I Canโ€™t Believe How Much I Paid For Thisโ€ฆ

Linus Tech Tips
9 Mar 202414:34

Summary

TLDRIn this nostalgic exploration, the Vidam Magic FP60 CRT projector from Sony is showcased, a relic from the 1980s with a hefty price tag and a unique design. It's portable, has a built-in Betamax player, and a microphone input. Despite its dimness and outdated technology, the FP60 was a game-changer for its time, offering a single tube for color projection and a long-lasting, durable display. The video delves into the projector's technical aspects, its use in gaming, and its eventual obsolescence as lighter, brighter models took over the market.

Takeaways

  • ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ The Sony Vidam Magic FP60 is a portable CRT projector with a built-in Betamax player.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Introduced in 1984 at a price of $3,000, its value would be approximately $9,000 today.
  • ๐ŸŽ’ It came with a carrying bag and a microphone input for projecting voice, but was more luggable than portable.
  • ๐Ÿ“บ The FP60 had advantages over other mid-80s presentation options, offering larger screen size and durability.
  • ๐ŸŽฎ It was used for gaming, showing minimal latency due to its CRT nature.
  • ๐Ÿ” The projector's brightness was around 2.2 nits, which is dim compared to modern standards.
  • ๐ŸŒŸ CRT projectors were known for their long tube life, often rated for around 10,000 hours.
  • ๐Ÿ”ง The FP60 used a single electron gun with a beam index tube, which was innovative for its time.
  • ๐Ÿ“น Despite its drawbacks, CRT projectors had benefits like better black levels and flesh tones compared to LCD and DLP options.
  • ๐Ÿš€ The last CRT projector, the Zenith Pro 1200 X, was released in 2001, marking the end of CRT projectors' era.
  • ๐ŸŒ Modern projectors have significantly improved in brightness and weight compared to CRT projectors.

Q & A

  • What is the Vidam Magic FP60 from Sony?

    -The Vidam Magic FP60 is a portable CRT projector from Sony that includes a carrying bag, microphone input, and a built-in Betamax player. It uses a single tube to produce a color image, unlike most other CRT projectors that use three tubes.

  • How much did the Vidam Magic FP60 cost when it was first introduced?

    -The introductory price for the Vidam Magic FP60 was $3,000 in 1984, which would be approximately $9,000 in today's currency.

  • Who was a notable co-brander and user of the FP60?

    -Avon, the cosmetics giant, co-branded the FP60 and deployed it to company representatives across the United States.

  • What are the advantages of the FP60 over other mid-80s presentation options?

    -The FP60 had major advantages in terms of screen size, durability, and convenience compared to other options like CRTs on AV carts or larger projectors.

  • What is the latency like when playing games on the FP60?

    -The latency is minimal, as it's a CRT projector. The only additional latency compared to looking directly into a CRT is the speed of light to the screen.

  • What is the brightness level of the FP60?

    -The FP60 gets about 2.2 nits, which is relatively dim compared to modern standards, but it's the brightest CRT the reviewer has ever seen.

  • How does the FP60's single electron gun with a beam index tube work?

    -The FP60 uses a single electron gun that modulates the beam strength, has a fourth phosphor stripe, and a photo multiplier tube captures the result. A decoder circuit checks and adjusts the colors on the fly.

  • What are the drawbacks of the FP60's design?

    -The design has drawbacks like inferior contrast, but it offers benefits like brighter images, no convergence problems, and lower sensitivity to magnetic interference.

  • Why did CRT projectors eventually fall out of fashion?

    -CRT projectors were replaced by lighter, brighter models, even if it meant sacrificing a little bit of image quality. The last CRT projector came out in 2001.

  • What are the benefits of using a CRT projector over LCD and DLP options that started hitting the market?

    -CRT projectors offered better black levels, better flesh tones, no pixelation, and exceptionally long tube life, with most rated for around 10,000 hours compared to 1 or 2,000 hours for LCD and DLP projectors.

  • How does the FP60 perform when watching movies?

    -The FP60 is not great for watching movies due to its dimness and poor contrast, but it does offer better black levels and flesh tones compared to LCD and DLP projectors.

Outlines

00:00

๐Ÿ“บ Introducing the Vidam Magic FP60 CRT Projector

The script begins with an introduction to the Vidam Magic FP60, a portable CRT projector from Sony. It highlights its features, such as a carrying bag, microphone input, and a built-in Betamax player. The video's host, dressed as a 1980s traveling salesman, discusses the high price of the projector in 1984, which would be equivalent to around $9,000 today. The script also mentions Avon's co-branding of the FP60 for business presentations and compares it to other mid-80s presentation options, emphasizing its advantages in screen size, durability, and convenience.

05:00

๐ŸŽฎ Gaming with the FP60 and CRT Latency

The host explores the latency of the FP60 when playing games like the NES, noting the minimal delay compared to a direct CRT screen. The conversation includes humorous banter about the game's performance and the challenges of setting up the projector in a dark environment. The script also delves into the technical aspects of the FP60's CRT, explaining how it uses a single electron gun with a beam index tube and a photomultiplier tube to produce color images, which was an innovation at the time.

10:03

๐ŸŽฌ Watching Movies and the Decline of CRT Projectors

The script discusses the limitations of the FP60 when watching movies, comparing the quality to that of a Betamax tape and the degradation of the tape itself. It contrasts the FP60's performance with a DVD, noting improvements in aspect ratio and image quality. The host reflects on the advantages of CRT projectors, such as better black levels, flesh tones, and long tube life, despite their decline in popularity due to the rise of LCD and DLP projectors. The script concludes with a mention of the last CRT projector produced in 2001 and a comparison to modern projectors, highlighting the advancements in technology.

Mindmap

Keywords

๐Ÿ’กPortable CRT Projector

A CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) projector designed for portability, such as the Vidam Magic FP60 from Sony, which includes a carrying bag and a built-in Betamax player. It was a technological marvel of the 1980s, offering the convenience of transporting and setting up a projector for presentations or entertainment. In the video, the presenter explores the unique features and limitations of this vintage technology.

๐Ÿ’กVidam Magic FP60

A specific model of portable CRT projector released by Sony in the 1980s. It was priced at $3,000 upon release, which would be equivalent to around $9,000 today. The FP60 was notable for its single-tube design, which was an innovation compared to other CRT projectors that used three separate tubes for red, green, and blue. The video discusses the FP60's features, such as its microphone input and the challenges of using it in a modern context.

๐Ÿ’กCRT (Cathode Ray Tube)

A type of display technology that was widely used in televisions and computer monitors before being replaced by flat-panel displays. CRTs work by using electron beams to illuminate phosphors on the screen, creating images. In the context of the video, the CRT projector uses a single tube to produce a color image, which was an innovation at the time. The presenter compares the image quality and brightness of the CRT projector to modern display technologies.

๐Ÿ’กBetamax Player

A videocassette format developed by Sony and released in 1975. Betamax was one of the first home video formats and competed with VHS. The Vidam Magic FP60 projector featured a built-in Betamax player, which was a significant feature in the 1980s. The video script mentions the use of Betamax tapes in the projector, highlighting the historical context of the technology.

๐Ÿ’กIndextron Tube

A proprietary CRT display technology developed by Sony for their projectors, including the FP60. The Indextron tube used a single electron gun with a beam index tube to produce color images, which was more efficient and compact than traditional CRTs that used three separate guns for each color. This technology allowed for brighter images and less convergence issues, but it also had drawbacks such as inferior contrast. The video discusses the technical aspects of the Indextron tube and its impact on the projector's performance.

๐Ÿ’กLatency

In the context of video displays, latency refers to the delay between when an action is performed (such as pressing a button on a controller) and when it is visually represented on the screen. The video script mentions testing the latency of the CRT projector, particularly when playing video games, and notes that it performs well due to the nature of CRT technology, which has minimal latency compared to modern display types.

๐Ÿ’กBrightness

The measure of the luminous intensity of a light source, in this case, the CRT projector. Brightness is a critical factor in the visibility and quality of the projected image. The video script discusses the FP60's brightness, comparing it to modern projectors and noting that while it is dimmer than contemporary displays, it was still sufficient for use in dark environments typical of the 1980s.

๐Ÿ’กConvergence

In CRT displays, convergence refers to the alignment of the red, green, and blue electron beams to create a single, focused image. Poor convergence can result in color fringing or misalignment. The FP60's single-tube design helped to minimize convergence issues, which were common in other CRT projectors that used separate tubes for each color. The video script touches on this advantage of the Indextron tube technology.

๐Ÿ’กPhosphors

Phosphors are materials that emit light when excited by an electron beam in a CRT. They are coated on the inner surface of the CRT screen and are responsible for producing the visible image. The video script mentions the potential wear and decay of phosphors over time, which can affect the quality of the image produced by the CRT projector.

๐Ÿ’กSquarespace

A website building and hosting platform that offers an all-in-one solution for creating and managing websites. Squarespace is mentioned in the video as a sponsor, and the script discusses its features, such as templates, marketing tools, and e-commerce capabilities. The platform is presented as a user-friendly option for those who lack technical expertise but want to establish an online presence.

๐Ÿ’กZenith Pro 1200 X

The last CRT projector model produced, released by Zenith in 2001. It is mentioned in the video as a reference to the end of the CRT projector era. The Pro 1200 X was a high-end model, priced at about $30,000 and weighing around 155 lbs, which highlights the contrast with the lighter and brighter DLP projectors that were becoming more popular at the time.

Highlights

The Vidam Magic FP60 from Sony is a portable CRT projector with a built-in Betamax player.

The FP60 was priced at $3,000 in 1984, which would be around $9,000 in today's currency.

Avon co-branded the FP60 and deployed it to company representatives across the United States.

The FP60 offers advantages in screen size, durability, and convenience compared to other mid-80s boardroom presentation options.

The FP60 uses a single tube to produce a color image, unlike most CRT projectors that use three tubes.

The FP60's CRT technology provides better black levels and flesh tones, and longer tube life compared to LCD and DLP projectors.

The FP60's design includes a single electron gun with a beam index tube, which simplifies the setup and reduces convergence issues.

The FP60's brightness is limited, with a measured brightness of 2.2 nits.

The FP60's promotional video showed it being usable in a sunlit room, but in reality, it would require pitch darkness.

The FP60's CRT projector technology was replaced by lighter, brighter models like DLP projectors, with the last CRT projector released in 2001.

The FP60's CRT technology had benefits like no convergence problems and lower sensitivity to magnetic interference.

The FP60's CRT projector could be used for gaming with minimal latency, providing a similar experience to playing on a CRT TV.

The FP60's built-in Betamax player and microphone input allowed for versatile presentation capabilities.

The FP60's design included water cooling, which was innovative for its time.

The FP60's service manual and a second projector are available for those interested in repairing or restoring the device.

The FP60's weight and size made it more luggable than truly portable, but it was still a significant advancement in projector technology.

Transcripts

00:00

you've seen a portable projector you've

00:02

seen a CRT but have you seen a portable

00:06

CRT

00:07

projector okay portable might be a

00:11

little generous but the vidam magic fp60

00:15

from Sony came with its own carrying bag

00:18

has a microphone input for projecting

00:21

your voice and did I mention there's a

00:23

built betamax player no how about the

00:28

fact that it uses a single tube to

00:30

produce a color image rather than three

00:33

tubes like most other CRT

00:36

projectors in this episode of lonus

00:38

overpays for ancient Hardware that

00:40

you've probably never heard of we'll be

00:43

cosplaying as a traveling salesman from

00:45

the 1980s I can't wait to play with this

00:48

thing just like I can't wait to tell you

00:50

about our sponsor build Redux sometimes

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01:00

doorstep just check them out at the link

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down below according to radiomuseum.org

01:04

the introductory price for the viam

01:07

magic fp60 was

01:10

$3,000 that's not that bad for a

01:12

portable

01:13

projector except that was in 1984

01:16

meaning it would be closer to

01:17

$9,000 today that's high enough that

01:20

just about nobody was going to be buying

01:22

these for home theater use but

01:25

businesses well that's another story and

01:28

cosmetics giant Avon even went as far as

01:30

to co-brand the fp60 and deploy it to

01:34

company Representatives across the

01:35

United States hence my uh world's

01:38

largest makeup bag here at 35 lbs she's

01:43

more luggable than really portable but

01:46

when you compare it to other mid 80s

01:48

options for boardroom presentations for

01:51

example like what a CRT on an AV cart or

01:54

a real toore projector the fp60 had

01:57

major advantages in terms of screen size

02:00

and in terms of durability and

02:02

convenience so we're going to get to

02:04

that whole presentation use case but

02:05

first I have a burning question kenet

02:08

game oh

02:10

yeah fun fact by the way the NES

02:12

wouldn't come out in America for another

02:15

year we just felt like being Gamers it

02:17

would be a great choice for us to

02:19

evaluate the latency not going to lie

02:21

brother I can see it's on but

02:24

uh wow barely I mean is that supposed to

02:28

be curtains at the top or is that

02:30

just this reason everyone had blacked

02:32

out media rooms right okay we're going

02:35

to have to lose some lights yeah get the

02:37

lamp there we go oh my God yeah the lamp

02:40

doesn't do much no we need that one hold

02:43

on I got you I got you it's still

02:46

horrible get this okay hold on I got

02:49

this one I got this one what that's the

02:52

only light we have left and that's all

02:54

we got turn it off dude this is terrible

02:57

well you know it's a crd yeah but it

03:00

didn't get very bright to begin with

03:01

okay hold on hold

03:03

on that's that's markedly better okay

03:06

we're getting somewhere I mean that's

03:07

about as far as we're going to get but

03:09

that's that's not bad okay that lamp's

03:12

got to go that lamp was throwing so much

03:14

more light than the CRT

03:18

projector with that said looking into

03:22

this thing that's about the brightest

03:24

CRT I've ever seen right that indextron

03:26

wow there's like hairs in there oh yeah

03:30

you can probably it'd probably be fun to

03:31

try to play with the focus if you want

03:33

to basically that's the cross oh it's

03:35

probably slightly out of focus there's

03:37

also a uh manual focus on the very front

03:40

that you can use okay but you shouldn't

03:42

don't touch them together or you can

03:44

break the whole Focus system yeah it's

03:47

definitely still got some blurry spots

03:49

do you have any idea what that is no

03:50

Elijah tried cleaning the lens so like

03:53

it's been wiped down so basically Elijah

03:55

touched it yeah Elijah tou said that it

03:57

was bad before he touched it I'm not

03:58

blaming him in this scenario

04:00

maybe some of the phosphors are worn out

04:02

or something or like some of the co CU

04:04

you can see it looks like burnning when

04:05

you've got it on a single um like color

04:09

here oh my God what this is perfect

04:14

right there's no latency there's none

04:16

cuz it's a CRT it's a projector but it's

04:18

a CRT a CRT wow it's like so easy this

04:23

is like freaking Easy Street and it

04:26

looks pretty good hey like those blacks

04:27

actually look pretty black it's pretty

04:29

colorful too like this is not bad no

04:32

it's not bad at all I mean it's not good

04:36

no but in a in a dark environment though

04:39

this is like totally

04:46

fine oh no wow you're diding so well

04:49

let's see you do better I probably won't

04:51

another thing that's not included with

04:53

ours is a working speaker unfortunately

04:55

yeah it's just not working and

04:58

theoretically we could use our uh

05:00

technical manual service manual to

05:02

repair it or we could just not do that

05:06

oh my God you're wasting the pow there's

05:09

no pow we don't need it I thought you

05:11

were too good you don't need the pow did

05:13

you die yeah again I hit a blue shell

05:16

while it was flipped over we've already

05:18

realized that when it comes to old games

05:20

you'll usually win new games I don't

05:24

know okay well that was you dying on

05:26

purpose I actually did not

05:30

okay all right this is it for all the

05:32

marbles here we

05:34

go um they kill me yeah yeah yeah they

05:37

kill you if they're um moving yeah yeah

05:40

yeah this feels too good I know right

05:43

like it feels like you're playing on a

05:44

CRT yeah because the only additional

05:46

latency compared to looking directly

05:48

into a CRT is the speed of light to the

05:51

screen that's it so just the slightly

05:55

increased like distance the light has to

05:57

travel like this is awesome

06:00

but blue we're getting about 2.2 nits

06:02

2.2

06:03

nits the point two

06:06

matters let's stop it for now cuz I want

06:09

to talk about brightness In fairness

06:11

most projectors don't get that bright

06:13

compared to direct view displays but

06:16

this is clearly way behind the

06:19

experience that Sony showed off in this

06:22

by the way amazing promotional video

06:25

that was recently re-uploaded by retro

06:27

TV film and video and if we look

06:31

closely yep

06:33

composited got him now it was probably

06:37

brighter when it was new CRTs do Decay

06:39

over time but they show this thing being

06:41

usable in a literally sunlit room when

06:44

realistically it would have needed pitch

06:46

Darkness even then with that said how

06:50

cool would a land party have been if

06:53

someone showed up with one of these bad

06:54

boys oh it'd be sick with like a GI even

06:56

not even 180 50 60 in that would be

06:59

unheard of as a kid unheard of a regular

07:02

CRT tube TV works by coating the front

07:05

glass with a phosphor material that

07:07

lights up when it gets Zapped by one of

07:09

three electron guns one for red one for

07:11

green and one for blue with our CRT

07:14

projector we're not looking at a lit up

07:17

phosphor screen

07:20

so what are what is going on here it

07:23

turns out it's surprisingly simple

07:25

they're still using a cathode ray tube

07:27

to generate the image and we can see

07:29

that if we look directly down the barrel

07:32

but it's upside down and backwards so

07:35

that once it goes through the lens which

07:37

is basically functioning as a giant

07:39

magnifying glass it'll be the right way

07:41

around now I alluded to this before but

07:43

one of the big Innovations for the vid

07:45

magic was that most CRT projectors in

07:48

those days were using three separate

07:50

tubes and lenses for RG and B kind of

07:54

like this they were reliable but they

07:57

were extremely heavy and and

07:59

inconvenient to set up supposedly it

08:02

took quite some time to get them all

08:04

lined up correctly and something as

08:06

small as a swift kick to the table it

08:08

was resting on could put the whole thing

08:10

out of whack again another major hurdle

08:12

they faced was well you can probably

08:14

guess from what we've seen so far

08:17

brightness CRTs by modern standards are

08:20

pretty dim to begin with and projecting

08:23

that light across a much larger area

08:26

exacerbates the issue how do you fix all

08:28

of that

08:30

okay the fp60 is no regular CRT it uses

08:34

a single electron gun with a beam index

08:37

tube so to get the right colors from a

08:39

single gun they would modulate the beam

08:42

strength then there was a fourth

08:44

phosphor stripe and when that lit up the

08:47

result was captured by a photo

08:48

multiplier tube and that signal was then

08:51

Amplified and sent to a decoder circuit

08:53

which would basically check if the

08:55

colors were correct and then adjust the

08:57

modulation of the beam on the fly if you

09:01

open this thing up the number of boards

09:03

involved to properly index and decode

09:05

the signals is pretty wild by the way

09:08

shout out to 12volt vids for this

09:10

amazing footage from his repair video a

09:12

few years ago that gives us a great look

09:14

by the way at the water cooling that was

09:17

built into this projector now this

09:19

design did have drawbacks like inferior

09:22

contrast but the benefits were Brighter

09:24

Images no convergence problems and lower

09:27

sensitivity to magnetic interference

09:30

which is why they saw some military use

09:33

Sony commercialized a couple of versions

09:35

of this technology including the

09:36

indextron tube which was used in our

09:39

fp60 as well as in the highly sought

09:42

after kvx 370 watch cube a super cute

09:46

4in bedside TV that came out in

09:49

1989 realistically nobody was buying

09:52

this thing for gaming so why don't we

09:54

try a movie this definitely makes these

09:57

1980 special effects not look out of

09:59

place yeah I mean they look pretty good

10:03

um at this resolution yeah at this

10:06

brightness got to love those four

10:08

textures not 4K just

10:11

four this looks about how I remember

10:14

watching TV in the 9s no we had more

10:18

color than that the contrast is terrible

10:23

fine yeah terrible so I guess what we

10:26

want to know is how much of what we're

10:29

looking at is limitations of the betamax

10:32

format and or degradation of the tape

10:35

versus how much of it is limitations of

10:37

the performance of our projector so do

10:39

we want to throw our DVD on yeah let's

10:40

put our DVD in I think it's already in

10:42

the player okay I love how delightfully

10:44

easy to operate this thing is yeah it's

10:46

pretty simple switches for different

10:48

modes y this looks better I think that

10:52

other than getting 16 by9 M which we can

10:57

actually kind of take advantage of with

11:00

this projector because the image isn't

11:02

so small that you are basically just

11:05

like well I gave up 30% of my whole

11:11

screen I don't think this is a whole ton

11:15

better though like a little bit I think

11:16

it's a little better a little bit

11:18

looking into the lens this is as bright

11:20

a CRT as I have ever seen how small does

11:23

it get to be CRT bright off the

11:26

projection screen I'm going to move it

11:29

okay moving forward careful this is like

11:31

60 80 lbs worth of I got I got you oh

11:34

yeah I got hang on yeah um wow that's

11:38

still really dim okay

11:42

more I think that's his oh that is as

11:45

much as it goes boy so we can't go any

11:47

smaller than this yeah all right so it's

11:50

not great for watching movies either but

11:53

there were advantages to using a CRT

11:55

projector even when LCD and DLP option

11:58

options started hitting the market

12:00

better black levels and better flesh

12:03

tones no pixelation and exceptionally

12:06

long tube life most CRT projectors were

12:09

rated for around 10,000 hours while the

12:12

bulbs in LCD and DLP projectors were

12:15

only good for 1 or 2,000 they'd also

12:18

gotten pretty cheap on the used Market

12:19

by then so you could go with the used

12:21

CRT projector and still have money left

12:24

over to spend on the new noock to a

12:25

screwdriver from LTD store.com to take

12:28

it apart when you need to change the

12:29

tube by the way guys we got a full

12:31

service manual for this thing and a

12:33

second projector let us know in the

12:35

comments if you want to see Dan try to

12:36

fix it with all of that said these

12:38

benefits were not enough to keep CRT

12:41

projectors in fashion like their TV set

12:43

Brethren they were replaced by lighter

12:46

brighter models even if it meant

12:48

sacrificing a little bit of image

12:49

quality for actually years to come and

12:52

the last CRT projector came out in 2001

12:56

the pro 1200 X from Zenith it retailed

12:59

for about $30,000 and weighed around 155

13:02

lb by contrast the high-end Christy

13:05

Mirage 200000 DLP projector launched in

13:08

the same year for 55 grand but weighed

13:11

almost half of what the Zenus did and

13:13

was roughly seven times brighter modern

13:16

projectors have obviously gotten a lot

13:18

better by the way and we'll have some

13:19

decent options linked down below back to

13:22

our fp60 though the only thing we

13:24

haven't done yet is give a presentation

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