LabGuy's World: Extinct Sony Prototype VTR's of the 1950's &60's
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Quadruplex VTR: The very earliest VTR at Sony! Approximately 1958 or 59. Two inch tape, 4 heads running transverse, 15 or 30 inches per second tape speed. A shamelessly brutal copy of Ampex's quadruplex machine. Right on, Sony!  HELP! More info needed!! Photo: Sony History Web Site
SV-201: Very early 1960's color capable helical scan, 100% solid state. One of Sony's very first VTRs. Need more info on this one! Photo: Sony History Web Site.
Original photo of CV prototype rcorder (Original Entry) CV-2000???: Prototype CV format portapack(?). No model number is given in the magazine article. More info desperately needed on this one!!!! Update: I have identified the camera as a CVC-2000. One was offered for sale on ebay recently. Photo: Electronics World Magazine - November, 1966.
CV-2400 prototype portapack in use. Mystery Solved!: CV-2400 Prototype Portapack: The above entry has been on my CV/DV page since I started the site. That original photo really sucks. And Electronics World magazine was vague about the product. But, in Popular Photography magazine November 1966, I found the following photos and a complete description of the product! Of course, no model number was given. It didn't have one! So, we will just call it the "CV-2400 prototype portapack" for this discussion. * This is the prototype for the production model [DV-2400 portapack]. This thing is way ahead of its time. It is very small, has coaxially stacked reels and external batteries. Recording format was totally compatible with the CV-2000 series of skip field VTR's. The final DV-2400 portapack was very different looking than this prototype and set the pattern for many of the portapacks that followed. However, this prototype did influence the designs of some other early portapacks like the Panasonic NV-8080 (non-EIAJ) and NV-3080 (EIAJ) as well as the Shibaden SV-707 (non-EIAJ). 

* All of Sony's reel to reel portapacks had the number four in the second digit position: DV-2400, AV-3400, AV-8400. That is why I call this machine the CV-2400. It may well have had that exact model number. That would explain nicely why the production model was called the DV-2400!

CV-2400 prototype portapack close up! CV-2400 Prototype Portapack: This photo shows the top of the deck clearly. On the left are the two stacked reels. On the right is the head drum scanner. The feed reel is on the bottom and the take up reel is on the top. This machine is record only. Judging from the photos of the demonstration, the camera was AC powered while the deck operated from batteries. A battery powered camera ws probably not ready at that time. The VTR is alleged to weigh 9-1/2 pounds (21 kilos). It's dimensions are 4. 5 x 5. 5 x 12. 8 inches. That was very compact and light for ANY reel to reel portapack ~ EVER! If it is like the DV-2400, then this machine had no rewind function. On the DV-2400 you placed the recorded tape onto a deck VTR to rewind it or used a small comical hand crank to rewind the tape on the portapack. 
CV-2400 prototype portapack getting threaded up for a shoot! CV-2400 Prototype Portapack: Here, you can clearly see the reels being loaded onto the deck. It is claimed that the 5" spool would record for 30 minutes with 1 mil polyester tape. Tape speed is 7-1/2 IPS. Recording time could be doubled by using 1/2 mil tape. I doubt if this was ever done, as the back tension is pretty high on these VTRs and thin tape would have stability problems ~ mainly stretching. The VTR could run for 6 hours from the battery. That is how I figured that the camera was running on AC power! The camera was a modified CVC-2000. It was revamped with the addition of a one inch CRT video monitor viewfinder.
CV-2400 prototype portapack operator's controls! CV-2400 Prototype Portapack: This is the control panel. Not much to it. Off / on switch, standby switch, stop switch, level meter and level control. The camera had the start and stop buttons installed in the crude pistol grip. The operator was more concerned with holding up the ungainly CVC-2000 camera and trying to get steady shots than with operating the VTR. As usual, if I am wrong about anything and you know the facts, drop me a line and set me straight! ~LabGuy~ 


Last updated: January 09, 2005