The idea of a video peripheral enabling an existing TV was highlighted by Panasonic in the 1980s

Article – From the horse’s mouth


Blog Post – Flashback Friday (PV-1742 VHS Hi-Fi VCR – US Market)

Previous Coverage

A reasonably-priced add-on solution for integrating Skype with your TV

Product Review – Sony BDP-S390 Blu-Ray Disc Player

Blu-Ray Players – they could give more life to older and cheaper TVs

My Comments

Pioneer BDP-160 Blu-Ray Player (Pioneer Europe press image)

Pioneer BDP-160 DLNA-capable Blu-Ray player

What do I see of video peripherals like Blu-Ray players, Blu-Ray home-theatre systems and network video players with “smart-TV” capability is that they are able to enable an existing TV with the smart-TV functions. Examples of these functions included DLNA network media playback, client-side access to the popular online content services and even the ability to co-opt your TV in to service as a large-screen Skype videophone once you purchased an optional camera kit.

But I see Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and others who do this right following an example that was underscored through the 1980s. In the Panasonic “Flashback” blog post, they highlighted the abilities that their PV-1742 VHS Hi-Fi VCR offered when it comes to reproducing what was considered great sound from video movies in its day. This was to utilise the VHS Hi-Fi system for recording and playback of video content including playback of those videos you rented from the video store with the high-quality stereo sound.

But one feature highlighted here was to allow you to use its inbuilt stereo TV tuner to watch TV broadcasts with stereo sound playing through your hi-fi, describing it as “converting your TV in to a stereo TV”. What was being highlighted here was a TV enablement feature, in a similar way to how most video recorders released through its model year also offered other features like the ability to change channels with its remote control or provide access to extra TV content (UHF or in-the-clear cable broadcasts, more channel spaces, etc) due to what the VCR’s tuner offered or simply the use of a reliable electronic tuner even if your old TV implemented a mechanical tuner.

What I see of Panasonic touching on the capabilities of video recorders like the PV-1742 and its peers was for them to be simply a TV-enablement device like today’s well-bred Blu-Ray players.

Update: A few corrections and use of a featured image.

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