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COULD’VE BEEN A CONTENDER

 

THE VIDEO WALKMAN

 

A Video Walkman, I like the sound of that, where can I buy one?

You’re too late, they came and went about five years ago

 

How did it work, did you have to wear special glasses?

No, though a couple of companies did come up with video headsets, with built-in viewing screens, but that’s another story…

 

So how did they work?

A miniature, battery-powered video deck was combined with a colour LCD viewing screen and sometimes a TV tuner as well, so you could watch your favourite movies, anywhere, any time

 

It didn’t catch on then?

There was around half a dozen models at one time, from Hitachi, Panasonic, JVC, Sharp, and of course Sony, who might still have one or two kicking around. Sony’s was comparatively small as it used 8mm tapes; the others based theirs on VHS or VHS-C tapes, so they were rather bulky

 

What killed them off?

How long have you got? Cost, they were very expensive, upwards of £900 for some of them. They were not very convenient, there were few pre-recorded 8mm tapes and none on the VHS-C format. The batteries only lasted a few minutes, most models couldn’t or wouldn’t record off-air TV, and the small screens meant only one person, or two very good friends, could watch them at the same time.

 

 

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R. Maybury 1998 1002

 

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