Continuation of Vintage Micro Television, this is page three.
Next up, Sony FD-40A
This is the largest of the Sony black and white flat screen Watchman series televisions. This model has a 4 inch diagonal CRT and because of its size and weight, Sony engineers decided to place the tube “upside down”. By doing this, the bulk of the weight is at the bottom of the cabinet which forms a stable base for the television. The set has inputs for an earphone, external antenna, audio/video and a 6 volt power supply and it uses 4 standard C cells. The remainder of the normal controls plus brightness, contrast and vertical hold are here. I have always appreciated the concealed antenna feature built into this and other models. The television measures 8 1/4″ H x 4 3/4″ W x 2 to 2 1/4″ D. The television was manufactured October, 1985. It’s iconic, it’s great, “It’s a Sony”.
You may remember this television from the 1988 film, Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.
Dustin Hoffman’s character, Raymond Babbitt, played an autistic-savant who was able to memorize reams of trivia. He had to watch “Peoples Court” and “Jeopardy” every day at the same time, no matter what and he carried his Sony FD-40A television where ever he went.
There were many scenes in the movie showing him with his Sony.
I found this television recently, September, 2013 in excellent working condition. It was a duplicate in a long time television collector’s collection. I’m very happy to add it to my collection. See screen shot below.
Next up, Seiko LVD012
The second in a series of TFT televisions from Seiko, the LVD012 black and white two inch with a reflection type panel containing 52,800 pixels. It uses ambient light as the light source, the brighter the light the better the image. This set produces a very clear image and the sound quality is excellent. Very compact measuring 2.8″ w x 4.6″ h x 0.9″ d. weighing only 7 ounces with 2 standard AA batteries. The battery life was said to be 10 hours. One could easily slip this set in a shirt pocket. Beautiful retro styling and you simply flip the protective screen cover down and the set automatically turn on, flip the cover up, it turns off. Partial metal cabinet, nice detailing, this set feels premium in every way. It is supplied with ear phone, hand strap, a small thin wire antenna that screws in the set for tight locations where it was impracticable to extend the built in rod antenna (I’m visualizing a Tokyo business man on a crowded sub way train watching this set) and soft velvet case.
This is one of my favorite sets and functions perfectly today. I purchased new, April, 1985.
Epson, co developer, introduced a virtual identical TV, but without the sliding protective cover, called the Epson Elf ET 20 High Resolution Pocket TV. It had a nice champagne metal cabinet.
Seiko LVD 012 screen shot scaled to be actual size on a 1600×1200 monitor. If viewed on a 1024×768 monitor, it will be over sized. The image is from a low power UHF station still operating. The transmitter is about 27 miles away and there is snow in image. This set lacks an antenna input, (there is a screw in propitiatory antenna input for the wire antenna. It should be possible to build an adapter to allow a standard antenna connection for a digital converter box, the only way to receive over the air television signals on this and all other analogue television sets. Low power UHF analogue signals can still be received with the built in mono-pole antenna.) so I could not hook up a digital converter box to show the very good quality image this set is capable of. The panel is a reflective type, meaning it has no back light what so ever. It uses ambient light only. The brighter the light the better the image. This image was photographed in a day lit room room with no artificial light.
Next up, Epson Elf ET 20
Epson Elf ET 20
Here is Epson’s version of the above Seiko LVD012 TV. Same set, different cosmetics. Without sliding cover, 0.75 inch thin. Purchased new, 1985.
Next up, Seiko LVD 202
Seiko LVD 202
The second generation Seiko TFT color TV. This one used the same size screen and pixel count, two inches and 52,800 as the original T 102. You can see in the photo, the metallic coating on the case is designed to reflect ambient light though the panel when the screen is flipped open, The panel lies flat to the case for transport. It did not have a built in back light. An optional self powered (4 standard AA batteries) back light module TF-04 was available and snapped behind the panel when in open position. The back light module could also be powered by external 6 volt supply. Additionally this set has a built in digital clock/timer. It uses 4 standard AA batteries and supplied with ear phone, hand strap and soft suede case. Smaller and lighter then the original T 102, measuring 3 3/16″ w x 5 7/8″ h x 1 1/8 ” d.
I purchased this set new in August, 1985 and it operates normally today.
Seiko LVD 202 Screen Shot, Auburn college football game, photographed December 4, 2010. Back light module attached.
Seiko LVD 202 Screen Shot without back light, just using ambient room light. The color temperature of the image in this mode will be dependent on light source and brightness. There are reflections on the glass screen in this shot. Photographed December 5, 2010.
1986 Seiko magazine advertisement
Next up, Seiko Color LVD 302
Seiko Color LVD 302
One year later Seiko introduced a premium TFT active matrix drive two inch color set. Pixel elements increased to 70,400 for a sharper more detailed image. Built in back light, auto tuning, channel call and 4 way power source. Seiko reduced the size to 5″ h x 3″ w x 1 1/4″ d and it weighed less then 12 ounces including the 4 standard AA batteries. Supplied with ear phone, hand strap and soft case.
Indeed a wonderful premium set. This is the last of the Seiko sets in my collection, purchased new in summer, 1986 and functions normally today.
The picture quality has improved over the earlier Seiko T 102 of 1984 but needs improvement. The break though came one year later with the introduction of the Sharp Crystaltron which follows in this Time Line.
Next up, Citizen LC O8TA-OA
Citizen LC O8TA-OA
This model uses a passive reflection panel 3.2 inch which reflects onto a mirror. Primitive design adopted early by Citizen, Casio and others. This low priced model actually displays a better picture then the expensive Casio TV 10 of 1983. One simply lifts the “lid” (the display) and ambient light passes though the panel onto the mirror. This model added a FM stereo tuner. The set measures 5 3/4″ w x 3 3/8″ h x 13/16″ d and uses 4 standard AAA batteries.
Casio in particular, flooded the market with these type of low cost pocket televisions and eventually introduced the active matrix TFT displays when the production costs lowered sufficiently. I have many of the early types in my collection, but are to numerous to display individually. Please see Frank’s Hand Held TV Pages link provided for more information and great photos. I was particularly fond of this mirror model, for it’s nice feel, look and panel size even though all plastic. I purchased this set new, but I can’t remember if it was in 1985 or 1986.
Next up, Citizen TB 20
Citizen TB 20
An unusual and hard to find 3.5 inch passive black and white LCD television. Definitely not a pocket TV, it measures 8 7/16″ W x 4 1/2″ H x 1 1/4″ D and uses 4 C size batteries, adding considerable weight to this television. This set breaks away from the previous mirror reflection system Citizen used and now offers a built in back light for direct viewing. A 1 7/8″ speaker offers better then average sound quality and the built in stand doubles as a carrying handle. The set provides external antenna, audio/video, earphone and external 6 volt DC power inputs.
I found this television in excellent, working condition, August, 2011 and it provides better then average black and white images for a passive LCD. See screen shot below.
Next up, Casio TV 70
Casio TV 70
Introduced late 1985 or 1986, in the day, never saw this set. I believe it to be extremely rare. It has a 1.85 inch passive LCD black and white display. Very low contrast image. This set is the slimmest in my collection, other then the Seiko TV watch on PAGE ONE, only 1/2 inch thick. It measures 4 15/16″ L x 2 11/16″ W and uses three standard AAA batteries. Electronic tuning with no internal speaker. The supplied ear phone acts as the antenna. Very attractive design with recessed machined metal logo graphics. It also has a nice slip case for the pocket.
I purchased this TV August, 2010. It arrived in mint condition, looking unused without any sign of wear, scratch and smudge free. The slip case is pristine as well as you can see in the photos below. Indeed, even the volume and brightness rotary controls operate with a stiffness, indicating very little use. I put in fresh batteries and the set locked on to a low power UHF station still operating in my area. Now that this set is in my collection, I can say it is my favorite passive, reflection/mirror television, not for it’s performance, but for it’s slim, elegant good looks. You can see the low contrast, poor quality image below. This was typical of early passive LCD television and the lowest quality in my collection. The break though came with the introduction in 1987 of the Sharp Crystaltron shown on page Three A.
Click on first image for full view and download.
Next up, Casio TV 300 Color TV
Casio TV 300 Color TV
Here is a another mirror type reflective passive LCD TV. This one is color and operates as described above for the Citizen model. One notable exception, no speaker, just the supplied ear phone. 1.7 inch panel, with electronic tuning feature. An optional back light module was available. It uses two standard AA batteries. This set is very compact measuring 4 1/2″ w x 2 7/8″ h x 7/8″ d adding 1/4″ to the height for the extruded rod antenna. In the photo below, you can see how the set was viewed. Lower quality construction and not much detailing. I always considered this set a novelty and not a serious television. I purchased new but seldom used. Added fresh batteries and to my surprise after almost 24 years, the set works!
Up next, Casio TV-2000 Color
Casio TV-2000 Color
Introduced in 1986, the Casio TV-2000 with passive color 2.7 inch LCD display. An original purchase this television employs the primitive projection screen onto a mirror system. Very low resolution but bright display, incorporating an active channel indicator on the right hand side. Electronic tuning, color, tint, brightness and volume controls together with audio/video, external antenna, earphone and 6 volt external power jacks provided. The set runs on 4 standard AA batteries and has a simple flip out stand in the rear cabinet. An optional fluorescent back light module clips on over the projection screen. The television measures 5 3/4″ W x 3 5/16″ H x 1 1/8″ D. The set operates perfectly and I have the optional back light, AC adapter, carrying strap and case. See images and screen shots below.
Up next, Sharp 3LS36(BK) Color Television
Sharp 3LS36(BK) Color Television
Introduced in 1986 was this great looking television with 3.5 inch color CRT by the Sharp Corporation of Japan. In line RGB, slot mask color tube with proprietary name “Linytron”. The upper portion, is supported by the base with built in power supply. The TV can be turned left or right from it’s central position and adjusted vertically as well. The upper unit can be detached from the stand and powered by a separate 12 volt battery. It has audio/video, antenna and earphone inputs and a monitor out jack. The mono pole antenna can be detached from the unit. Status lights on the front panel will illuminate for power and when the video input is selected. The protective screen cover gives the set a sleek modern look along with it’s glossy finish. This television is best know for the pink model, but it was also available in white and black as pictured below. It has manual tuning with an on-screen channel seek bar. The set measures 5 1/4″ W x 4″ H x 9 1/4″ D. The base is 1″ high in front and 2 1/2″ high at the rear. This television was manufactured July, 1986 and compared to the Sony KV 4000 3.7 inch color Trinitron introduced in 1980, has less over scan, but the Sony has more accurate, factory set color temperature, closer to the ideal 6500 Kelvin. This set is two inches less in depth compared to the Sony.
I acquired this television in October, 2010 and it is in excellent, like new condition and performs as new with a beautiful detailed image.
Next up, National TR-3LT1 Pana Crystal
National TR-3LT1 Pana Crystal
This very rare model has an interesting story for collectors. A prototype version of this television was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, 1987.
It was branded “Panasonic Pocket Watch” and introduction was promised in the same year.
However, it was never released in this style. Instead, it was released in the United States as “Panasonic Pocket Watch CT-312B”. (See Page THREE A)
This model is essentially the same as the Magnavox CH 1000BK, (also shown on PAGE THREE A) but with some differences. The obvious difference is the styling, but the tuning system is different and located on the front panel with a manual tuning indicator instead of the electronic, on-screen tuning bar used on the Magnavox. A well crafted, premium television with attention to detail and a very interesting deep metallic burgundy color. This model is a Japanese market model and uses a different frequency on the VHF band. Therefore, a digital converter box will not work with this television. I was able to receive two low power analogue UHF stations still operating in the Phoenix Valley. Most everything else is the same as the Magnavox CH 1000B, such as the three inch TFT LCD color panel etc. This model measures 6 1/2″ H x 3 9/16″ W x 7/8″ D and was manufactured July 12, 1986, the date appearing on the tag on the back of set. I never saw this model anywhere since the Consumer Electronics Show in 1987, until I found this one in May, 2013.
Click or tap images for full view.
Next up, Sony Watchman FD 10A
Sony Watchman FD 10A
This is the TV I referred to above. It recaptured the title as smallest production CRT television from the earlier Panasonic Travelvision 1030P, but not by much. It measures 6 1/8″ h x 2 1/2″ w x 1 1/2″ d. It has a two inch flat black and white CRT and uses 4 standard AA batteries. Very basic, but rugged little set, a great solid performer. One can listen to TV sound only. This is the smallest Watchman CRT set that I’m aware of. I have other examples of the Watchman black and white TV in my collection, but just variations in CRT size and cabinet design. This set was manufactured April, 1987 and I purchased new for $79.99 at a major discount chain retailer.
Next up, Sony Watchman AM/FM FD 3A TV
Sony Watchman FM FD 3A TV
May have been introduced late 1986, the FD 3A is very similar in style to the above Sony FD 10A except it adds an FM Stereo tuner and digital alarm clock. Additionally it adds a 3 way contrast switch, high, medium and low. It has a two inch black and white flat CRT and uses the same standard 4 AA batteries plus one miniature cell to power the clock at all times. Flip out stand and recessed antenna holder. The metal flake metallic paint and extra details give this set a premium feel. Manufactured January, 1986. The set measures 6 1/2″ H x 2 7/16″ W x 1 9/16″ D. This is the smallest all-in-one Watchman TV.
I purchased this TV August, 2010 and it arrived in excellent cosmetic condition and works perfectly.
SEE PAGE THREE A, VINTAGE MICRO TELEVISION FOR CONTINUATION OF TIME LINE