominate the camcorder field, was launched by Sony ten years later, in 1985. Meanwhile Sony had had an extraordinary success with the Walkman portable audio system, which was launched in 1979. This is claimed to have been "the single best-selling consumer electronics product ever marketed". Sony kept up the pace of development, moving on to digital systems. The MiniDisc, capable of both record and playback, arrived in 1993. In 1995 Sony was first to launch a digital camcorder. A home DV recorder is due later this year, along with a device called the DV cap: this links a DV camera to a PC for editing and image manipulation. There have been a number of other significant developments in recent times. The highly successful PlayStation established Sony in the video games market. Sony is to introduce its first PC later this year, while "a true living -room computer" is promised for next year. Plasmatron large, flat screen TV sets are already available in Japan. DVD players are another imminent prospect. All in all it has been an extraordinary story, and Sony's position at the centre of electronics development looks set to continue indefinitely. The company has combined world -class R&D capabilities, manufacturing excellence, the ability to read and to create markets, and remarkable marketing skills. The UK's main CE innovator for a long time, Amstrad, makes a sorry contrast. For a time Amstrad couldn't do anything wrong. It came up with a string of innovative ideas and products, skillfully meeting and developing user requirements. Packaged audio, wordprocessors then an IBM PC clone. There were the combined TV/VCR units, then the video Double Decker. Amstrad was in and out of audio, video and TV, always with highly competitive products. The company came up with the first Sky package at under £200. But while it came up with products that met contemporary needs, it never seemed to take root and grow. We are now witnessing its final dismemberment. Psion, the hand-held computer manufacturer, is negotiating to take over Amstrad's digital telephone interests, which fit in with its own product development programme. Amstrad's loss - making consumer electronics interests are to be split between Betacom, an affiliated company, and a new company to be called Digicom Technology. The latter will take over Amstrad's analogue satellite business and inherit a small R&D operation. How did Sony succeed, starting out with twenty employees, no machinery and negligible capital, while Amstrad simply shuffles off stage? Because Amstrad never developed a comprehensive business strategy. It came up with bright ideas, subcontracted production, stocked up then walked away as soon as the market turned.

It's the tragic story of much of UK and European industry.
R.I.P. EUROPE........................................................


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