Sony Corp. of America has introduced two portable video products for personal use that the company predicts will revolutionize the electronics industry and the way people use video.
The products are the GV-8 Video Walkman TV-VCR combination unit, a portable hand-held unit about the size of a book, and the slightly larger EV-DT1 desktop video system.
Both products feature color television screens and complete video-cassette recorders, the company said.
Sony, based in New York, previewed prototypes of these products a year ago when it presented the concept of Personal Video -- the ability to use TV-VCR combinations virtually anywhere rather than only at home with a VCR connected to the family television.
Sony Chairman Masaaki Morita said the company began altering the use of video two years ago by introducing lightweight and easy-to-use camcorders that utilize the 8mm video format.
"We took video technology and reworked it, refreshed it, so consumers could take video out of their homes to record vacation travels, family events and all the special moments of their lives," he said.
Morita noted that while 8mm video technology made this possible, the company never intended to limit it to camcorders.
"The characteristics of 8mm make the format ideal for many other applications. Personal Video is the latest," he said.
Neil Vander Dussen, Sony's president and chief operating officer, said he expects the portability and versatility of Sony's new video products to increase the use of existing software like cooking and home repair "how-to" tapes and to spur expansion of new forms of video such as national magazines and other periodicals.
He compared the products with the launching of the Walkman personal stereo 10 years ago, which lead to an explosion in the number and types of prerecorded tapes on the market.
"Consumers continue to show their creativity in finding new uses for the audio Walkman technology. And we anticipate that American ingenuity will cause the Video Walkman to have a similar impact," he said.
The new full-featured GV-8 Video Walkman measures only 5 inches wide, 8 inches high and 2.5 inches deep and weighs about 2.5 pounds. It will be available this fall for about $1,300.
To watch tapes and television programs, the unit has a 3-inch color liquid crystal diode screen with active matrix system for increased sharpness, contrast and color purity.
A backlight behind the screen creates a brighter picture and helps viewers see the screen in sunlight, the company said.
The VCR component of the GV-8 features a high-speed picture search to scan recordings; a one-day, one-event timer for time-shift recordings; and a built-in TV tuner with full VHF and UHF channel reception. It also has a sleep timer that turns the TV off automatically after one hour.
For indoor-outdoor flexibility the unit operates on AC or DC current, rechargeable NP-55 battery or alkaline batteries when used with an optional adaptor.
The EV-DT1, available now for about $1,700, is a complete video unit designed for desktop use. It takes up little more room than a telephone, contains a 5-inch color monitor and a full-featured VCR with a seven-day, three-event timer with on-screen display.
"The EV-DT1 ... provides a way for video to be more broadly disseminated in all sorts of businesses. Instead of crowding into the conference room, employees can now view tapes at their desks while they are working," said Shinichi Takagi, president of Sony Consumer Video Products Division.