Part 2: The "Tubes"
Unless otherwise stated, these TVs have black and white pictures
(from the left to the right, click to enlarge)
SONY FD-10: The classic black-and-white Watchman from SONY with the characteristically flat picture tube. Extras: sound-only mode, 47 mm screen size (about 65 mm with the optional magnifier VCV-2), slide rule dial on front, 390 g with 4 AA-size batteries. Available in different colours. Use this link for an overview about the different "Watchmen" available in 1987. Made in Japan.
SONY FD-210: According to this SONY webpage, the FD-210 was the very first Watchman (1982). This FD-210BE works in most West-European countries and Great Britain (plus Hong Kong and South Africa). Strange detail: The FD-210BE is one of the very few pocket-televisions sold in Germany with an antenna input. This jack is usually sealed due to German radio and television regulations. Obviously the required registration seems to be too costly for most of the manufacturers, the same applies to Italy as well. Black-and-white flat picture tube, 47 mm screen size, brushed aluminium finished front, folding rear stand, 670 g with 4 AA-size batteries. Made in Japan.
SONY FD-280: This Watchman was presumably the last one with the famous flat picture tube. Rear Velcro adjustable handle/strap. Automatic tuning, 68 mm screen size, 500 g with 4 AA-size batteries. Also available with AM/FM radio (FD-285). Made in Japan 1993/1994.
Nordmende TR 101: Multi-standard TV from the late seventies, also known as Emerson VR22, ORION TVR-7120, TMK 717, Unisonic XL-990, Realistic 16-103 and Broksonic CIRT-2097T. Available in three different versions: one for Western Europe / UK / France, one for Western Europe / UK / United States and a US-only version. Click here for a view inside. AM/FM radio, 53 mm screen size, 1150 g with 6 AA-size batteries.
SONY FD-40: In 1988 Barry Levinson directed the movie Rain Man. The cast: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise und a SONY FD-40 Watchman. Flat display picture tube (100 mm), slide rule dial on front, A/V-input jack (special RCA-type), 1.200 g with 4 C-size cells. Retail price: $180. Made in Japan 1984/1985.
SONY FD-270: Pretty flat (only one inch thick) and very stylish. The FD-270 needs only two AA-size cells, that's why it is most likely the "slimmest" Handheld-TV with a picture tube. Compatible to Walkman AC power adaptors (3 volts). 68 mm screen size, carrying case with sun shield, 370 grams including batteries. Made in Japan 1987.
Sears BINOC aka SANYO TPM 2570: As early as 1948 Sears Roebuck & Company began to manufacture TV sets. This creative model was built in 1980 by SANYO, with a shape resembling to binoculars. 50 mm screen size, AM/FM radio, folding adjustable bottom stand, 1.100 g with 6 AA-size cells. Made in Japan.
JVC P-100: Probably the smallest TV set from Victor Company Of Japan. Available in many different versions: P-100AE for US customers, P-100EUC for Europe (including Great Britain, except France) and P-100UKC for United Kingdom only. In Japan the P-100 was nicknamed "Kiddy", the suggested retail price in 1978 was 52,800 Yen (around $220). 50 mm screen size, AM/FM radio, dials on front and top, 1.200 g with 6 AA-size cells (or the rechargeable battery pack BP-100V). Made in Japan.
Panasonic TR-001: The very first of the little pocket TVs, an incredibly rare set - especially this European version TR-001EU. The exact date of manufacture is unknown - sometime between 1970 and 1975. Click here for a view inside. 35 mm screen size, 890 g including NiCd battery. Made in Japan.
Panasonic TR-1030: The smallest "ordinary" Television (79 * 150 * 40 mm) and the last one in a series of six models with the same 1,5 inch (35 mm) picture tube. Thumb wheel dial on front, metal folding stand on bottom, 550 g including 4 AA-size batteries. Made in Japan 1984.
Sinclair Microvision MTV1: Masterpiece from the famous British
inventor Sir Clive Sinclair, made in 1977/78. Unique,
multi-standard, but rather expensive - around 200 pound sterling or $400 respectively. Today's price-tags vary from $50 for non-working units up to $500+ for a set in perfect condition
with accessories, instruction manuals and box. The specifications: 50 mm picture tube from the German manufacturer AEG-Telefunken, push button controls on front, slide rule dial, telescoping antenna on top (VHF) and a wire folding antenna on
the bottom (UHF), weight 790 g with 4 integrated AA-size
NiCd-cells. These cells have a tendency to leak after a couple of years, so I decided to remove them in the model I own (that was hard work regarding the value of a well working MTV1). The dimensions: 10.2 * 15.2 * 3.8 cm. Power consumption: only 750 mW (approximately 400 mW for the picture tube itself). Click here to listen to Clive Sinclair, talking about his invention.
Always a good source of information: The user manual
and a service manual (courtesy of
David Blumenthal, New-Jersey, USA).
In autumn 1978 Sinclair announced the MTV1B, the "Volkswagen" for the rest of us. Not a multi-standard TV but nearly half the price. And there was even a Video Monitor (without TV-tuner) available, called Sinclair MON1A. This scanned photograph shows all three models.
Though the MTV1 series wasn't a great success, Sinclair made a second attempt to
conquer the Handheld-TV market with the FTV1 (alias TV-80) in 1983. The truly pocketable TV took 6 years to develop and cost at least 4 million pound sterling. But it was a tremendous flop, one reason might have been the special battery that
you need ($9.95 for the three-pack). 47 mm screen size, 280 grams without battery. The FTV1 is a multi-standard TV to be used almost everywhere (but UHF only). Click here for a view inside or read the manual online. Made by Timex in Dundee/Scotland.
P.S. Actually the age of the Sinclair Microvison should have started 10 years earlier - if you believe in this newspaper article from 1966.