LabGuy's World: 1976 Sony AV-8400 EIAJ Color Portapack VTR
New Addition & Photos: 01.04.23
1976 Sony AV-8400 EIAJ Color Portapack VTR
        This was Sony's last EIAJ portapack VTR. After this one's time, 3/4" Umatic took over for all "serious" video production. The AV-8400 could use either the AVC-3400 or AVC-3450 black and white cameras when operating as a monochrome only system.
        The AV-8400 was not as convenient to use as a color model, however. It had a variety of optional plug in modules and an external color playback adapter as well. The color record module displaced the RF modulator module, meaning that tapes could not be played back on a standard TV, black and white or otherwise, if the AV-8400 was equipped to record color. (Compare this to the convenience of the fully self contained color JVC PV-4800U, below.)
        This unit had an auto threading feature as well, using special tapes that came with a stiff plastic leader tape at the start of the spool. I can't say how well this worked, since this particular machine needs belts.
        The AV-8400 was essentially a kluged up AV-3400, indicating that changes were taking place in the Sony engineering group back in Japan. I'll bet a dollar to doughnut that all of Sony's attention was being focused on the introduction of the Betamax product line by this time! Sadly, this model marks the end of the reel to reel's heyday.
        The photos show the second AV-8400 obtained by LabGuy's World. This machine is in very clean condition internally at least. The black gunk is what is left of the foam liner in the fiberglass shipping case. It is partially operational. Plays, records, but does not rewind. A typical case of rotten belts ~ no surprise there. The little "armstrong rewinder" crank from my DV-2400 worked on it just fine! The camera shown with the VTR is a B/W AVC-3400 workhorse. This machine was previously owned by the U.S. Army which explains why it is in such good condition. It came with the BP-30, 3 hour, NiCad external battery pack (not shown) which turned out to be good! Also not shown is the AC-1000 AC/Color adapter unit, CLP-8000 color playback adapter, CLP-8000R color record adapter, the roll around fiberglass shipping case and misc. accessories. This is one of the most complete extinct video outfits I have ever seen.


Last updated: January 09, 2005